The Opportunity for Civic Startups (Long - Web 2.0 Expo)
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The Opportunity for Civic Startups (Long - Web 2.0 Expo)

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Your startups can change the world!

Your startups can change the world!

4 trends that are paving the way for "civic startups" and 4 models that companies are pursuing.

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  • Today we’re going to talk about how your startups can save the world!\n
  • First, a bit about me: I work with several organizations working in the civic technology space: http://openplans.org, http://civiccommons.org, http://codeforamerica.org, and http://civic.mit.edu\n
  • Are you working on what you’d call a “civic startup”?\nIs it disruptive?\nWhat is it?\n
  • \n
  • \n
  • \n
  • \n
  • \n
  • \n
  • \n
  • But it’s kind of like porn -- you know it when you see it\n
  • There are a bunch of startups that are clearly “civic” in nature -- addressing the connection between citizens and government.\n
  • \n
  • But there are also a lot of companies and products that produce civic value without being explicitly civic in nature. \n
  • \n
  • \n
  • The line between what’s “civic” and what’s “social” is pretty blurry. Is Foursquare a civic product? In some ways, it is -- it does build a stronger connection between me and the front lines of my city: merchants.\n
  • Twitter is one of the best examples of web-based communication tools being used for civic purposes.\n
  • So, the stage is set for civic startups -- the “hard” boundaries (political, geographical) and “soft” ones (cultural) are getting blurrier by the moment. \n\nEthan Zuckerman from the Center for Civic Media at MIT describes “civic media” as the intersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while still providing focus.\n
  • So, the stage is set for civic startups -- the “hard” boundaries (political, geographical) and “soft” ones (cultural) are getting blurrier by the moment. \n\nEthan Zuckerman from the Center for Civic Media at MIT describes “civic media” as the intersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while still providing focus.\n
  • So, the stage is set for civic startups -- the “hard” boundaries (political, geographical) and “soft” ones (cultural) are getting blurrier by the moment. \n\nEthan Zuckerman from the Center for Civic Media at MIT describes “civic media” as the intersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while still providing focus.\n
  • So, the stage is set for civic startups -- the “hard” boundaries (political, geographical) and “soft” ones (cultural) are getting blurrier by the moment. \n\nEthan Zuckerman from the Center for Civic Media at MIT describes “civic media” as the intersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while still providing focus.\n
  • \n
  • Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen popularized the term “disruptive” in his book The Innovator’s Dilemma. In a nutshell, a disruptive technology is one that transforms a market, often beginning by serving the low-end, or by serving a previously unserved segment, then moving up-market and unseating incumbents. Disruptive technologies are often dismissed as “toys” at the outset.\n
  • Great article by Netscape founder Marc Andreesen in the WSJ, pointing out that software and the internet are technologies that are disrupting nearly every industry, transforming business models, collapsing incumbents, and providing big opportunities for startups.\n
  • Pick an industry, and you’ll find an internet or software company that’s transforming it right now.\n\nAndreesen notes that we now have the tools to transform nearly any industry -- he points to healthcare and education as prime targets.\n
  • With a staff of only 32, Craiglist has radically disrupted the newspaper / classified ads industry.\n
  • AirBnB turns empty apartments into short-term rentals, disrupting the hotel industry.\n
  • \n
  • Pick your “civic” issue, and there is likely a technology or company attempting to transform it. What’s missing? What do you think is next?\n
  • Pick your “civic” issue, and there is likely a technology or company attempting to transform it. What’s missing? What do you think is next?\n
  • Pick your “civic” issue, and there is likely a technology or company attempting to transform it. What’s missing? What do you think is next?\n
  • Pick your “civic” issue, and there is likely a technology or company attempting to transform it. What’s missing? What do you think is next?\n
  • Pick your “civic” issue, and there is likely a technology or company attempting to transform it. What’s missing? What do you think is next?\n
  • Pick your “civic” issue, and there is likely a technology or company attempting to transform it. What’s missing? What do you think is next?\n
  • Pick your “civic” issue, and there is likely a technology or company attempting to transform it. What’s missing? What do you think is next?\n
  • So, we’ll talk about 4 trends that are making it more possible than ever for civic startups to get going. Then, we’ll talk about 4 models for approaching the citizen / government technology space specifically.\n
  • \n
  • Governments spend crazy sums of money on IT. This is 17x the size of the video game market.\n
  • And much of that money is poorly spent.\n
  • \n
  • Clearly, this is not sustainable, as governments are, at the same time, scrambling to save dollars. So, something has to change.\n
  • At the same time, there are big demographic changes in progress.\n
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  • Over the next 4 years, local governments will lose a majority of their employees due to attrition.\n
  • At the same time, a new generation of tech-enabled leaders are coming up.\n
  • There is a growing group of “civic hackers” who represent the “just do it” attitude of the internet. They don’t play by the old rules of advocacy and politics, they just make shit.\n
  • In Chicago, a guy named Harper Reed reverse-engineered Chicago’s bus tracker website, and built a public API so that developers could use the data in their applications.\n
