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THE LAST BIG UNDISRUPTED MARKET:


           The Opportunity for Civic Startups
                           civiccommons.org | -openplans.org | | @nickgrossman
                           Web 2.0 Expo 2011 Nick Grossman @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

Today we’re going to talk about how your startups can save the world!
me, me, me




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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
you?



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

Are you working on what you’d call a “civic startup”?
Is it disruptive?
What is it?
Today




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
Today

                                         1.Civic




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
Today

                                         1.Civic
                                         2.Disruption




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
Today

                                         1.Civic
                                         2.Disruption
                                         3.Trends




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
Today

                                         1.Civic
                                         2.Disruption
                                         3.Trends
                                         4.Opportunities




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
What we mean by Civic



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
of or relating to a citizen, a city,
                    citizenship, or community affairs




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
of or relating to a citizen, a city,
                    citizenship, or community affairs




                           This is pretty broad
                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

But it’s kind of like porn -- you know it when you see it
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

There are a bunch of startups that are clearly “civic” in nature -- addressing the connection
between citizens and government.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

But there are also a lot of companies and products that produce civic value without being
explicitly civic in nature.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

Twitter is one of the best examples of web-based communication tools being used for civic
purposes.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

So, 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 the
intersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while still
providing focus.
civic
                                               media




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

So, 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 the
intersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while still
providing focus.
participatory       civic
                           media               media




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

So, 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 the
intersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while still
providing focus.
participatory       civic
                                                                   civic life
                           media               media




                                                                     — Ethan Zuckerman
                                                      Director, MIT Center for Civic Media

                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

So, 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 the
intersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while still
providing focus.
What we mean by
                             Disruption


                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
(obligatory hackjob on disruptive technologies)
                                                        see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_technology


                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
Software is eating the world
                                                                     — Marc Andreessen
                                                                       WSJ, 8/20/2011




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
craigslist | classifieds
                           apple | music, phones, cameras
                               amazon | books, retail
                                linkedin | recruiting
                                   airbnb | hotels
                             google | direct marketing
                                   netflix | videos
                                   skype | phones
                                   twitter | news




Saturday, October 29, 11

Pick an industry, and you’ll find an internet or software company that’s transforming it right
now.

Andreesen notes that we now have the tools to transform nearly any industry -- he points to
healthcare 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 institution

Saturday, October 29, 11

Pick an industry, and you’ll find an internet or software company that’s transforming it right
now.

Andreesen notes that we now have the tools to transform nearly any industry -- he points to
healthcare and education as prime targets.
employees: 32
                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

With a staff of only 32, Craiglist has radically disrupted the newspaper / classified ads
industry.
airbnb




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

AirBnB turns empty apartments into short-term rentals, disrupting the hotel industry.
What is ripe for disruption in
            the civic space?


                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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?
Politics - national, local
                                        Community
                                      Transportation
                                     Borrowing sugar
                                      Clearing graffiti
                                          Protests
                                             […]



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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?
4 trends that are
                           setting the stage
                           for civic startups

                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
1
                           Spending more and
                              getting less


                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
source: Code for America

                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

Governments spend crazy sums of money on IT. This is 17x the size of the video game
market.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

And 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 | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

And much of that money is poorly spent.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
‘has soared in cost from $260mm
                       to as much as $1.9bn’



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
topek




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

Clearly, this is not sustainable, as governments are, at the same time, scrambling to save
dollars. So, something has to change.
2

                           Changing of the guard


                             civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

At the same time, there are big demographic changes in progress.
graphic: Code for America

                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
graphic: Code for America

                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
graphic: Code for America

                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
graphic: Code for America

                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

Over the next 4 years, local governments will lose a majority of their employees due to
attrition.
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 | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

At the same time, a new generation of tech-enabled leaders are coming up.
3

           The rise of the Civic Hacker


                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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!
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

Chicago Crime grew up and was folded into Everyblock.com, which won a Knight News
Challenge grant in 2007.

Dan O’Neill of Everyblock pioneered the field of open civic data, working with civic
institutions across the country to connect streaming data into Everyblock.

