Thoughts on development, design and the world we live in.

Lean Government

By sarah in Lean Startup. Posted on December 3rd

Eric introduced the first session, with a secret amazing surprise guest! The very first Chief Technology Officer in the United States (2009-2012), Aneesh Chopra (@aneeshchopra), who will introduce our first speaker.

Eric and a bunch of entrepreneurs came to the white house and asked: why is it so difficult to be an immigrant and also founder of startup that will make American jobs and help the American economy? a startup visa is not yet law, but we were able to borrow some of Eric’s own ideas and principles and advise a new lean startup of our own.

We created a new service created a year ago in December, which started with a call to action: dozens to hundreds of entrepreneurs. A group of 6 private and 6 government folks designed and built: a checklist that allows anyone to be an immigrant entrepreneur in this country, to have all the tools they need. We had a simple hypothesis: there are existing authorities not being leveraged for immigrants. Our thesis is we can solve our nation’s most intractable problems.

Harnessing the power of lean startup mojo in order to better serve the american people.
Background: 24 years old, []health, castflight health (wsj #1), in india: healthpoint services (water, drugs, diagnostics to rural poor). All of that is to privde context: the most amazing entreprentuial experience i’ve had is working with the american government for the last three years. In 2009, first CTO / successor, tech entreprneur in residence. What do they do? run an incubator inside the government, apply power of tech and innovation to do projects (public safety, jobs, education, energy). Each project has a different focus with one explicit common denomiantor: powered by small teams that run efficiently to provide maximum awesomeness for the american people. Get stuff done in an environment of significant uncertainty.

I’m a big fanboy of what the FDA has been doing with its new entrepreneur program - in six months, design and deploy a new “innovation pathyway 2.0″ - a new regulartory approval pathway. It turned out to be a wonderful concept for a Lean Startup. rapidly deploy on small scale to test vs reality, characterized by hypercollaboration, shortened time to market, cutting time it takes to go through clinical trials by half (from 1 year to 6 months). 3 companies: one wearable artificial kidney.

5 projects “presidential innovation fellows program” - inspired by code for america (jen paulka out of SF) - over the summer, brings innovators from outiside govt plus inside govt to make
launched at tc disrupt (after a pitched 5 products. 600 applications within 24 hours. selected 18. moved to DC in summer to do unbelievable work. now: pitching 5 products.

1. open data initiatives program.
seeks to liberate data in order to spur entreprenurial innovation. (the “Tim O’Reilly plan”, the godfather of it). started it decades ago with weather data. turns out the US Govt collects all weather data — make it downloadable in machine readable form and . turned it into weather.com, weather channel, improved our lives, made jobs.

In 80s, Reagan (then Clinton) did the same with GPS. “Reagan is the godfather of foursquare.” It turns out that giving entrepreneurs access added $100 billion in value to american economy. without legistlation, without regulation — takes data we’ve already paid for (bought the military a fabulous gps system) and turned it into awesomeness on a massive scale. The president LOVES this play. GPS is just the tip of the iceberg. Raiders of lost ark - govt is infinite size. that is a good metaphor for the treasures in the us govt that you paid for, and dammit, we have to give back to you.

We take public data that’s already out there but unusable to developers (pdfs, etc), then spread the word that the data exists. Data by itself is useless - only useful if you actually apply it. and we need you to actually produce value. if entrepreneurs don’t realize data is there, can’t add value to it.

We are targeting a number of sectors, but started with health. 2010. small data sets: patient satisfaction, etc. gathered small number of healthcare people in a room and they were skeptical - 9 days later, they showed up at the first datapalooza in madison , 20 apps they built using this data.

2. impact
Inspired more entrepreneurs to use data AND inspired government to release more data. Spread the word about data through hackathons, meetups and more. Latest medications from FDA, latest publications from national institue of health… got feedbak about how to make data most useful.

2 years later: 1600 entrepreneurs - 200+ companies competed for the right to be one of the 100 comopanies to present at the datapalooza, most of these companies
cloning it across other sectors: energy, education, public safetey, finance, nonprofit, global development.
- catalyze ecosystems of innovation fueld by open data. iTriage has helped 8 million consumers understand systems. oPower - energy efficiency of appliaces (helped 1.4 terawatt hours of energy, 165 million on energy guard). billGuard - help find erronious charges. ondex capital - census to facilitiate underwriting of loans to small businesses. many more.
check out our data.gov site! and its subsidiary sites! take advantage of the free data that you paid for and by goodness, you have the right to get back and turn into awesomenss for the american people!!!!!

rfpez (@projectrfpez), small business administration, enables the govt and tech startups to do business with each other. It is hard to sell to the government - VCs say “do not talk to VA, too much red tape, not worth it” — why is this a problem? we spend 80 billion dollars a year on IT. If our tech startups can’t access that market, big problem. other problem - we want to be able to buy that stuff. So rpez has built, starting in august, an online marketplace and platform that evatoraptes. It’s out on github - five american cities have rfpez in “that leads to a double helix of civic awesomeness”

Please consider selling your awesomness to us. try bidding on our projects, and give us feedback about whether we have to remove more suckage from the process.


3. mygov - http://mygov.us
Right now we have 24,000 websites - our web presence is organied how our gvt is organized - not useful for citizens. mygov is creating alpha platform to organize how gvt interacts with citizens with a focus on the citizens’ needs.


4. better than cash
in developing world, making for recipients of our American dollars. We’re creating more transparency, more efficiency by paying on mobile phone. This actually had the effect of increasing salaries. What was happening: the money was traveling through sticky fingers - with mobile payments, individuals got what they should have been getting all along.
Another impact: when being paid much lighter salaries, were offered more by Taliban. the electronification of money means fewer Taliban, more police. Afganistan (mobile ) salaried payments over mobile for police, teachers, 100,000 users by December.

indocesia - large employer [plus literacy programs for 250,000 workers and contractors

5. blue button for america


Peter Levin created a way for any veteran to download their own copy of all their own medical records securely. Before they released it they thought “maybe 25,000 will be interested if it’s a breakout hit?” Actually today 1.5 million veterans have downloaded a copy of their own records. We are getting questions form the private sector saying “are you allowed to give patients the ability to download their own medical information under hipaa?” the answer is yes… in fact it’s the right of patients to get their own information. This is using open technical template that any organization can adopt - to let patients download info from you. 88 million americans have access to their blue button information from at least one source. It’s spreading like crazy thanks to this product.

These are the five running in our incuboator, powered by Lean Startup techniques, need your help to to do this. Eric, Janice Frasier, Luxor doing workshops with teams. Go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/innovationfellows to learn more about the projects, follow on twitter and github (all code opn on github) - help products thsemvesl, but even more ipmortantly: by heling them be succesful, inspire other governmetn

[email protected] if i don’t answer in 72 hours, then hit reply and put:
you idiot: subject
hack this to put “you idiot” and save 3 days!

help save lives of american soldiers in afgnantistan
help government save money
these are missions that do not suck. big difference on behalf of the public.

@Todd_Park United States Chief Technology Officer

Read more: Lean Startup Conference 2012

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