  • Along with Dan O’Neill, they hooked this data, along with real-time service alerts, into an unofficial Twitter bot. Harper is now the CTO of the Obama Campaign!\n
  • In 2005, Adrian Holovaty started taking crime reports from the City of Chicago and mapping them. In the process of doing this, he hacked google maps so that the reports showed up on a map -- this was before the official google maps API existed, and was part of what lead google to create an official maps API.\n
  • Chicago Crime grew up and was folded into Everyblock.com, which won a Knight News Challenge grant in 2007.\n\nDan O’Neill of Everyblock pioneered the field of open civic data, working with civic institutions across the country to connect streaming data into Everyblock.\n\nEveryblock was acquired by MSNBC in 2009.\n
  • Exit Strategy NYC tells you where to stand on the NYC Subway, in order to be closest to your exit or transfer. This dataset has lived in the minds of New Yorkers for decades, and is now available to tourists too! This small app has turned out to be very profitable.\n
  • This video shows the worldwide civic hacker community’s response to the Haiti earthquake in 2010. People used Ushahidi, Twitter and OpenStreetMap to build an up-to-date map that assisted on-the-ground relief efforts.\n
  • In San Ramon, CA, the fire department created an app that lets citizens with CPR training elect to receive alerts of nearby cardiac emergencies.\n
  • Now, new programs like Code for America are working to bring this “civic hacker” ethic directly into the government software development process.\n
  • And of course, cities and governments around the world are working to capitalize on this interest, through app contests and other structured developer engagement programs.\n
  • The 4th major trend paving the way for civic startups is the notion of “government as a platform” (platform in the tech platform sense).\n
  • People tend to think of government as a vending machine - put in your tax dollars and receive direct services back. If you don’t like the taste of the candy bar, shake the machine.\n
  • But now, a new model is emerging, where governments are thinking about being a platform for further development -- the same way that Apple turned the iPhone into a platform for building apps.\n
  • This is all about data -- civic apps need data, and step one in building a platform is providing direct data access. Washington DC was one of the first big cities to really embrace this notion.\n
  • Once you have access to this data, you can start to do really interesting things with it -- and can learn how the city is working (or not working). This is a visualization of NYC 311 data.\n
  • Platform thinking often mean re-architecting IT infrastructure. In this project, MTA (New York City Transit) is building its real-time bus data system as a platform -- opening up the data, and providing it to developers via an Application Programming Interface (API). This stand in contrast to the ‘closed’ model, where a single end-to-end solution stores, processes and serves all of the data.\n
  • We can visualize government as a platform like this. We’ll walk through this in the next section, identifying opportunities for civic startups along the way.\n
  • We can visualize government as a platform like this. We’ll walk through this in the next section, identifying opportunities for civic startups along the way.\n
  • We can visualize government as a platform like this. We’ll walk through this in the next section, identifying opportunities for civic startups along the way.\n
  • So, what does that mean for startups? Here is one frame -- there are a handful of ways that startups can engage with the civic space, and with government in particular. I’ll break it down into four models:\n
  • \n
  • Governments and their direct contractors / vendors build the internal IT systems that power everything else.\n
  • This tends to be the domain of big, established companies, who have built up relationships and can weather the long sales cycles and difficult contracting environment that direct government work entails.\n
  • BUT there are a few notable exceptions -- smaller companies who have made it as government contractors. One example is Phase 2 Technologies, who has done lots of Drupal work at the federal level. \n
  • Another is the CKAN platform -- an open source project for managing data catalogs. Produced my the Open Knowledge Foundation in the UI, CKAN powers a large number of open data sites, including data.gov.uk.\n
  • Socrata is another startup with a successful business powering government data. Socrata offers a SaaS product that powers data.gov in the US and many state- and city-level data portals.\n
  • OpenPlans works with the largest transit agencies in the US supporting open source software that powers real-time vehicle locations and multi-modal trip routing.\n
  • To support this ecosystem of government vendors, Civic Commons is in the process of building a “marketplace” that networks governments with each other and with vendors. Coming soon.\n
  • At the same time, government entities are making direct efforts to support doing business with smaller companies. This is a goal of the US CIO’s 25 point plan, and is the focus of NYC’s forthcoming SPARK program.\n
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  • The next opportunity is to build *on* the government platform, but not necessarily as a direct vendor. This eliminates many of the procurement hurdles for small businesses, while still providing an opportunity to serve citizens and governments.\n
  • Within the “building on the platform” space, there is ample opportunity to make a difference using design and analytics. The Open311 Dashboard, produced by Code for America, works with any Open311-compliant city to visualize activity in the 311 (issue reporting, service request, and information inquiry) system.\n
  • BetterMetroNorth.com provides a nicer user interface to Metro North (NYC Commuter Railroad) train service.\n