Everyblock was acquired by MSNBC in 2009.
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
osm haiti




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
save a life




Saturday, October 29, 11
In San Ramon, CA, the fire department created an app that lets citizens with CPR training elect to receive alerts of nearby cardiac
emergencies.
cfa fellows




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

Now, new programs like Code for America are working to bring this “civic hacker” ethic
directly into the government software development process.
Saturday, October 29, 11
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.
4

              Government as a Platform
                                                                       — Tim O’Reilly




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

The 4th major trend paving the way for civic startups is the notion of “government as a
platform” (platform in the tech platform sense).
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
Governments are starting to think
   less like app developers
   and more like platform providers




Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
source: Wired Magazine



Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
Closed Model                                         Platform Model


                              Mobile, web & other apps
                                                                           API


                                  Real-time Server




Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
govt



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
direct vendors


                                                govt



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
platform apps

                                                                              direct vendors


                                                govt



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
outside apps




                                                                              platform apps

                                                                              direct vendors


                                                govt



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
4 Models for
                               Civic Startups


                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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:
1
                      Be the platform builder



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
outside apps




                                                                              platform apps

                                                                                vendors


                                                govt



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

Governments and their direct contractors / vendors build the internal IT systems that power
everything else.
+ lots, lots more

                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
transpo




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
1
                      Be the platform builder



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
1
                      Be the platform builder
      Disruptive Opportunities




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
1
                      Be the platform builder
      Disruptive Opportunities
             Open Source




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
1
                      Be the platform builder
      Disruptive Opportunities
             Open Source
           Cloud / SaaS / IaaS



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
1
                      Be the platform builder
      Disruptive Opportunities
             Open Source
           Cloud / SaaS / IaaS
                Design


                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
1
                      Be the platform builder
      Disruptive Opportunities                              Challenges
             Open Source
           Cloud / SaaS / IaaS
                Design


                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
1
                      Be the platform builder
      Disruptive Opportunities                              Challenges
             Open Source                                    Procurement
           Cloud / SaaS / IaaS
                Design


                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, 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 | @nickgrossman
Saturday, 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 | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
2
                           Build on the Platform



                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
outside apps




                                                                              platform apps

                                                                                vendors


                                                govt



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

BetterMetroNorth.com provides a nicer user interface to Metro North (NYC Commuter
Railroad) train service.
apps for america




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
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 | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

NYC’s app contest is called NYC BigApps
mycityway




                                          MyCityWay
                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

A 2010 winner, MyCityWay, went on to secure a large venture round.
2
                           Build on the Platform



                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
2
                           Build on the Platform
      Disruptive Opportunities




                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
2
                           Build on the Platform
      Disruptive Opportunities
               Design




                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
2
                           Build on the Platform
      Disruptive Opportunities
                Design
               Simplicity



                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
2
                           Build on the Platform
      Disruptive Opportunities
                Design
               Simplicity
               Analytics


                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
2
                           Build on the Platform
      Disruptive Opportunities                               Challenges
                Design
               Simplicity
               Analytics


                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
2
                           Build on the Platform
      Disruptive Opportunities                               Challenges
                Design                                        Platform risk
               Simplicity
               Analytics


                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
3
                           Play outside the lines



                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
outside apps




                                                                              platform apps

                                                                                vendors


                                                govt



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

There are many many examples of civic startups that exist outside the official purview of
government, but still operate in near proximity.
blockboard




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

Blockboard is a neighborhood networking app out of SF.
commonplace




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

OurCommonPlace is a startup out of Harvard, piloting in Falls Church, VA.
localocracy




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

Localocracy allows registered voters to debate local issues. They were acquired by AOL in
September 2011.
3
                           Play outside the lines



                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
3
                           Play outside the lines
      Disruptive Opportunities




                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
3
                           Play outside the lines
      Disruptive Opportunities
                Agility




                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
3
                           Play outside the lines
      Disruptive Opportunities
                Agility
               Design



                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
3
                           Play outside the lines
      Disruptive Opportunities
                 Agility
                 Design
         User-centered approach


                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
3
                           Play outside the lines
      Disruptive Opportunities                               Challenges
                 Agility
                 Design
         User-centered approach


                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
3
                           Play outside the lines
      Disruptive Opportunities                               Challenges
                 Agility                               Finding a business model
                 Design
         User-centered approach


                            civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
4
                      The Enterprise End-Run
                                                                             — Me!
                                                           bit.ly/enterprise-end-run




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
outside apps




                                                                              platform apps

                                                                                vendors


                                                govt



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

So you start way outside, then go in the back door.
outside apps




                                                                              platform apps

                                                                                vendors


                                                govt



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

So you start way outside, then go in the back door.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
4
                      The Enterprise End-Run



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
4
                      The Enterprise End-Run
      Disruptive Opportunities




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
4
                      The Enterprise End-Run
      Disruptive Opportunities
       Employ users as sales force




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
4
                      The Enterprise End-Run
      Disruptive Opportunities                              Challenges
       Employ users as sales force




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
4
                      The Enterprise End-Run
      Disruptive Opportunities           Challenges
       Employ users as sales force Tension between user-focus




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
4
                      The Enterprise End-Run
      Disruptive Opportunities           Challenges
       Employ users as sales force Tension between user-focus
                                      and enterprise-focus



