This post from former Federal CTO +Aneesh Chopra is a great summary of why those of us who actually engaged with the Obama administration on technology issues are big supporters. President Obama has been thinking about technology in a profoundly different way from any of his predecessors. His team has really internalized the idea that government should figure out what kinds of interventions really enable the private sector, and which compete with it, and do the former. In particular, they have done a lot of thinking about how to release government data in such a way as to unleash the power of private sector innovation in the same way that we did it with weather data and GPS and mapping data, kickstarting vibrant and important new industry sectors, with initial heavy lifting done by the government but subsequent innovation by private companies. They are now bringing this approach to health data, financial data, and education data. I believe this will lead to an entrepreneurial revolution that will also reduce the size of government at the same time as it grows our economy.
(This is my notion of government as a platform, and I've been honored to engage with administration figures like Aneesh, Todd Park (the current CTO), former Federal CIO Vivek Kundra (now at Salesforce.com), Steve van Roekel (the current CIO), Frank DiGiammarino (assistant administrator of recovery.gov
, now at Amazon), Julius Genachowski (the chairman of the FCC), Sean Greene at the SBA, and many others. I'm super impressed with their intelligence, their dedication, and their strategic thinking - and that ultimately is a really good sign of those same characteristics in their boss, the President, who has done a damn fine job of innovating at the same time as he's had to pull the nation out of an economic crisis like nothing we've seen since the 1930s.)