  • Lots of nonprofits and governments have sponsored app contests, like Apps for America from the Sunlight foundation. In many cases, these have been the catalyst for new startups.\n
  • Out of Apps for America 2 came the GovPulse project, which created a better user interface for the Federal Register. Noticing this, the OFR ultimately worked with GovPulse to develop Federal Register 2.0.\n
  • NYC’s app contest is called NYC BigApps\n
  • A 2010 winner, MyCityWay, went on to secure a large venture round.\n
  • Building “on the platform” frees you from many of the challenges of contracting directly with governments. However, it does introduce “platform risk” -- i.e., you become dependent (to varying degrees, depending) on the good will / reliability of the platform provider. Since the “government platform” is nascent and distributed, this does introduce some risk.\n
  • Building “on the platform” frees you from many of the challenges of contracting directly with governments. However, it does introduce “platform risk” -- i.e., you become dependent (to varying degrees, depending) on the good will / reliability of the platform provider. Since the “government platform” is nascent and distributed, this does introduce some risk.\n
  • Building “on the platform” frees you from many of the challenges of contracting directly with governments. However, it does introduce “platform risk” -- i.e., you become dependent (to varying degrees, depending) on the good will / reliability of the platform provider. Since the “government platform” is nascent and distributed, this does introduce some risk.\n
  • Building “on the platform” frees you from many of the challenges of contracting directly with governments. However, it does introduce “platform risk” -- i.e., you become dependent (to varying degrees, depending) on the good will / reliability of the platform provider. Since the “government platform” is nascent and distributed, this does introduce some risk.\n
  • Building “on the platform” frees you from many of the challenges of contracting directly with governments. However, it does introduce “platform risk” -- i.e., you become dependent (to varying degrees, depending) on the good will / reliability of the platform provider. Since the “government platform” is nascent and distributed, this does introduce some risk.\n
  • Building “on the platform” frees you from many of the challenges of contracting directly with governments. However, it does introduce “platform risk” -- i.e., you become dependent (to varying degrees, depending) on the good will / reliability of the platform provider. Since the “government platform” is nascent and distributed, this does introduce some risk.\n
  • A third option is to work entirely outside of government. As we’ve discussed, the nature of “civic” is certainly not limited to government, and the lines are blurring by the day.\n
  • There are many many examples of civic startups that exist outside the official purview of government, but still operate in near proximity.\n
  • Blockboard is a neighborhood networking app out of SF.\n
  • OurCommonPlace is a startup out of Harvard, piloting in Falls Church, VA.\n
  • Localocracy allows registered voters to debate local issues. They were acquired by AOL in September 2011.\n
  • \n
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  • The last model we’ll cover today is a variant of #3 (playing outside the lines) -- in the Enterprise End Run, companies leverage an enterprise contract (i.e., with government) by first engaging end-users.\n
  • So you start way outside, then go in the back door.\n
  • One startup that is doing this is Socrative (http://socrative.com). Socrative offers a mobile tool that any teacher can use in his/her classroom -- if & when it takes off, the teachers become the inside salesforce driving for broader adoption and sales.\n
  • SeeClickFix is another app that takes this approach -- citizens use the service on their own, and when there is critical mass, governments are incentivized to buy a premium package.\n
  • One tension with the Enterprise End-Run is which audience to focus on: are you an enterprise provider, appealing to enterprise buyers, or are you a consumer platform, appealing directly to end users. Since the end users are not making the ultimate buying decision, this can cause tensions.\n
  • One tension with the Enterprise End-Run is which audience to focus on: are you an enterprise provider, appealing to enterprise buyers, or are you a consumer platform, appealing directly to end users. Since the end users are not making the ultimate buying decision, this can cause tensions.\n
  • One tension with the Enterprise End-Run is which audience to focus on: are you an enterprise provider, appealing to enterprise buyers, or are you a consumer platform, appealing directly to end users. Since the end users are not making the ultimate buying decision, this can cause tensions.\n
  • One tension with the Enterprise End-Run is which audience to focus on: are you an enterprise provider, appealing to enterprise buyers, or are you a consumer platform, appealing directly to end users. Since the end users are not making the ultimate buying decision, this can cause tensions.\n
  • One tension with the Enterprise End-Run is which audience to focus on: are you an enterprise provider, appealing to enterprise buyers, or are you a consumer platform, appealing directly to end users. Since the end users are not making the ultimate buying decision, this can cause tensions.\n
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  • A parting thought: People are re-thinking how cities work in lots of ways! Take Park(ing) Day for example: for a day each fall, people “rent” parking spaces (by paying the meter), and turn them into temporary public parks. Pretty awesome.\n
  • \n

The Opportunity for Civic Startups (Long - Web 2.0 Expo) The Opportunity for Civic Startups (Long - Web 2.0 Expo) Presentation Transcript

  • THE LAST BIG UNDISRUPTED MARKET: The Opportunity for Civic Startups civiccommons.org | -openplans.org | | @nickgrossman Web 2.0 Expo 2011 Nick Grossman @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Today we’re going to talk about how your startups can save the world!