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
Recap




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
Recap
                           4 Trends:




                             civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
Recap
                           4 Trends:
     1 Spending more & getting less




                             civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
Recap
                           4 Trends:
     1 Spending more & getting less
     2 Changing of the guard




                             civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, 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 | @nickgrossman
Saturday, 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 | @nickgrossman
Saturday, 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 | @nickgrossman
Saturday, 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 | @nickgrossman
Saturday, 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 | @nickgrossman
Saturday, 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 | @nickgrossman
Saturday, 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 | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11
nyc people




                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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.
Thanks!
                                       @nickgrossman
                                      nickgrossman.info



                           civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman
Saturday, October 29, 11

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

  • 1. THE LAST BIG UNDISRUPTED MARKET: The Opportunity for Civic Startups civiccommons.org | -openplans.org | | @nickgrossman Web 2.0 Expo 2011 Nick Grossman @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 Today we’re going to talk about how your startups can save the world!
  • 2. me, me, me civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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
  • 3. you? civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 Are you working on what you’d call a “civic startup”? Is it disruptive? What is it?
  • 4. Today civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 5. Today 1.Civic civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 6. Today 1.Civic 2.Disruption civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 7. Today 1.Civic 2.Disruption 3.Trends civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 8. Today 1.Civic 2.Disruption 3.Trends 4.Opportunities civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 9. What we mean by Civic civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 10. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 11. of or relating to a citizen, a city, citizenship, or community affairs civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 12. of or relating to a citizen, a city, citizenship, or community affairs This is pretty broad civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 13. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 But it’s kind of like porn -- you know it when you see it
  • 14. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 There are a bunch of startups that are clearly “civic” in nature -- addressing the connection between citizens and government.
  • 15. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 16. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 But there are also a lot of companies and products that produce civic value without being explicitly civic in nature.
  • 17. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 18. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 19. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 20. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 Twitter is one of the best examples of web-based communication tools being used for civic purposes.
  • 21. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 So, 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 the intersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while still providing focus.
  • 22. civic media civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 So, 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 the intersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while still providing focus.
  • 23. participatory civic media media civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 So, 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 the intersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while still providing focus.
  • 24. participatory civic civic life media media — Ethan Zuckerman Director, MIT Center for Civic Media civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 So, 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 the intersection of participatory media and civic life, which feels appropriately broad while still providing focus.
  • 25. What we mean by Disruption civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 26. (obligatory hackjob on disruptive technologies) see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_technology civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 27. Software is eating the world — Marc Andreessen WSJ, 8/20/2011 civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 28. craigslist | classifieds apple | music, phones, cameras amazon | books, retail linkedin | recruiting airbnb | hotels google | direct marketing netflix | videos skype | phones twitter | news Saturday, October 29, 11 Pick an industry, and you’ll find an internet or software company that’s transforming it right now. Andreesen notes that we now have the tools to transform nearly any industry -- he points to healthcare and education as prime targets.
  • 29. 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 institution Saturday, October 29, 11 Pick an industry, and you’ll find an internet or software company that’s transforming it right now. Andreesen notes that we now have the tools to transform nearly any industry -- he points to healthcare and education as prime targets.
  • 30. employees: 32 civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 With a staff of only 32, Craiglist has radically disrupted the newspaper / classified ads industry.
  • 31. airbnb civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 AirBnB turns empty apartments into short-term rentals, disrupting the hotel industry.
  • 32. What is ripe for disruption in the civic space? civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 33. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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?
  • 34. Politics - national, local Community Transportation Borrowing sugar Clearing graffiti Protests […] civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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?
  • 35. 4 trends that are setting the stage for civic startups civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 36. 1 Spending more and getting less civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 37. source: Code for America civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 Governments spend crazy sums of money on IT. This is 17x the size of the video game market.
  • 38. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 And much of that money is poorly spent.
  • 39. ‘Bloomberg has called the project a “disaster”… [its] cost has exceeded $600 million, nearly ten times over budget’ civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 And much of that money is poorly spent.
  • 40. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 41. ‘has soared in cost from $260mm to as much as $1.9bn’ civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 42. topek civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 Clearly, this is not sustainable, as governments are, at the same time, scrambling to save dollars. So, something has to change.
  • 43. 2 Changing of the guard civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 At the same time, there are big demographic changes in progress.
  • 44. graphic: Code for America civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 45. graphic: Code for America civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 46. graphic: Code for America civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 47. graphic: Code for America civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 Over the next 4 years, local governments will lose a majority of their employees due to attrition.
  • 48. 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 | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 At the same time, a new generation of tech-enabled leaders are coming up.
  • 49. 3 The rise of the Civic Hacker civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 50. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 51. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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!
  • 52. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 53. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 Chicago Crime grew up and was folded into Everyblock.com, which won a Knight News Challenge grant in 2007. Dan O’Neill of Everyblock pioneered the field of open civic data, working with civic institutions across the country to connect streaming data into Everyblock. Everyblock was acquired by MSNBC in 2009.
  • 54. Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 55. osm haiti civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 56. save a life Saturday, October 29, 11 In San Ramon, CA, the fire department created an app that lets citizens with CPR training elect to receive alerts of nearby cardiac emergencies.
