My personal philosophy of Government is one that takes a long-term view, provides infrastructure and conditions to enable Citizens, and holds the massive responsibility to self-regulate and optimize itself.
I have read four books recently that have really informed my views and inspired me about the role of our Government in Technology:
I want to see Government continue giving Entrepreneurs Access to:
- Policy Makers and Regulators
- Pilot programs
The Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists and Big Tech Giants will build products, fund ideas and get innovation to the people. Government will ultimately set the regulations. Lately, Government has also taken on an increasing role in sponsoring hackathons and innovation challenges (Challenge.gov) to promote adoption of their data sources and generate awareness of their role in the overall tech ecosystem. From the JOBS Act to Patent Reform to Cybersecurity to the Open Data Initiative to the America Invents Act, there are many good examples of progress outlined on Whitehouse.gov.
I also recommend this Recode Decode interview with the U.S. Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil for good examples of how various Government Agencies are using data to iterate on problems.
As I zoom in on Healthcare and Life Sciences I think about:
- HL7, FHIR and data interoperability
- Open Data Initiatives and Data.gov
- FDA regulation, Medical Devices and GxP compliance
- HIPPA compliance
- Cures Act
- Why do we allow drug ads?
- Reproductive rights
- Medicaid, Medicare
- ACA impacts and opportunities
There are incredible examples of Government using their scale to make progress such as the Million Veteran Program (Genome study) in which Veterans volunteer their DNA analysis and health information into a massive database for Researchers. Government is also funding technology pilots and new approaches to improving care such as a Mount Sinai paramedicine pilot in which Paramedics consult via telemedicine with Docs and treat the patient in their home without transporting them to the hospital.
I hope our Government continues to build upon the power of open data, collaborate with Entrepreneurs and view Healthcare as a fundamental right for our society and citizens.
For the past 6 months I’ve had the opportunity to work on one of the best projects of my career. This thing has all the buzzwords: big data, social media monitoring, semantic analysis, kanban, ruby on rails, github, distributed teams, expertsourcing, skype video, lean, pragmatic, platform, you name it. The team is brilliant and highly skilled in their areas of expertise (rails programming, UI/UX development, architecture). Each member cares deeply about their craft and is highly passionate about our project. We argue, we collaborate on great ideas, and all stress the difference between opinions and facts.
This quick reflection just reminds me that building software is amazing. It’s not writing up exhausting requirements that no one cares about, it’s not outsourcing all of your technology to a vendor, it’s not making stupid decisions that leads to wasting money and not shipping product. Building software is about being creative, respecting the craft and the team and adapting quickly to a changing environment while relying on tried and true principles. I can’t wait to see what shows up in the next “git pull”.
Looking at my book shelf organized with business books, seeing my iPad filled with iBook samples and seeing the New York Times Sunday edition laying around would make you think I’m a big reader. In fact, I’m a fraud. I’m the person that likes to start lots of books, read for a few minutes at a time and hardly ever finishes a book. I pre-ordered Do More Faster by David Cohen and Brad Feld and read it from start to finish the day it arrived.
Do More Faster is divided into 7 Themes: Idea and Vision, People, Execution, Product, Fundraising, Legal and Structure and Work-Life Balance. Within each Theme are several 1-3 page stories written by Entrepreneurs, VCs and other interesting people in the software, internet, product development, startup realm. It’s a great format for the hyper caffeinated, ADHD, check twitter while your reading type of personality.
This book was fun for me to read because many contributors are familiar faces I either work with in some capacity or have seen around the flourishing Boulder/Denver tech community.
Chapters that blew me away and taught me something brand new:
- To 83(b) or not to 83(b), There is No Question – Matt Galligan
- Usage is like Oxygen for Ideas – Matt Mullenweg
- Karma Matters – Warren Katz
- Don’t Plan, Prototype – Greg Reinacker
Chapters that reinforced some of my favorite work related topics:
- Don’t Suck at E-mail – David Cohen
- Get Out from behind Your Computer – Seth Levine
- Be Specific – Brad Feld
- Get Feedback Early – Nate Abbott and Natty Zola
If you want motivation for anything you are doing I highly recommend Do More Faster.
Strengths are exploited
Weaknesses are isolated and alternatives sought
Threats identified, isolated and alternatives sought