Last week I wrapped up my first quarter here at NuID, which is also my first 90 days as COO of the company since I started on July 1st.

Prior to July 1st it had been 20 years since the last time I formally “resigned” from one company and “joined” a completely different one.  I have certainly started many new jobs, projects, roles, and relationships along the way, but this one has been a bit different.  Reflecting on it now, the difference is that in the SAP/Ariba/Procurement technology world, my reputation—my identity—was always known even though the responsibility and team may change.

1998 was my first year as a professional consultant, and during an early performance feedback session my manager said to me something along the lines of, “you can only see into the future twice as far as you’ve come...  you’ve only been on the job for 6 months; what do you want to be doing in a year?.”  It stuck with me as a truth, I believe it was David Barron that told me that.

Sometime between 2013 and 2016 I had come far enough in my career and had enough Gladwell-esque sampling under my belt that certain other truths about my values had become quite clear to me. I realized that the teams I had been building, and that had built me, held these common truths as well.

Things like trust and loyalty are important to me, and I say that because I feel physically uncomfortable if lost, not because they are abstract concepts I’ve merely decided to abide by; they are things that I just am, just feel.  Things also like accountability, follow-through, challenging the status-quo.

Things like learning to not mistake kindness for weakness and developing the experience to teach it as a lesson if I’m mistaken for weak.  Things like at the end of the day, I can only work with people that I genuinely like and enjoy, because I can’t be successful if I’m not having a lot of fun while doing it.

I’ve also shared many times in coaching sessions, and have illustrated in my career that “the best way to get your next job is to be great at the job you have,” not to always be looking for your next move.  The process of how I got to the decision to leave SAP-Ariba—and my family of 2,000 of the most amazing people to be found in eProcurement—is one that I’ve been very thoughtful about.

Starting sometime around the holidays of last year, my mind emotionally started to wander about “what’s, really next?”.  I was having instincts I trust begin telling me to think about the next 20 years of my career.

As I pondered that question over several months, a few things I was able to determine were that:

  • I felt the end of the first half of my career was coming

  • I was not going to leave SAP to do SAP, or Procurement software elsewhere

  • Application verticals are not where I want to be

  • Platforms, hyperscalers, low-code/no-code, P2P, and distributed Web3 technologies is where the tip of the spear is

  • Identity management is a big internet problem, it’s a separate and common problem across all of these enablers for the Web of the future. And THAT, I’m interested in most indeed!

  • I was feeling a draw towards what I was calling Identity Management at the time and began looking into Enterprise Identity SaaS providers

Side note – it’s probably not coincidence that Jason Wolf resigned less than a month before I did to become Ping Identities Chief Revenue Officer. Jason and I “grew up” together at Ariba and SAP after both graduating from Texas A&M. We spoke often, including about careers, but neither of us told the other where we were going, or asked. I learned from Jason’s LinkedIn announcement, chuckled, and was not surprised.

In December and January, I had paid $1,700 to have a professional writer begin compiling some form of a resume for me.  I truly did not have one for over 15 years; I needed only to rely on my identity and my reputation.  Since I sensed a different kind of change was coming for me, I felt I needed serious resume help, and yet that resume was never used for the same reason I hadn't needed one in the 15 years prior.

In late March I was walking back from my mailbox while simultaneously texting with my aunt, Sarah.  Sarah randomly told me of a company that she had invested in that I should look into called NuID (“(New Id)” she included, so I didn’t think it was pronounced “Noooooid”).

It made me stop walking, stand still, and google NuID.  A few minutes later, still standing there with mail tucked under my arm, I replied “Well Sarah, personally I am looking to invest in and join a group in identity management specifically, or platforms in general.  I like what NuID is doing, that is the type of group I want to join and lead to grow, good stuff right there!”

Within 48 hours I had spoken to my cousin and arranged for him to introduce me to Locke.  My entire family made a weekend trip to Birmingham to visit family, and to meet with Locke for 6 hours straight on Saturday and again at brunch on Sunday.  For the next two months, I, and NuID, did as much due-diligence as we could, and then I joined the team.

