Andre Durand

Discovering life, one mistake at a time.

Archive for March, 2007

Pigging Out

March 30, 2007 By: Andre Category: Identity

Every company grows its own little quarks and personality over time. About six months ago, we started celebrating competitive wins. We affectionately referred to them as, ‘eating the competitions lunch.’

Basically, every time we won a highly competitive deal, we bought a really nice lunch for everyone here at Ping. It’s become sort of an institution lately, as sales people really take pride in not only winning the deal, but treating the entire company to a free lunch.

Deb, our controller, has also gotten in the habit of sending around these funny little follow-on emails, wherein she pulls some graphic from the Internet which captures the spirit of the particular win, and celebrates the team which closed the deal. The theme of today’s little email from her, based upon the fact that we did 25% of this quarter’s quota on the last day, was, appropriately, ‘pigging out’. Ah, you’ve got to love enterprise software!

Scaling Software Agility

March 30, 2007 By: Andre Category: Identity

I met Dean Leffingwell at Noodles for lunch about five years ago. He was, without question, the toughest, smartest angel investor I had ever met. I figured, if I can somehow get him interested in Ping, I can get anyone interested. So I went to work.

Three Noodle’s lunches later, Dean said, “Everytime I meet with you to talk about this identity thing, my brain starts to hurt, so, I figure it’s got to be a problem worth solving.”

Dean’s no masochist — well, not in exact terms, but he does tend to gravitate to the really hard problems. He’s taken on two such challenges in recent years.

  • First, he’s running engineering for a spin-out of Ping Identity that’s still top secret, but suffice it to say, really, really, really challenging and
  • Secondly, he’s written a book on Scaling Software Agility, and used Ping Identity in several of his examples.

I’m no engineer, but, I can tell you that the engineering group here at Ping Identity, which follows many of the methodologies outlined in the book, is simply amazing. Go Dean.

Revolutionizing Consumer Authentication

March 26, 2007 By: Andre Category: Identity

Ping Identity is hosting two free Webinars in April.

April 12th – 30 minutes on the four approaches to identity federation.

April 26th – 30 minutes on the revolution currently underway in consumer authentication management — including OpenID and CardSpace.

Qwerty 2.0

March 23, 2007 By: Andre Category: Identity

Discipline and Milking the Cash Cow

March 19, 2007 By: Andre Category: Identity

I always take note when someone makes a ton of money doing something I was totally oblivious to.

Back in 1993 built a billion dollar business selling scalable SMTP email servers to telcos who were just then becoming ISPs. I never saw that coming. I had assumed that SMTP, an existing open standard with a ton of open source already pre-existing would remain a commodity from day one. It turns out I was wrong, achieving carrier-grade scale isn’t easy, and telco’s were willing to pay for it — pay a lot.

I also took note when Microsoft was OEM’ing DOS 7.x while at the same time promoting Windows NT. They made billions from DOS well past its prime, milking it for all it was worth. Can you imagine what kind of discipline it took to manage a group of individuals working on yesterday’s technology when all the fun and excitement was taking place in Windows? Any lesser of a company would have totally screwed that up. In fact, I’ve never observed a company more disciplined than Microsoft when it came to separating the ‘what’s new and hot’ from ‘what pays the bills’.

So, while times have indeed changed with the shift from desktop applications to server/service based applications over the Internet, I would expect that Vista will produce plenty of cash for Microsoft well into the next decade, and that they will manage the shift with discipline.

There’s always a new fight right around the corner, and while this fight might be fundamentally different than the last one, it takes a really mature organization to milk yesterday’s products while preparing for the next battle.

Identity in Telcom – Digital ID World 2007

March 19, 2007 By: Andre Category: Identity

I’m helping Phil and Eric on this year’s Digital ID World 2007 by organizing a series of panels and discussions of identity adoption, use-cases and trends in telcom.

I’ve only just started emailing people, but it looks like we’ve already got confirmation of participation from Sun, NTT, Avaya, Burton Group and Jabber for starters.

As identity becomes more mainstream, services from major providers around identity provisioning, presence management, the intersection of SIP, VOIP, mobility and identity services is all fascinating fodder for discussion and debate.

If you’re interested in participating, please email me at

Get Your Free OpenID! Crunchy.

March 17, 2007 By: Andre Category: Identity

Paul Madsen joins the fun with this recent crunchy posting.

Zeitgeist is Futures

March 17, 2007 By: Andre Category: Identity

Kaliya correctly points out that the Identity Zeitgeist (which I didn’t create), is indeed, only representative of a mindset of a few totally oversaturated individuals who have been drinking from the identity pond for perhaps too long. 

To the identity newbie, what’s old to us is indeed all quite new.

I’m just having fun with some insiders-only humor.

Speaking of Conviction & Having Fun

March 16, 2007 By: Andre Category: Identity

I came across one of the old press releases Eric Norlin wrote back in the go-go days here at Ping Identity. See, it actually is quite simple. Just grow your business to $100 Billion (walking in a straight line of course) and then buy everyone around you. Done. Simple.



Ping Identity Pre-Announces Hostile Takeover of Microsoft in 2050

Company Lays Out Comprehensive Four-step Plan

Denver, CO, October 11, 2004 – Ping Identity Corporation (
today pre-announced a comprehensive four-step plan for a hostile
takeover of Microsoft in the year 2050. The pre-announcement of this
plan constitutes a key strategic initiative in Ping’s roadmap.


The plan, as laid bare by Ping’s CEO, Andre Durand, is as follows:


Step 1. Grow to 100 million in annual revenue by 2010.

Step 2. Grow that to a Yearly Revenue of 1 Billion.

Step 3. Grow that to a Yearly Revenue of 100 Billion (and go public somewhere in there).

Step 4. Assume that Microsoft’s star has faded, and launch a hostile takeover offer

The pure brilliance
of the plan was lauded by Eugene Roberts, analyst with Entropy Gradient
Reversals Group: “Ping Identity has clearly taken a step to leap ahead of nearly
all of its competition with this step. I mean, Microsoft is the largest
company on the planet – pre-announcing a hostile takeover in 2050 means
that Ping will, most likely, be one of the largest companies on the


Once the acquisition
has been completed, Ping stated that they plan to release another
version of their commercial federation server, PingFederate.


Andre Durand, CEO of
Ping Identity, addressed the announcement thus: “After many months of
strategic thumb-twiddling, it became overwhelmingly obvious that the
synergies of this hostile takeover would out-weigh any downside. Having
acquired the desktop, browser, small business, email, search engine,
weblog, digital rights management, enterprise server, media player, and
development environment foothold, we’re quite sure that Ping will be
able to leverage those properties in our federated identity strategy.
Truly, this roadmap represents a milestone for Ping Identity


About Ping Identity Corporation

Ping Identity Corporation (
was founded by Andre Durand after his friend Craig taunted him with
pictures from the Caribbean whilst he sat stuck in snowy Denver. Ping
has since grown to encompass truly important corporate things like a
board of directors, funding, stock, process, an outlook exchange
server, and monthly reports. Most of Ping’s employees dream of untold
wealth and applaud this release. Those that don’t are being dealt with

Walking a Straight Line Takes Balls

March 16, 2007 By: Andre Category: Identity

It’s hard to walk a straight line.

I’ve walked in circles plenty. Mental circles, physical circles, circles in business plan direction, circles in business model changes and the list goes on.

It’s funny how when you TALK about starting a company, it’s easy to put it all on the line, to talk about how you’re going to go for it, and not let anything get in the way or distract you.

Then, you start the comapny, and suddenly everything changes. Rather than go all-in, you spread your bets all over the table, diluting down the very opportunity you came to pursue.

Sure, there are a lot of reasons why we all behave like this. It’s not irrational. Smart people can justify anything, but at the end of the day, it takes balls, conviction, unwavering commitment to an idea to see it through to conclusion.

I used to fear being wrong. “What if I’m wrong, what are the consequences?”  The second you start thinking that way, you’re going to dilute your mission, and you’re going to dilute the result.

You want to change the world? Walk a straight line, bet the farm on your convictions, and don’t look back.