  • 57. cfa fellows civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 Now, new programs like Code for America are working to bring this “civic hacker” ethic directly into the government software development process.
  • 58. Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 59. 4 Government as a Platform — Tim O’Reilly civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 The 4th major trend paving the way for civic startups is the notion of “government as a platform” (platform in the tech platform sense).
  • 60. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 61. Governments are starting to think less like app developers and more like platform providers Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 62. Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 63. source: Wired Magazine Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 64. Closed Model Platform Model Mobile, web & other apps API Real-time Server Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 65. govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 66. direct vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 67. platform apps direct vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 68. outside apps platform apps direct vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 69. 4 Models for Civic Startups civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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:
  • 70. 1 Be the platform builder civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 71. outside apps platform apps vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 Governments and their direct contractors / vendors build the internal IT systems that power everything else.
  • 72. + lots, lots more civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 73. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 74. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 75. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 76. transpo civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 77. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 78. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 79. 1 Be the platform builder civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 80. 1 Be the platform builder Disruptive Opportunities civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 81. 1 Be the platform builder Disruptive Opportunities Open Source civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 82. 1 Be the platform builder Disruptive Opportunities Open Source Cloud / SaaS / IaaS civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 83. 1 Be the platform builder Disruptive Opportunities Open Source Cloud / SaaS / IaaS Design civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 84. 1 Be the platform builder Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Open Source Cloud / SaaS / IaaS Design civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 85. 1 Be the platform builder Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Open Source Procurement Cloud / SaaS / IaaS Design civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 86. 1 Be the platform builder Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Open Source Procurement Cloud / SaaS / IaaS Design Long sales cycles civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 87. 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 | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 88. 2 Build on the Platform civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 89. outside apps platform apps vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 90. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 91. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 BetterMetroNorth.com provides a nicer user interface to Metro North (NYC Commuter Railroad) train service.
  • 92. apps for america civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 93. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 94. 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 | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 95. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 NYC’s app contest is called NYC BigApps
  • 96. mycityway MyCityWay civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 A 2010 winner, MyCityWay, went on to secure a large venture round.
  • 97. 2 Build on the Platform civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 98. 2 Build on the Platform Disruptive Opportunities civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 99. 2 Build on the Platform Disruptive Opportunities Design civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 100. 2 Build on the Platform Disruptive Opportunities Design Simplicity civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 101. 2 Build on the Platform Disruptive Opportunities Design Simplicity Analytics civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 102. 2 Build on the Platform Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Design Simplicity Analytics civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 103. 2 Build on the Platform Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Design Platform risk Simplicity Analytics civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 104. 3 Play outside the lines civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 105. outside apps platform apps vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 There are many many examples of civic startups that exist outside the official purview of government, but still operate in near proximity.
  • 106. blockboard civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 Blockboard is a neighborhood networking app out of SF.
  • 107. commonplace civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 OurCommonPlace is a startup out of Harvard, piloting in Falls Church, VA.
  • 108. localocracy civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 Localocracy allows registered voters to debate local issues. They were acquired by AOL in September 2011.
  • 109. 3 Play outside the lines civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 110. 3 Play outside the lines Disruptive Opportunities civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 111. 3 Play outside the lines Disruptive Opportunities Agility civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 112. 3 Play outside the lines Disruptive Opportunities Agility Design civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 113. 3 Play outside the lines Disruptive Opportunities Agility Design User-centered approach civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 114. 3 Play outside the lines Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Agility Design User-centered approach civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 115. 3 Play outside the lines Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Agility Finding a business model Design User-centered approach civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 116. 4 The Enterprise End-Run — Me! bit.ly/enterprise-end-run civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 117. outside apps platform apps vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 So you start way outside, then go in the back door.
  • 118. outside apps platform apps vendors govt civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 So you start way outside, then go in the back door.
  • 119. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 120. civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 121. 4 The Enterprise End-Run civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 122. 4 The Enterprise End-Run Disruptive Opportunities civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 123. 4 The Enterprise End-Run Disruptive Opportunities Employ users as sales force civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 124. 4 The Enterprise End-Run Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Employ users as sales force civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 125. 4 The Enterprise End-Run Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Employ users as sales force Tension between user-focus civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 126. 4 The Enterprise End-Run Disruptive Opportunities Challenges Employ users as sales force Tension between user-focus and enterprise-focus civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 127. Recap civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 128. Recap 4 Trends: civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 129. Recap 4 Trends: 1 Spending more & getting less civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 130. Recap 4 Trends: 1 Spending more & getting less 2 Changing of the guard civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 131. Recap 4 Trends: 1 Spending more & getting less 2 Changing of the guard 3 The rise of the Civic Hacker civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 132. 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 | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 133. 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 | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 134. 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 | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 135. 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 | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 136. 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 | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 137. 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 | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11
  • 138. nyc people civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11 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.
  • 139. Thanks! @nickgrossman nickgrossman.info civiccommons.org | openplans.org | @nickgrossman Saturday, October 29, 11

