Identity is having its TCP/IP moment

[This is my keynote from Cloud Identity Summit 2015. Unlike most of my talks, this one did not start with a few phrases and then an outline and then a speech and then a deck. This one dropped out of my noggin in basically one whole piece. I wrote this on a flight back home from London based on a conversation with a friend in the industry. Oh, there is no deck. I delivered this as a speech.]

[Credit where credit is due: Josh Alexander gave me the idea for the username and password as cigarettes and the sin tax. Last year, Nat Sakimura around 2 in the morning in my basement talked about service providers charging for username and passwords to cover externalities, and I completely forgot about the conversation. Furthermore, at the time, I didn’t fully track with his idea. I totally get it now and want to make sure I assign full and prior art credit to Nat – the smartest guy in identity, sent from the future to save us all.]

 

 

Remember when we used to pay for a TCP/IP stack. Remember when we paid for network stacks in general? Hell, we had to buy network cards that would work with the right stack.

But think about it… Paying for a network stack. Paying for TCP/IP. Paying for an implementation of a standard.

How quaint that sounds. How delightfully old school that sounds.

But it was. And we did.

And now? No one pays for a TCP/IP stack. Or at least no one pays for it directly. I suppose you can say that what you spend on an OS includes the cost of the network stack. It’s not a very good argument but I suppose you can make it.

When network stacks became free (or essentially cost free) networking jobs didn’t go away. I would posit that we have more networking engineers now than we’ve ever had before. Their jobs morphed with the times and changes in tech.

It’s mid-2015 and I think we need to admit as that the identity industry now looks a lot like the networking industry did back then. The standards are mature enough. The support for them is broad enough. Moreover, not taking a standards-based approach is antithetical to the goals of the modern enterprise.

Simply put, identity is having its TCP/IP moment.

Continue reading Identity is having its TCP/IP moment

Stop Treating Your Customers Like Your Employees

Unlike many of my other talks, this one didn’t start are a speech and didn’t start with a few phrases. This talk started as an analyst briefing deck. It had become clear that many of the identity industry analysts, if they covered customer identity at all, did so with a very narrow view of it. I put the progenitor of this deck together so show how broad customer identity is and, more importantly,  how amazingly large the opportunity ahead of us is.

Speaking  season came upon me and I needed something to talk about. I took out all of the Saleforce-specific bits and turned the briefing deck into the keynote below.

The gist is simple: customer identity presents the opportunity to grow the business and move identity professionals from being in a cost center to being in a revenue generation center. We, identity professionals, can be business enablers, something we have never been before.  But, and this is a big one, customer identity is larger than employee identity and applying enterprise-centric techniques to customer-centric use cases is a major mistake. What follows is my attempt to show big the world of customer identity really is.

Continue reading Stop Treating Your Customers Like Your Employees

FAQ for Building a Presentation

I’ve been collecting questions I get about my thoughts on how to build a presentation.  Here are, in no particular order, some of the top ones and my answers.

Does this work for every kind of presentation?

Hell no! It works well, for me, for keynotes. It works well for building talks that are presentation, performances.

It will not work well for lectures and workshops. It will not work well if what you actually need is documentation. See Tufte on that one.

How long does this take?

Start to finish it takes me between 40 and 80 hours to build a complete 20-minute keynote. I can’t tell if that is too much or too little time.

But in the end, it doesn’t matter. Think about building a presentation like building an animated movie. It takes hours upon hours to build just one frame.

Can I do this?

Hell yes! If you have clarity of what you want to communicate and if you have empathy for your audience, you can do this. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Continue reading FAQ for Building a Presentation

Showing my work

A few weeks back I posted my 9 step process for building  a presentation. I wanted to share some example of that process in action. What follows are glimpses of my “No person is an island” talk which I delivered at Defrag in November.

Step 1 – Finding the Nucleus

I had two quotes that served as the nucleus for this deck.

hierarchies and our love for them is the strange love child of Confucius and the military industry complex

and

treating people like just nodes just rows in a database is, essentially, sociopathic behavior. it ignores the reality that you, your organization, and the other person, group, or organization are connected

Step 2 – Build and outline

I use OmniOutliner for my outlines.  Here’s a PDF of it: no one is an island outline

Step 3 – Write the speech

You can read the final version here, but if you want to see the original with my notation for pictures, check this out.

