About Myself

Note: Very much out of date. Check my home page at j12t.org instead.


I’m the founder and CEO of NetMesh Inc., a Silicon-Valley-based startup company that has been developing a novel type of software platform called InfoGrid. In the process, I came up with the idea of using URLs to identify people, originally calling it LID™ — for Light-Weight Identity™. This idea is now taking the world by storm and commonly called OpenID®.

Previously, I was the founder and CEO of a company called Aviatis Corp., which developed distributed engineering collaboration tools.

I came to California in 1995 to work for Integrated Systems Inc., a real-time/embedded software company (now acquired by Wind River Systems).

Prior to that, at the Forschungszentrum Informatik (Karlsruhe, Germany) I consulted for a then fairly large consortium of the German automotive industry called MSR, which worked on design chain information and process integration. Immediately after graduating, I spent half of my time with BMW research and engineering in Munich and half with the Universities of Erlangen (LRS) and Karlsruhe (ITIV), both in Germany.

For some reason, I’ve found myself in the middle of various industry initiatives for some years, from CDIF and the beginning of the UML to an real-time analysis and design group that I started in the Object Management Group. More recently, I was one of the two co-initators of the Yadis URL-based meta-data discovery framework. I was a founding member of the board of the directors of the OpenID Foundation. I also co-initiated, with Microsoft and Verisign, the OSIS interoperability group.

I hold the degrees of Diplom-Ingenieur Elektrotechnik (master’s EE) from the University of Erlangen, and Doktor-Ingenieur Elektrotechnik (doctorate EE) from the University of Karlsruhe. I’m also the sole inventor on two granted US patents.

In 2001, I became a World Economic Forum “Technology Pioneer” in Davos, Switzerland.