Dick Hardt joins Microsoft

by Rob Lewis

Vancouver's Dick Hardt has announced on his Identity 2.0 blog that he is joining Microsoft as a Partner Architect tasked with working on consumer, enterprise and government identity problems. Hardt's open source, open web and digital community experience will be an huge asset in an atmosphere with unlimited resources. Here's a couple of the questions on his relocation that he's answered for inquiring minds on his site.

Q: You’re joining the Borg! Have you sold out?

A: Well, I don’t think I have sold out. I was recruited to Microsoft because I am an independant thinker. I have worked with open source and internet technologies for 15 years — and at ActiveState, bridged the gap between them and Microsoft. There are many people I respect in the identity space that are working at Microsoft, and that are doing "the right thing".  I will be joining my foo camp friends Jon Udell, Dana Boyd and of course Ray Ozzie.

Q: But you are an enterpreneur, why go to a big company?

A: I’m am very much an entrepreneur and am pretty risk oblivious — the financial security of a job is not a driver for me, even in the current financial environment — in fact the lower beta and reduction in potential upside is a negative factor. I have been an entrepreneur for a long time. Been there, done that. Lots a failures. A few successes.  I view the opportunity to come in at a senior level and learn how big enterprise and big software works a great learning experience. I’m also excited about changes that are afoot at Microsoft such as Azure and to work beside a bunch of really smart people!

Q: Is Microsoft buying Sxipper / Sxip Identity?

A: No. Microsoft is hiring Dick Hardt.

Q: What’s happening to Sxipper?

A: I will continue on as Chair of Sxipper, Inc. We have a small, dedicated team that will continue to advance the technology and start to find revenue sources so that it can be self sufficient in 2009.

Q: What happened to Sxip Identity?

A: A year ago we were in the midst of numerous discussions for the company to be acquired. Unfortunately those did not transpire and we sold off the Sxip Access product line to Ping and some new SSO technology to TriCipher. A few of our investors were unhappy we did not have a successful exit, and launched a lawsuit which crippled the company. The Sxipper product was sold to Sxipper, Inc. where it has thrived, and Sxip Identity is being wound up.

Q: Will you be moving to Redmond?

A: Yes. And yes, my fiance will be joining me. If you are interested in the more personal aspects of the move, check out my Blame Canada post.

While Hardt kept his announcement pretty professional on his Identity 2.0 blog, he made it very clear on his personal Blame Canada blog that one thing he won't miss with this move is "unsophisticated investors".

Unsophisticated investors: I have had a few unsophisticated investors that have been painful. I had four in Sxip that have been making my life miserable for the last 10 months. Sure, people have differences of opinion — but refusing to meet to work things out is so unprofessional.

For those readers unfamiliar with what Hardt is referring to, here is some background.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Vancouver Development Center (VDC) is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The centre is home to some of the best and brightest software developers from around the world. Since opening its doors in September 2007, the VDC has quickly become an intricate part of Microsoft’s global strategy for distributed software development. VDC employees play a key role in architecting systems,... more

Sxip Identity
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Sxip Identity is the market leader for Identity 2.0, an internet-scale approach to identity and access management that is simple, secure, and open. Sxip provides on-demand identity management solutions for the enterprise and user-centric solutions that securely automate the exchange of identity data online for individuals. more

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Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor-in-Chief of Techvibes.com.  His diverse background includes stints in International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University. When not running Canada's leading technology media property, Rob can be... more

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