Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Had I but known

In researching for my latest Kuppinger-Cole post ("Back to the (digital) future") I came across a presentation I did back in the fall of 2000. The presentation was about the past, present and future of Directory Services, and it was the (then) "future" that was relevant to what I was writing now. But one of the slides included a quote from Eric Schmidt, now Chairman (and previously CEO) of Google who was still CEO of Novell at the time. In light of the so-called "nymwars," the fight over the use of Real Names on Google+, it's very prescient. What Schmidt said was:

"As long as we know who you are, we can come up with a market mechanism to service you, but if we can't authenticate you, if we cannot fundamentally know who you are, we get very confused. We can't do business with you because we can't authenticate the transaction and we can't give you your money. We can't charge you. We can't measure you. We can't vend things to you. We can't serve you. We can't find you without your identity. "

We should have been paying closer attention.

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