  • me, me, me civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11First, a bit about me: I work with several organizations working in the civic technology space:http://openplans.org, http://civiccommons.org, http://codeforamerica.org, and http://civic.mit.edu
  • you? civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Are you working on what you’d call a “civic startup”?Is it disruptive?What is it?
  • Today civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • Today 1.Civic civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • Today 1.Civic 2.Disruption civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • Today 1.Civic 2.Disruption 3.Trends civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • Today 1.Civic 2.Disruption 3.Trends 4.Opportunities civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • What we mean by Civic civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • of or relating to a citizen, a city, citizenship, or community affairs civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • of or relating to a citizen, a city, citizenship, or community affairs This is pretty broad civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11But it’s kind of like porn -- you know it when you see it
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11There are a bunch of startups that are clearly “civic” in nature -- addressing the connectionbetween citizens and government.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11But there are also a lot of companies and products that produce civic value without beingexplicitly civic in nature.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11The line between what’s “civic” and what’s “social” is pretty blurry. Is Foursquare a civicproduct? In some ways, it is -- it does build a stronger connection between me and the frontlines of my city: merchants.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Twitter is one of the best examples of web-based communication tools being used for civicpurposes.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11So, the stage is set for civic startups -- the “hard” boundaries (political, geographical) and“soft” ones (cultural) are getting blurrier by the moment.Ethan Zuckerman from the Center for Civic Media at MIT describes “civic media” as theintersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while stillproviding focus.
  • civic media civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11So, the stage is set for civic startups -- the “hard” boundaries (political, geographical) and“soft” ones (cultural) are getting blurrier by the moment.Ethan Zuckerman from the Center for Civic Media at MIT describes “civic media” as theintersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while stillproviding focus.
  • participatory civic media media civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11So, the stage is set for civic startups -- the “hard” boundaries (political, geographical) and“soft” ones (cultural) are getting blurrier by the moment.Ethan Zuckerman from the Center for Civic Media at MIT describes “civic media” as theintersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while stillproviding focus.
  • participatory civic civic life media media — Ethan Zuckerman Director, MIT Center for Civic Media civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11So, the stage is set for civic startups -- the “hard” boundaries (political, geographical) and“soft” ones (cultural) are getting blurrier by the moment.Ethan Zuckerman from the Center for Civic Media at MIT describes “civic media” as theintersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while stillproviding focus.
  • What we mean by Disruption civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • (obligatory hackjob on disruptive technologies) see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_technology civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen popularized the term “disruptive” inhis book The Innovator’s Dilemma. In a nutshell, a disruptive technology is one thattransforms a market, often beginning by serving the low-end, or by serving a previouslyunserved segment, then moving up-market and unseating incumbents. Disruptivetechnologies are often dismissed as “toys” at the outset.
  • Software is eating the world — Marc Andreessen WSJ, 8/20/2011 civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Great article by Netscape founder Marc Andreesen in the WSJ, pointing out that software andthe internet are technologies that are disrupting nearly every industry, transforming businessmodels, collapsing incumbents, and providing big opportunities for startups.
  • craigslist | classifieds apple | music, phones, cameras amazon | books, retail linkedin | recruiting airbnb | hotels google | direct marketing netflix | videos skype | phones twitter | newsSaturday, October 29, 11Pick an industry, and you’ll find an internet or software company that’s transforming it rightnow.Andreesen notes that we now have the tools to transform nearly any industry -- he points tohealthcare and education as prime targets.
