Tuesday 11th October, 2011
10:20am to 11:10am
If being a government contractor sounds like the absolute antithesis of your career goals or your aspirations for your startup, you’re forgiven. So much of the culture of the web stands in stark contrast to our notions of what it’s like to work with the government, including its bloated requirements, decidedly non-agile development methods, and a lack of respect for good interfaces and user experience. And much of that perception is justified. But there’s a lot that’s quietly changing, often in small pockets of innovation, but growing each day, and there’s increasingly an opportunity for web 2.0 teams to make a real impact on the $166B government technology market. Remember, the government market is 30% of our GDP.
This session will outline three demographic trends that make change in the sector inevitable, describe the changing environment that is opening up a formerly insular system, and then get real about how hard it really still is to work in a government context. We’ll hear stories from such companies as Azavea, OpenPlans, SeeClickFix, and GroundCrew. Then we’ll return to the sunny side of the street and talk about how you can disrupt this market from the inside or the outside, and why it might actually be worth it.
Think about it this way: the Internet is going to disrupt every sector at some point. It’s just taken its time getting to a sector where it’s failure that drives innovation instead of competition. More importantly, it’s not just money but also glory that awaits those who find better ways to serve the institution that is designed, however inefficiently for now, to serve us all.
Student of cities and the Internet. Unicorn Whisperer. Husband, dad. @usv, @medialab bio from Twitter
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