On a beautiful day in DC, the GeeksOnaPlane crew hoofed it over to the GovTech Meetup at the EEOB with the White House Digital Media Group and the State Department Technology Innovation Team. The presenters included innovative technologists and policy makers discussing how government affects technology today and in the future.
The presenters included:
Evan Cooke, co-founder and CTO of Twilio talked about building web applications that interact with phone callers. He provided a demo where he mashed up a service to ping him about local flu prevention centers in the DC area. The crowd was wow’ed. Twilio lets you use your existing web development skills, existing code, existing servers, existing databases and existing karma to solve real-time communications problems quickly and reliably. His presentation is below:
Eric Ries, former co-founder of IMVU discussed “Lessons Learned” from building tech start-ups failing and succeeding. The focus of the presentation was that most start-ups fail – in order to realize how an entrepreneur can correct its mistakes, he/she needs to understand failure, its pivot point, that speed counts – lean startups go faster, and platforms enable leverage. Eric’s presentation is below:
Kay Luo, representing LinkedIn discussed the power of social media within the Government 2.0 sector. She provided examples of LinkedIn profile pages of high level diplomats, including President Barack Obama’s LinkedIn profile, and discussed how very closed societies can leverage this type of new media platform to communicate and promote the initiatives and projects that they’re working on and more importantly, as a digital rolodex to gather resources.
John Anderson, co-founder of Cash.IO discussed the platform providing mobile solutions for payment systems. An interactive gift corporation, Cash.IO helps businesses send money to consumers in a safe and secure manner. He mentioned that in less than three weeks, Cash.IO has live partners, customers and the only way they could’ve pulled this off is by relocating from Wisconsin to Silicon Valley. His presentation is below:
Shervin Pishevar, CEO and co-founder of SGN, provided a product demo of F.A.S.T., SGN’s recently launched dogfighting accelerometer game. He discussed how global development starts with innovation and technology and noted that SGN has built offices in Argentina, Beijing and now Vietnam for that very reason. Development around the globe will provide an opportunity for people to join forces on a technological and entrepreneurial level, creating peace, incubation support, funding resources and overall opportunities. This will also be an opportunity to help the global economies as well as promote localization around the world. Here is the SGN video Shervin showed off:
Leonard Speiser, serial entrepreneur and innovator and founder of Twables.com, discussed how he built 12 Twitter-related products in 90 days. Some of the products he created revolved around self expression, games, connecting on Facebook to find people on Twitter. Public Stream Optimization or PSO is not replacing SEO, but is very important because it will continue to grow and become an extremely valuable metric.
Leonard’s presentation is below:
Adam Conner from Facebook noted that the issue with working with the government is that it is a closed environment. Getting the government comfortable with the idea of 1.0 and 2.0 – legal, security process, agencies getting on Facebook groups and fan pages – is not easy. The first step to fixing this issue can be addressed by using the ladder of engagement – This will allow new media specialists to continue innovating and moving forward in the White House.
Greg Cypes, technical lead for Open AIM, AOL Messaging explained the difference between asynchronous and synchronous communication. AIM is still utilized quite frequently within the government 2.0 space, not just for one to one communications, but also one to many – it’s a way to broadcast, real-time.
Dave McClure of FoundersFund rounded out the event by providing an overview of the current startup ecosystem and examples of how startups fail and succeed, efficient uses of capital, and how to handle high startup failure rates. He noted that ~30% of startups in the fbFund REV Social Incubator program will likely secure a future round of funding, or have achieved break-even. Other notable incubator programs that he mentioned include: YCombinator, TechStars, SeedCamp, LaunchBox, and Betaworks. Dave’s presentation is below: