Obama and Tech

Obama_computer How can Obama stimulate the tech economy?

1) Get the general economy back on its feet. Tech spending correlates closely with GDP growth.

2) Take government action that increases competition in tech markets. Nixon charged IBM with anti-trust -- ushering in the independent software and plug-compatible hardware businesses. Reagan presided over the breakup of AT&T -- setting the stage for massive innovation in telecommunications.

3) Create (or enlarge) some federal government project that will spin off innovative technology. In the 1950s, the building of NORAD spawned the minicomputer business. The Apollo space program of the 1960s fertilized Silicon Valley with people and transistors -- ultimately enabling the PC business. And the Arpanet and Milnet of the 1970's and 1980's lay the groundwork for the Internet and the Web.

4) Reduce regulatory friction. Reform or eliminate Sarbanes Oxley. Sox has increased cost and bureaucracy for small tech companies. Get the accounting profession to reconsider its rules around stock options accounting -- non-expensed options were a big part of tech's golden years. Streamline required reporting so small companies can do it cheaply and quickly.

5) Resist lobbying and keep tech open and available to the public. In other words, protect net neutrality. Start-ups need open systems to thrive.

6) Don't construct barriers around the U.S. -- incent American businesses to reach out and be included in as many innovation networks as possible -- wherever they may be. Innovation is no longer confined behind the four walls of a company or the borders of a country -- future technology innovation will be driven by open networks, not skunk works.

7) Use your own belief in social and technology as a model for all CEOs and U.S. leaders. Don't let the bastards take your Blackberry away -- it's a powerful symbol.

Obama must return America to a time which spawned HP, Microsoft, Intel, Dell, Wang, DEC, Apple, Compaq, Cisco, Sun, and many, many other great companies. The new president should build an environment in which the new Steve Jobs and the new Bill Gates and the new Ken Olsen can easily and quickly start companies and not be instantly absorbed or destroyed by the big guys or bogged down by regulation. What's the goal? In eight years: 1,000 tech start-ups and 100 tech IPOs.

If you've got other ideas for Obama, I'd love to hear from you.

Comments

re: Obama and Tech

George, is that a Mac? Then Obama is really cool! And it makes a point that relates to your item 2. Apple is an innovator again thanks to Steve Jobs, who was fired by greedy and stupid shareholders. IBM and AT&T were monopolists and that makes a point too.I agree that we need an environment that spawns and supports innovation and while many people claim that the stock market supports that I disagree. I don't see your point 4 at all. True innovators don't do it for the money. All those great companies have lost it in the meantime because they became too focused on shareholder value (which is simply a term for driving up the share price by whatever means). So I don't think we need tech IPO's at all. I think Sarbanes-Oxley is not enough. We need even stricter regulation for large businesses - most certainly in the financial sector - and do away with restrictions on small ones. I would even raise the taxes for the biggies and not tax businesses below certain size. Small is beautiful! Governments love big business because it is easier to control.The stock market is an instrument of destruction used by large corporations and does not foster innovative creation. Google went public after it had already made it. What is left of the DOTCOM bubble? Not much.The one thing that governments would have to do is to create a citizen ID card that helps to conduct electronic business without the danger of fraud. The problem is that it would have to link that with a security scheme that protects the citizens privacy. Even from government eyes. But that obviously will not happen. The only government spending we will see is for more supervision and control.

re: Obama and Tech

Many construction workers do complex mathematical equations in their everyday work lives but don't know it.Vivien Thomas probably did more then most people with formal higher educations ever will but he did not have one.Police officers write detailed research and analysis reports when crimes occur but they don't recognize that.My point is, analyzing and researching and consulting and breaking things down to their bare minimums may work for some people but not for everyone.Many people simply learn by doing. The underlying equations and structures may be lost but that does not mean that person could not do something as well or better then someone who does understand and recognize the hidden functions.We as a society need to change. We need to recognize not everyone learns the same ways and change our educational and business institutions in recognition of those differences. Everyone should have a chance to succeed in education and business. We should celebrate and embrace those differences.Everyone does not want to analyze things to death. I am one of those. I went back to school after a lengthy absence. I just want to live and work. I don't want to have to read about living, then research about living, then write a report about living, then analyze my report about living, then publish my report about living, then have others critique my report about living and on and on. I just want to do it and let the chips fall where they may.Apprenticeships should be the wave of the future in education and business.I am letting you know because I found your company through a health care marketing class I am taking. You seem like a business leader with some influence. I am simply asking that you consider my opinion and also consider spreading my opinion. I am just trying to get my belief out there.Formal education as it is now does not work for everyone.For example, I guarantee this real estate market mess our economy is in right now would not have occurred if people fully understood and comprehended what they were getting in to.Instead those in the business and educational world over analyze and over complicate things for the general public.Most of us want to keep things as simple as possible.I mean no disrespect. Just some food for thought as you continue in your work.Thank you.

re: Obama and Tech

I would like to support your call for increasing technology comptetion, especially in software where it has been obstructed by deliberate efforts to keep software complicated.For 35 years, software leaders have collectively obstructed technology that can express software and other technical knowledge more simply, with disastrous results. They have avoided noticing that:- software technology has some well defined leading edges, such as language designed to get more functionality for less complexity.- pieces of information can be designed so they can be easily arranged.- students are massively taught how to arrange pieces of information by teachers who have little idea what is a reasonable structure for pieces of information.- they have been forcing millions of software developers to generate complexity that is harmful to society at large.- eliminating worthless complexity from computer software is largely the same problem as its elimination from other technical knowledge.- avoiding worthless complexity leads to convergence of formal language semantics.Getting people including Obama to notice the long delay in progress on software's most basic issues would create competition and avoid other kinds of paralysis in technology and education.

re: Obama and Tech

As you well noted:The world is being connected via the internet- former kingdoms, borders, and treaties are dissolving,- its governance and commerce are changing 24/7/365,- that's even faster than any old/new means to ‘govern’ it.- oversight must now come FROM and equitably SERVE all its occupants- that suggests a shared-governance approach - dynamic/self-correcting,and co-managed across the prior borders and interoperability constraints.Whether we survive depends on how/whether we all adapt to this CHANGE.We should consider how to develop our 'Relationship Economy' (on/offline) and then replace the debt-based currency with the valuation of our individual expertise, gathered knowledge, and proven solutions to create an "Innovation Economy".Then as stake-holders we could all contribute value to, and derive benefit (and revenue) from, our co-managed franchised cooperative (perhaps we'll call it our "U-Netted Nations"). Technology exists, all humanity beckons, we'll see..!We will 'change' or we will repeat/re-learn from our own 'personal' history.