Editor's Notes

  1. Today we’re going to talk about how your startups can save the world!\n
  2. 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
  3. Are you working on what you’d call a “civic startup”?\nIs it disruptive?\nWhat is it?\n
  4. \n
  5. \n
  6. \n
  7. \n
  8. \n
  9. \n
  10. \n
  11. But it’s kind of like porn -- you know it when you see it\n
  12. There are a bunch of startups that are clearly “civic” in nature -- addressing the connection between citizens and government.\n
  13. \n
  14. But there are also a lot of companies and products that produce civic value without being explicitly civic in nature. \n
  15. \n
  16. \n
  17. 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
  18. Twitter is one of the best examples of web-based communication tools being used for civic purposes.\n
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. \n
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. With a staff of only 32, Craiglist has radically disrupted the newspaper / classified ads industry.\n
  28. AirBnB turns empty apartments into short-term rentals, disrupting the hotel industry.\n
  29. \n
  30. 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
  31. 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
  32. 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
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. 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
  38. \n
  39. Governments spend crazy sums of money on IT. This is 17x the size of the video game market.\n
  40. And much of that money is poorly spent.\n
  41. \n
  42. Clearly, this is not sustainable, as governments are, at the same time, scrambling to save dollars. So, something has to change.\n
  43. At the same time, there are big demographic changes in progress.\n
  44. \n
  45. \n
  46. \n
  47. Over the next 4 years, local governments will lose a majority of their employees due to attrition.\n
  48. At the same time, a new generation of tech-enabled leaders are coming up.\n
  49. 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
  50. 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
  51. 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
  52. 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
  53. 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
  54. 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
  55. 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
  56. 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
  57. Now, new programs like Code for America are working to bring this “civic hacker” ethic directly into the government software development process.\n
  58. 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
  59. 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
  60. 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
  61. 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
  62. 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
  63. 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
  64. 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
  65. 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
  66. 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
  67. 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
  68. 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
  69. \n
  70. Governments and their direct contractors / vendors build the internal IT systems that power everything else.\n
  71. 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
  72. 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
  73. 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
  74. 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
  75. 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
  76. 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
  77. 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
  78. \n
  79. \n
  80. \n
  81. \n
  82. \n
  83. \n
  84. \n
  85. \n
  86. \n
  87. 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
  88. 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
  89. BetterMetroNorth.com provides a nicer user interface to Metro North (NYC Commuter Railroad) train service.\n
  90. 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
  91. 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
  92. NYC’s app contest is called NYC BigApps\n
  93. A 2010 winner, MyCityWay, went on to secure a large venture round.\n
  94. 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
  95. 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
  96. 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
  97. 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
  98. 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
  99. 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
  100. 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
  101. There are many many examples of civic startups that exist outside the official purview of government, but still operate in near proximity.\n
  102. Blockboard is a neighborhood networking app out of SF.\n
  103. OurCommonPlace is a startup out of Harvard, piloting in Falls Church, VA.\n
  104. Localocracy allows registered voters to debate local issues. They were acquired by AOL in September 2011.\n
  105. \n
  106. \n
  107. \n
  108. \n
  109. \n
  110. \n
  111. 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
  112. So you start way outside, then go in the back door.\n
  113. 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
  114. 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
  115. 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
  116. 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
  117. 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
  118. 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
  119. 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
  120. \n
  121. \n
  122. \n
  123. \n
  124. \n
  125. \n
  126. \n
  127. \n
  128. \n
  129. \n
  130. 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
  131. \n