  • craigslist | classifieds apple | music, phones, cameras amazon | books, retail linkedin | recruiting airbnb | hotels google | direct marketing netflix | videos skype | phones twitter | news The tools now exist to transform any institutionSaturday, October 29, 11Pick an industry, and you’ll find an internet or software company that’s transforming it rightnow.Andreesen notes that we now have the tools to transform nearly any industry -- he points tohealthcare and education as prime targets.
  • employees: 32 civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11With a staff of only 32, Craiglist has radically disrupted the newspaper / classified adsindustry.
  • airbnb civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11AirBnB turns empty apartments into short-term rentals, disrupting the hotel industry.
  • What is ripe for disruption in the civic space? civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Pick your “civic” issue, and there is likely a technology or company attempting to transform it.What’s missing? What do you think is next?
  • Politics - national, local Community Transportation Borrowing sugar Clearing graffiti Protests […] civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Pick your “civic” issue, and there is likely a technology or company attempting to transform it.What’s missing? What do you think is next?
  • 4 trends that are setting the stage for civic startups civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11So, we’ll talk about 4 trends that are making it more possible than ever for civic startups toget going. Then, we’ll talk about 4 models for approaching the citizen / governmenttechnology space specifically.
  • 1 Spending more and getting less civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • source: Code for America civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Governments spend crazy sums of money on IT. This is 17x the size of the video gamemarket.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11And much of that money is poorly spent.
  • ‘Bloomberg has called the project a “disaster”… [its] cost has exceeded $600 million, nearly ten times over budget’ civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11And much of that money is poorly spent.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • ‘has soared in cost from $260mm to as much as $1.9bn’ civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • topek civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Clearly, this is not sustainable, as governments are, at the same time, scrambling to savedollars. So, something has to change.
  • 2 Changing of the guard civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11At the same time, there are big demographic changes in progress.
  • graphic: Code for America civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • graphic: Code for America civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • graphic: Code for America civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • graphic: Code for America civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Over the next 4 years, local governments will lose a majority of their employees due toattrition.
  • BOSTON CHICAGO CODE for AMERICA Nigel Jacobs John Tolva Jen Pahlka SAN FRANCISCO NEW YORK WHITE HOUSE Jay Nath Rachel Sterne Vivek Kundra + many more civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11At the same time, a new generation of tech-enabled leaders are coming up.
  • 3 The rise of the Civic Hacker civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11There is a growing group of “civic hackers” who represent the “just do it” attitude of theinternet. They don’t play by the old rules of advocacy and politics, they just make shit.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11In Chicago, a guy named Harper Reed reverse-engineered Chicago’s bus tracker website, andbuilt a public API so that developers could use the data in their applications.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Along with Dan O’Neill, they hooked this data, along with real-time service alerts, into anunofficial Twitter bot. Harper is now the CTO of the Obama Campaign!
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11In 2005, Adrian Holovaty started taking crime reports from the City of Chicago and mappingthem. In the process of doing this, he hacked google maps so that the reports showed up ona map -- this was before the official google maps API existed, and was part of what leadgoogle to create an official maps API.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Chicago Crime grew up and was folded into Everyblock.com, which won a Knight NewsChallenge grant in 2007.Dan O’Neill of Everyblock pioneered the field of open civic data, working with civicinstitutions across the country to connect streaming data into Everyblock.Everyblock was acquired by MSNBC in 2009.
  • Saturday, October 29, 11Exit Strategy NYC tells you where to stand on the NYC Subway, in order to be closest to yourexit or transfer. This dataset has lived in the minds of New Yorkers for decades, and is nowavailable to tourists too! This small app has turned out to be very profitable.
  • osm haiti civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11This video shows the worldwide civic hacker community’s response to the Haiti earthquake in2010. People used Ushahidi, Twitter and OpenStreetMap to build an up-to-date map thatassisted on-the-ground relief efforts.
  • save a lifeSaturday, October 29, 11In San Ramon, CA, the fire department created an app that lets citizens with CPR training elect to receive alerts of nearby cardiacemergencies.
  • cfa fellows civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Now, new programs like Code for America are working to bring this “civic hacker” ethicdirectly into the government software development process.
  • Saturday, October 29, 11And of course, cities and governments around the world are working to capitalize on this interest, through app contests andother structured developer engagement programs.
  • 4 Government as a Platform — Tim O’Reilly civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11The 4th major trend paving the way for civic startups is the notion of “government as aplatform” (platform in the tech platform sense).
