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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Thursday, April 25, 2024

Passion for Identity

Author: Mark Dixon
Monday, May 23, 2005
7:30 am

“You can buy a man’s hands, but not his heart.” –
E. James Lunt.

Jim Lunt taught me that principle as we were discussing one of our
employees who consistently went above and beyond the call for our
fledgling company. This employee’s passion for excellence yielded
results we couldn’t have paid two men to accomplish.

In early 1996, I had joined Jim and Brent Payne to found MediaPaq,
Inc., to market software which was essentially a digital photo album.
We didn’t get much traction in the retail market because there
weren’t enough digital cameras to create enough photos to convince
people they need to get organized. But we were able to sign up a few
OEM partners and ended up selling the company to one of them.

The subject of passion let me to MediaPaq. In 1995, I was
managing a team of Microsoft-certified trainers for a great little
company in Phoenix, AZ. Arnie Kuenn, now CEO of MediaChoice,
had founded MIDAK and led it to be the premier training center in
Arizona. Passionate for excellence himself, Arnie consistently looked
for ways to improve his business. One day in the fall of 1995, he
accompanied the management team of MIDAK to a local movie theater
where we viewed a set of lectures broadcast live from some distant
location. The three speakers were Stephen
, Denis Waitley
and Tom Peters. Quite a high
powered trio!

I particularly remember Tom Peters getting visibly and vocally
passionate as he challenged us to follow the passion in our own
lives. As he spoke, I looked down the row at Arnie. At that moment I
realized I could give his business my hands, but not my heart. I
would continue to do a great job leading his instructors because that
is what I was hired to do, but my heart was not in the technical
education business.

It wasn’t long before the MediaPaq opportunity presented itself.
As I struggled with the decision of leaving an established company to
launch a new venture, my 14 year old daughter, Heidi left a note on
my pillow. She encouraged, “Dad, follow your heart.
We’re behind you all the way.”

Last week, I was intrigued by reading P.T. Ong’s blog entry, Why
I am passionate about Digital Identity
. He speaks of an "ideal
future" that "fuses the utopia of security, privacy, and
choice.," and addresses what the digital identity community must
do to approach that ideal. This sounds like a man who is giving more
than his hands to his work. His passion has led him to assemble a
valuable weblog site with
links to a vast array of Identity Management resources. Heart plus
hands. I like that.

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