That we know, but I’ve been thinking about it in terms of Relationships, Identity, Credentials, Verification, and Reputation – a big Web2.0 problem, without a real solution prior to NuID for a while now so I want to play back that very natural, organic vetting and transacting that occurred between NuID and I with a bit more simplicity, and specificity, to ultimately help illuminate the mechanics of identity as they play out in the real world.

SAP ID #835427
  1. I was an SAP employee from 2012 to 2021 and as such, I possessed a Verified Credential with SAP ID # 835427.

  2. Over those years I developed a strong Reputation within the Ariba and SAP community and progressed through my career, which is easily verified on LinkedIn, or by talking to my team.

  3. In late March I was walking back from the mailbox when I got a random text from my aunt Sarah that “she had a thought”. Sarah had invested in a company called NuID that she thought I would be very interested in.

  4. Sarah learned of NuID because she saw Locke Brown grow up, since Locke and her son went to junior-high and high school together she personally knew Locke.

  5. Sarah isn’t a technologist, far from it actually, but she is a successful doctor and businesswoman. So, it wasn’t a keen eye toward SSID, it was her son’s attestation of NuID’s Credentials, and her personal experience with Locke’s reputation that gave her confidence to invest.

  6. Similarly, Sarah verifying Locke’s Credentials with me, gave me the attestation I needed begin digging into NuID, intensely.

  7. Locke, as human nature is, essentially got attestations from my cousin and aunt that I am indeed, Jason Jablecki and that I have the Credentials necessary. So we met via a personal email introduction from my cousin.

  8. As June 30th turned to July 1st, I turned in my SAP employee credential and was granted my NuID employee credential

You see… Identity is the fact of being who or what a person or thing is, and Authentication is how we know that the Identity is indeed, The Fact.  Once we have authenticated the factual-identity of a person, place, thing, device, anything, and we trust its verified credentials, it can exchange digital assets or participate trustlessly in any peer-to-peer digital, and digitally enabled physical interaction.

After Authentication, it is really the composite of an identity’s qualification, achievement, personal quality, or aspect of a person's background that make up how we tend to think of identity, or reputation of a person day to day.

Credentials are elemental to Identity, and we know this instinctively as humans.

  • Go shopping and present debit card as a credential that authorizes financial settlement for the exchange of assets.

  • Travel using CLEAR and your biometric credential authorizes an agent to escort you more quickly through TSA.

Our verifiable identities are elemental to our interactions, our transactions, our possession, therefore, authentication is elemental for identities.

So once again, let’s play my story out, this time through the self-sovereign identity layer of Web3.0, by using the backwards compatible Web2.0-bridging NuID Authentication Protocol.

Safe harbor: this is an imaginary, futuristic scenario that did not take place, and even though all of it is possible with the NuID elements available today, none of the parties are real
  1. I was a NuSAP employee through June of this year. NuSAP had implemented the NuID Authentication Protocol element in Q1 and deleted all employee passwords, so my verified NuID was created at that time and SAP attested my Employment Credential to it.

  2. During my time with NuSAP I developed a strong reputation, held many different positions, got certifications, and titles, all of which was attested as credentials to my Identity by NuSAP and other third parties.

  3. In late March of this year I was walking back from the mailbox, simultaneously texting with my aunt, who told me of NuID, and that NuID is looking for a COO.

  4. My aunt connected me to Locke Brown, with whom I shared relevant aspects of my Nu Identity, which now has quite a reputation given all of the “credentials” I’ve acquired.

  5. NuSAP’s automated offboarding process ran on June 30th, removing my employee credential from my NuID, and NuID Inc. attested my Nu Employee Credential.

Thinking through identity process and applications of the NuID protocol is something I’ve been doing a lot of lately while we’re not working on the Kii launch, our Q2 consumer product release, and talking to enterprise and partner prospects.  I’ll close this, my first NuID blog, by sharing a whiteboard that I did last week with the team, which is referred to as, the comic book:

Look out for more blogs, comics, and content from the NuID team and for exciting news to come as we execute on our roadmap toward a sovereign identity ecosystem.