Peace Corps for Developers plus Small Businesses can Grow Economies

Open Government 2.0 Data

Open Government 2.0 Data

I read Andrea DiMaio’s post with great interest which analyzed Matthew Bishop’s piece on the potential of a Peace Corp for Developers (PCD).  I find all of the points interesting, but want to ensure we embrace a braod agenda in our answer to how we can solve some tough problems within Government.

As most of you know who follow my blog, I am obsessed with the sustainability of Governmental change efforts.  And while PDC certainly have a valid place they seem far more a tactic than a strategic attempt to sustain open government efforts longer term.  For that I suggest a simple add-on to the great ideas from Andrea and Matthew – a focus on Entrepreneurship globally.

When I talk to elected, appointed and civil servant leaders throughout the world we almost invariably start to discuss job creation.  This discussion spans from well before the current economic crisis.  The best governmental program ever invented was a solid and reliable job.  And for us to attach our open government efforts directly to the need of governments to stimulate growth in their economies, the more successful we will be.

I would offer, in addition to the creation and funding of multiple PDCs, several points for national governments to consider to make themselves more competitive and grow their economies:

1)  Support Entrepreneurs wherever we find them – avoid training programs that exclusively focus on universities or business schools.  Don’t look just to urban areas as great ideas are not simply the province of our big cities.  And don’t assume that age is relevant – our Microsoft founder was a very young buck when he started the process of founding Microsoft’s technology.  National Governments should embrace Application Development contests across multiple dynamics and age groups, and eliminate restrictions on small business formation so that these ideas are not just created in the public sector but deeply rooted in the private sector as well.

2)  Arm the PDCs and the resulting small businesses with the industrial ecosystem they need – Broadband must be deployed broadly.  Higher education must offer training in modern development methodologies and we must also allow students to graduate with a freedom from student debt in order to start companies to unlock open government data quickly without unneeded restrictions.

3)  Incentivize Early Seed Capital – Eliminate penalties and provide incentives for sidelined capital to get in the game on early endeavors.  Even to target it on endeavors that provide public based applications would radically reduce the amount of money needed to develop such apps internally.

4)  Attach a requirement that a certain percentage of national spending be spent on micro-businesses.  Stimulate the demand side of public microapp development by using the direct leverage and spend of central governments.

5)  Open your government data – Enough said.

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Matt Miszewski has been a leader of incredible teams, that accomplished unbelievable goals - together. From rebuilding an enterprise technology strategy from the ground up as Chief Information Officer of the State of Wisconsin to driving a struggling global sales and marketing team to live beyond their potential and helping take their stock from $45/sh to over $110/sh, I have been honored to take on huge challenges and beat them by building collaborative and high performing teams. I was proud to be a regular speaker on Digital Realty's earnings call each quarter and being able to brief and advise the Board of Directors each quarter. Focusing on our shareholders needs while coupling that focus with the needs of our top customers was the combination the street was searching for and our increase in equity value proves the effort worthwhile. Our focus on total leasing costs, net present value of long term leases, closing the gap on cash performance and elimination of stagnant inventory helped to drive a stalled stock. Most proud of standing up a revenue engine that will be used for decades including a renewed global salesforce, inside sales expertise, demand generation focus, new global Partners and Alliances program, sales operations team and a heightened focus on connecting lead development to sales outcomes (including a new social marketing program, AR/PR, digital presence, brand identity refresh, SEO/SEM and a regular campaigning process). Combining decades of technology leadership with this commercial success creates an incredible package to unleash revenue and hack growth for companies from any industry out there.

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