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11People tend to think of government as a vending machine - put in your tax dollars andreceive direct services back. If you don’t like the taste of the candy bar, shake the machine.
  • Governments are starting to think less like app developers and more like platform providersSaturday, October 29, 11But now, a new model is emerging, where governments are thinking about being a platformfor further development -- the same way that Apple turned the iPhone into a platform forbuilding apps.
  • Saturday, October 29, 11This is all about data -- civic apps need data, and step one in building a platform is providingdirect data access. Washington DC was one of the first big cities to really embrace thisnotion.
  • source: Wired MagazineSaturday, October 29, 11Once you have access to this data, you can start to do really interesting things with it -- andcan learn how the city is working (or not working). This is a visualization of NYC 311 data.
  • Closed Model Platform Model Mobile, web & other apps API Real-time ServerSaturday, October 29, 11Platform thinking often mean re-architecting IT infrastructure. In this project, MTA (NewYork City Transit) is building its real-time bus data system as a platform -- opening up thedata, and providing it to developers via an Application Programming Interface (API). Thisstand in contrast to the ‘closed’ model, where a single end-to-end solution stores, processesand serves all of the data.
  • govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11We can visualize government as a platform like this. We’ll walk through this in the nextsection, identifying opportunities for civic startups along the way.
  • direct vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11We can visualize government as a platform like this. We’ll walk through this in the nextsection, identifying opportunities for civic startups along the way.
  • platform apps direct vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11We can visualize government as a platform like this. We’ll walk through this in the nextsection, identifying opportunities for civic startups along the way.
  • outside apps platform apps direct vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11We can visualize government as a platform like this. We’ll walk through this in the nextsection, identifying opportunities for civic startups along the way.
  • 4 Models for Civic Startups civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11So, what does that mean for startups? Here is one frame -- there are a handful of ways thatstartups can engage with the civic space, and with government in particular. I’ll break itdown into four models:
  • 1 Be the platform builder civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • outside apps platform apps vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Governments and their direct contractors / vendors build the internal IT systems that powereverything else.
  • + lots, lots more civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11This tends to be the domain of big, established companies, who have built up relationshipsand can weather the long sales cycles and difficult contracting environment that directgovernment work entails.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11BUT there are a few notable exceptions -- smaller companies who have made it asgovernment contractors. One example is Phase 2 Technologies, who has done lots of Drupalwork at the federal level.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Another is the CKAN platform -- an open source project for managing data catalogs.Produced my the Open Knowledge Foundation in the UI, CKAN powers a large number ofopen data sites, including data.gov.uk.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Socrata is another startup with a successful business powering government data. Socrataoffers a SaaS product that powers data.gov in the US and many state- and city-level dataportals.
  • transpo civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11OpenPlans works with the largest transit agencies in the US supporting open source softwarethat powers real-time vehicle locations and multi-modal trip routing.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11To support this ecosystem of government vendors, Civic Commons is in the process ofbuilding a “marketplace” that networks governments with each other and with vendors.Coming soon.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11At the same time, government entities are making direct efforts to support doing businesswith smaller companies. This is a goal of the US CIO’s 25 point plan, and is the focus ofNYC’s forthcoming SPARK program.
  • 1 Be the platform builder civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 1 Be the platform builder Disruptive Opportunities civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 1 Be the platform builder Disruptive Opportunities Open Source civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 1 Be the platform builder Disruptive Opportunities Open Source Cloud / SaaS / IaaS civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 1 Be the platform builder Disruptive Opportunities Open Source Cloud / SaaS / IaaS Design civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 1 Be the platform builder Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Open Source Cloud / SaaS / IaaS Design civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 1 Be the platform builder Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Open Source Procurement Cloud / SaaS / IaaS Design civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 1 Be the platform builder Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Open Source Procurement Cloud / SaaS / IaaS Design Long sales cycles civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 1 Be the platform builder Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Open Source Procurement Cloud / SaaS / IaaS Design Long sales cycles Product vs. services civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 2 Build on the Platform civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • outside apps platform apps vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11The next opportunity is to build *on* the government platform, but not necessarily as a directvendor. This eliminates many of the procurement hurdles for small businesses, while stillproviding an opportunity to serve citizens and governments.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Within the “building on the platform” space, there is ample opportunity to make a differenceusing design and analytics. The Open311 Dashboard, produced by Code for America, workswith any Open311-compliant city to visualize activity in the 311 (issue reporting, servicerequest, and information inquiry) system.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11BetterMetroNorth.com provides a nicer user interface to Metro North (NYC CommuterRailroad) train service.