Steps 4 & 5 – Skeleton Deck to Version 1 Deck

This was a bit of an unusual presentation for me in that I had material from another presentation I wanted to include. That helped get me to a more polished looking version 1 of the presentation than I usual have. Just a heads up – I usually work Keynote but to be fair to my non-Mac friends, I have posted the deck as a pdf: No person is an island v1

Steps 6 to 9 – Getting to ship the deck

I ended up doing 5 revisions to this deck. Usually I do about 10. Here’s the final version:

The Identity Philosophers Song

With all due apologies to Monty Python and specifically Eric Idle here’s the identity industry’s version of the Philosophers Song. Many thanks to everyone who helped this effort and huge thanks to Eve Maler for all her work on this. What follows is meant with much love and respect to everyone in the industry (mentioned or not). And with that… maestro please:

Jeremy Grant was a real pissant
Who was very rarely stable
iglazer, iglazer was a boozy beggar
who could think you under the table
Blakley whom could out-consume
Madsen, Bradley, and Dingle
Pat Patterson was a beery swine
Who was just as schloshed as Cahill
There’s nothing Wilton couldn’t teach ya’
Bout the raising of the wrist.
Cameron himself was permanently pissed…

George Fletcher, still, of his own free will,
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
Nishant K could stick it away;
Half a crate of whiskey every day.
Patrick Harding, Patrick Harding was a bugger for white lightning
Nash was fond of his dram,
Really Dick Hardt was a drunken fart
“I drink, therefore I am”
Yes, Cameron himself is particularly missed;
A lovely little thinker but a bugger when he’s pissed!

 

And if none of that made sense to you, here’s the original which also might not make much sense either.

My 9 Step Process for Building a Presentation

“How do you build a presentation?” I’ve had the question asked of me a few times recently. And I’ve had enough flights recently to spend some time thinking about the answer. As I mentioned, before I could actually answer the question I had to write this other post about clarity and empathy. Go read that and then come back. With that as context, here is my stripped down process – my 9 essential steps to building a presentation.

1 – Find the nucleus

I start with a few pithy quotes or few, very few, key points. In the case of my “Killing IAM” talk, all I had was the phrase “Behold the comma.” For my more recent “No One Is An Island” what I had was “Hierarchies and our love for them is the strange love child of Confucius and the military industry complex” and “Treating people like just nodes just rows in a database is, essentially, sociopathic behavior. It ignores the reality that you, your organization, and the other person, group, or organization are connected.” What you need is just enough to grow a talk upon.

2 – Build an outline

Next up – I build an outline. The top-level items will become the sections of the talk. Under each top-level item I add just a few bullets, the essential points for that section. I’ll also add cues for visuals where I can. Sometimes I have a strong image in my mind how to illustrate a certain point, or there’ll be a joke I want to tell that requires a visual. Don’t stress over not having visual cues; they’re nice to have but by no means required to proceed to step 3.

3 – Write the speech

Yup. I write out my full talk. All of it. Write out the story that you want to tell. Hit each top-level item from the outline; make them headers. Weave the associated bullets into full sentences. Paragraphs grow from there. I will also put in parenthetical notes to myself for visuals, staging, and other things I want to remember when I present. I’ll also put in the quotes and ideas that served as my nucleus.

You might be surprised to learn but I don’t spend a ton of time of the actual writing. It takes me about an afternoon or so to write a speech. Your mileage may vary.

The text should flow. If it doesn’t, then you aren’t ready to write it. Go back to your nucleus and ask if it inspires you. Go back to your outline and look for weaknesses and holes.

As for length, I find that each page of single spaced text is about 3 to 4 minutes of talk. To get a sense for how long your text is, fire up text to speech. Time how long it takes the computer to read the text. This will give you a sense if you are in the right neighborhood lengthwise. Continue reading My 9 Step Process for Building a Presentation