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Steve Kirsch
Founder and CTO

Steve Kirsch, 56, is a serial entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley.

Profile on Wikipedia
View Steve Kirsch's profile on LinkedIn

Search my site for:
Example: +"cancer cure" Stanford


I have been involved with the Internet since 1972 when he worked with the "father of the Internet" Vint Cerf and others at the first ARPANET node (at UCLA network measurement center) as a systems programmer while attending high school. I have a BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.

What I'm doing now

The story of OneID
My wife is always telling me how she hates usernames and password. I concur. I have over 400 usernames and passwords. Usernames and passwords are horrible for users: hard to remember, hard to use, and insecure. I think I must spend at least 30 minutes a day on identity issues like these. They aren't good for service providers either: risk of mass breach, support costs. OneID is the better alternative. A brand-new identity architecture that is easy to use, private, and secure. It's a single permanent identity that you manage, it's in your control, and it is way better than anything else on the market today.  You can get one in 15 seconds. It doesn't even require a download.


Companies I have founded include:

  • Mouse Systems (July, 1982)
  • Frame Technology (April 7, 1986)
  • Infoseek (August 30, 1993)
  • Propel (November 2, 1999)
  • Abaca (November 23, 2005)
  • OneID (May 24, 2011)

My wife Michele and I have a $75M charitable fund and have donated millions of dollars to charitable causes. In response to an $11M shortfall at the United Way of Santa Clara County, the Kirsch Foundation donated $1M to establish an Emergency Response Fund at the Community Foundation of Silicon Valley to benefit the charities affected by the shortfall. A recent article in the Los Altos Town Crier described their charitable giving. In 1999, they were named Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year by the Silicon Valley chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives.

My blog
Steve Kirsch's blog hd my latest opinion pieces but it hasn't been updated in years :<
Political stuff
See my Political Home Page
My computer tips for Windows users
Steve Kirsch Computer Tips (things that took me hours to figure out)
Medical tips
Medical Home Page (tinnitus, glaucoma, and more)
Photography tips
How to get super-sharp auto-focus
How to get flash pictures properly exposed
Steve Kirsch's photo tips
Recent presentations
CASEE talk on engineering education improvements (October 20, 2004)
High impact philanthropy Family Foundations Conference, Feb 23, 2003
Turning the Tide- The New Philanthropy (American Lung Association: Sep 2002)
High impact philanthropy (March 2002)
SIGMOD talk: "Internet and Beyond: Database Challenges"
AIHP talk on Entrepreneurial Philanthropy
VentureOne Keynote
The Top 10 ways to tell if you have the makings of a Red Herring Top 10 Entrepreneur
SDF Visionary Award Celebration acceptance speech, June 6, 2000
YPO: Making it and giving it away
NSFRE acceptance speech
MIT TR100 keynote: What happens when Technology meets reality?
San Diego Connect keynote: What they forgot to teach you about business
Why, how, and where of charitable giving
SIGIR Keynote
AEA Innovation Now Conference Keynote
Everything you need to know about the Internet
JHTC talk
Speaking references
Other information
My bio (the short version)
Awards and honors: some of which are pretty cool, like being listed on the Forbes Midas List
My favorite products (highly recommended if you are into high tech toys)
My experiences installing a new HP Pavilion d4650y customizable Desktop PC (learn from their mistakes)
My Life History on One Page
Funniest emails I've received
Surprising things you should know about medical research, medical care, and more...
Medical page
Charitable activities (my old charity site, largely superceded by my foundation site)
Kirsch Foundation Home Page (the official home page for my charitable foundation)
Charity Articles
Environmental studies grant given, San Jose Mercury News, June 7, 2000
The Good Deed Doers
, Inc. Magazine, May 15, 2000
Tech Gurus Who Also Teach Giving, San Francisco Chronicle, June 3, 2000
A new way of giving: Infoseek's Steve Kirsch champions causes: curing cancer, saving the world 
Foundation Coming to Rescue of Charities - Emergency fund planned to fill $11 million void

Cyber-rich folks being taught the basics of Philanthropy - Business techniques applied to giving, SF Chronicle,
Article on MIT $2.5M gift

Group Wants The Rich to Donate More - Study found Silicon Valley's elite were stingy toward charities
"The Rockefellers of Silicon Valley," Christian Science Monitor, Jun 11, 1999, p. 3
"Young, Rich, Now What? Tech millionaires face the rest of their lives," SF Chronicle, Jun 4, 1999
"The new currency of charity," MSNBC
"A New Take on Giving: Meet the philanthropists for the next century: savvy, shrewd and funding causes that produce results," Time Magazine, December 21, 1998

Profiles/Misc Articles

Cassidy: OneID's Steve Kirsch is pedal-to-the-metal whether fighting hackers, spammers or cancer, San Jose Mercury News, June 9, 2013
The one problem he can't solve, San Francisco Magazine, February 22, 2011
Spam’s End? Maybe, if Time Allows, The New York Times, December 3, 2007
The Richest Link, Chronicle of Philanthropy, June 14, 2001
Young, Rich, & Changing the World, Worth, Dec/Jan 2001
"Steve Kirsch", IEEE Spectrum, August 2000
"Value Judgments," Silicon Valley Magazine, April 16, 2000 (cover story)
"Go-carts of the apocalypse," Forbes, Nov 1998
"Sex and the single diva," Rolling Stone (cover story)
"The house that shagged me," PC World
Eye-Popping Home Entertainment January 30, 2004
, CBS News


Board memberships
The Tech Museum of Innovation, chairman of Leadership Circle
Community Foundation of Silicon Valley
The Computer Museum History Center
MIT Club of Northern California
MIT Corporation Visiting Committee for the Office of Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education
CSPA Advisory Board
Technical papers about searching
Paper on Distributed Searching
Photos of me
Video/Television clips
Use version 6.0 of the Windows Media Player to view in streaming mode!
CNBC interview on charitable giving (MPG file; 13.9 Mb; 6 minutes)
EV1 interview (MPG file; 6.3 Mb; 3 minutes)
Tour of my new high tech house (MPG file; 26 Mb; 12 minutes)