  • apps for america civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Lots of nonprofits and governments have sponsored app contests, like Apps for America fromthe Sunlight foundation. In many cases, these have been the catalyst for new startups.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Out of Apps for America 2 came the GovPulse project, which created a better user interfacefor the Federal Register. Noticing this, the OFR ultimately worked with GovPulse to developFederal Register 2.0.
  • The idea for the re-design originated from Sunlight Labs’ Apps for America 2 contest. Developers Andrew Carpenter, Bob Burbach and Dave Augustine from WestEd Interactive built GovPulse.us, “The Federal Register at your fingertips” and won second place. They caught the attention of OFR, who contacted them to help with the official re-design. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Out of Apps for America 2 came the GovPulse project, which created a better user interfacefor the Federal Register. Noticing this, the OFR ultimately worked with GovPulse to developFederal Register 2.0.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11NYC’s app contest is called NYC BigApps
  • mycityway MyCityWay civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11A 2010 winner, MyCityWay, went on to secure a large venture round.
  • 2 Build on the Platform civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Building “on the platform” frees you from many of the challenges of contracting directly withgovernments. However, it does introduce “platform risk” -- i.e., you become dependent (tovarying degrees, depending) on the good will / reliability of the platform provider. Since the“government platform” is nascent and distributed, this does introduce some risk.
  • 2 Build on the Platform Disruptive Opportunities civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Building “on the platform” frees you from many of the challenges of contracting directly withgovernments. However, it does introduce “platform risk” -- i.e., you become dependent (tovarying degrees, depending) on the good will / reliability of the platform provider. Since the“government platform” is nascent and distributed, this does introduce some risk.
  • 2 Build on the Platform Disruptive Opportunities Design civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Building “on the platform” frees you from many of the challenges of contracting directly withgovernments. However, it does introduce “platform risk” -- i.e., you become dependent (tovarying degrees, depending) on the good will / reliability of the platform provider. Since the“government platform” is nascent and distributed, this does introduce some risk.
  • 2 Build on the Platform Disruptive Opportunities Design Simplicity civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Building “on the platform” frees you from many of the challenges of contracting directly withgovernments. However, it does introduce “platform risk” -- i.e., you become dependent (tovarying degrees, depending) on the good will / reliability of the platform provider. Since the“government platform” is nascent and distributed, this does introduce some risk.
  • 2 Build on the Platform Disruptive Opportunities Design Simplicity Analytics civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Building “on the platform” frees you from many of the challenges of contracting directly withgovernments. However, it does introduce “platform risk” -- i.e., you become dependent (tovarying degrees, depending) on the good will / reliability of the platform provider. Since the“government platform” is nascent and distributed, this does introduce some risk.
  • 2 Build on the Platform Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Design Simplicity Analytics civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Building “on the platform” frees you from many of the challenges of contracting directly withgovernments. However, it does introduce “platform risk” -- i.e., you become dependent (tovarying degrees, depending) on the good will / reliability of the platform provider. Since the“government platform” is nascent and distributed, this does introduce some risk.
  • 2 Build on the Platform Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Design Platform risk Simplicity Analytics civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Building “on the platform” frees you from many of the challenges of contracting directly withgovernments. However, it does introduce “platform risk” -- i.e., you become dependent (tovarying degrees, depending) on the good will / reliability of the platform provider. Since the“government platform” is nascent and distributed, this does introduce some risk.
  • 3 Play outside the lines civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11A third option is to work entirely outside of government. As we’ve discussed, the nature of“civic” is certainly not limited to government, and the lines are blurring by the day.
  • outside apps platform apps vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11There are many many examples of civic startups that exist outside the official purview ofgovernment, but still operate in near proximity.
  • blockboard civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Blockboard is a neighborhood networking app out of SF.
  • commonplace civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11OurCommonPlace is a startup out of Harvard, piloting in Falls Church, VA.
  • localocracy civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11Localocracy allows registered voters to debate local issues. They were acquired by AOL inSeptember 2011.
  • 3 Play outside the lines civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 3 Play outside the lines Disruptive Opportunities civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 3 Play outside the lines Disruptive Opportunities Agility civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 3 Play outside the lines Disruptive Opportunities Agility Design civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 3 Play outside the lines Disruptive Opportunities Agility Design User-centered approach civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 3 Play outside the lines Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Agility Design User-centered approach civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 3 Play outside the lines Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Agility Finding a business model Design User-centered approach civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • 4 The Enterprise End-Run — Me! bit.ly/enterprise-end-run civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11The last model we’ll cover today is a variant of #3 (playing outside the lines) -- in theEnterprise End Run, companies leverage an enterprise contract (i.e., with government) by firstengaging end-users.
  • outside apps platform apps vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11So you start way outside, then go in the back door.
  • outside apps platform apps vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11So you start way outside, then go in the back door.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11One startup that is doing this is Socrative (http://socrative.com). Socrative offers a mobiletool that any teacher can use in his/her classroom -- if & when it takes off, the teachersbecome the inside salesforce driving for broader adoption and sales.
  • civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11SeeClickFix is another app that takes this approach -- citizens use the service on their own,and when there is critical mass, governments are incentivized to buy a premium package.
  • 4 The Enterprise End-Run civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11One tension with the Enterprise End-Run is which audience to focus on: are you an enterpriseprovider, appealing to enterprise buyers, or are you a consumer platform, appealing directlyto end users. Since the end users are not making the ultimate buying decision, this cancause tensions.
  • 4 The Enterprise End-Run Disruptive Opportunities civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11One tension with the Enterprise End-Run is which audience to focus on: are you an enterpriseprovider, appealing to enterprise buyers, or are you a consumer platform, appealing directlyto end users. Since the end users are not making the ultimate buying decision, this cancause tensions.
  • 4 The Enterprise End-Run Disruptive Opportunities Employ users as sales force civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11One tension with the Enterprise End-Run is which audience to focus on: are you an enterpriseprovider, appealing to enterprise buyers, or are you a consumer platform, appealing directlyto end users. Since the end users are not making the ultimate buying decision, this cancause tensions.
  • 4 The Enterprise End-Run Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Employ users as sales force civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11One tension with the Enterprise End-Run is which audience to focus on: are you an enterpriseprovider, appealing to enterprise buyers, or are you a consumer platform, appealing directlyto end users. Since the end users are not making the ultimate buying decision, this cancause tensions.
  • 4 The Enterprise End-Run Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Employ users as sales force Tension between user-focus civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11One tension with the Enterprise End-Run is which audience to focus on: are you an enterpriseprovider, appealing to enterprise buyers, or are you a consumer platform, appealing directlyto end users. Since the end users are not making the ultimate buying decision, this cancause tensions.
  • 4 The Enterprise End-Run Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Employ users as sales force Tension between user-focus and enterprise-focus civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11One tension with the Enterprise End-Run is which audience to focus on: are you an enterpriseprovider, appealing to enterprise buyers, or are you a consumer platform, appealing directlyto end users. Since the end users are not making the ultimate buying decision, this cancause tensions.
  • Recap civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • Recap 4 Trends: civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • Recap 4 Trends: 1 Spending more & getting less civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • Recap 4 Trends: 1 Spending more & getting less 2 Changing of the guard civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • Recap 4 Trends: 1 Spending more & getting less 2 Changing of the guard 3 The rise of the Civic Hacker civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • Recap 4 Trends: 1 Spending more & getting less 2 Changing of the guard 3 The rise of the Civic Hacker 4 Gov’t as a Platform civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • Recap 4 Trends: 4 Models: 1 Spending more & getting less 2 Changing of the guard 3 The rise of the Civic Hacker 4 Gov’t as a Platform civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • Recap 4 Trends: 4 Models: 1 Spending more & getting less 1 Be the platform builder 2 Changing of the guard 3 The rise of the Civic Hacker 4 Gov’t as a Platform civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • Recap 4 Trends: 4 Models: 1 Spending more & getting less 1 Be the platform builder 2 Changing of the guard 2 Build on the platform 3 The rise of the Civic Hacker 4 Gov’t as a Platform civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • Recap 4 Trends: 4 Models: 1 Spending more & getting less 1 Be the platform builder 2 Changing of the guard 2 Build on the platform 3 The rise of the Civic Hacker 3 Play outside the lines 4 Gov’t as a Platform civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • Recap 4 Trends: 4 Models: 1 Spending more & getting less 1 Be the platform builder 2 Changing of the guard 2 Build on the platform 3 The rise of the Civic Hacker 3 Play outside the lines 4 Gov’t as a Platform 4 The Enterprise End-Run civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11
  • nyc people civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11A parting thought: People are re-thinking how cities work in lots of ways! Take Park(ing)Day for example: for a day each fall, people “rent” parking spaces (by paying the meter), andturn them into temporary public parks. Pretty awesome.
  • Thanks! @nickgrossman nickgrossman.info civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossmanSaturday, October 29, 11