Eat or Be Eaten. Gov 2.0’s Social Darwinism

Alan W. Silberberg writes:

So here it is. We are there. Where are we?

Gov 2.0 as Social Darwinism. Eat or be eaten. Kill or be killed.

Recently the U.S. Federal Government has gotten into the “platform” business. A move I called for, and therefore congratulate the GSA on.

At the same time as people like Vivek Wadhwa are finding a “Goldmine of Opportunities in Gov 2.0” there are significant forces at work to try to stop some of those very entrepreneurs from succeeding. The very contests that are of such popularity right now actually harm the entrepreneur. Why you ask? Because instead of creating market opportunities — they become giant idea vacuum cleaners. This does not make a market for a product (usually). It does turn a commercial product into something else, something more vague, less tangible. Luke Fretwell recently wrote about this.

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Well, we are in transition from the old to the new.

I want to brainstorm more ways to empower the individual.

Widespread and accepted use of social media is one way to cut across top-down bureaucratic processes of communication.

Emphasizing the use of patents as incentives to encourage innovation across the country is another great starting point for contests like “Apps for America”, as well as for in-house developers.

Below is a great OpenGov project to engage citizens in the patent process. Can we implement similar processes in-house as well?


Can you think of other ways to empower individuals? Knowledge As Power (KAP) is a great Seattle-based non-profit to amplify citizen voices in the legislative process.


Are there other similar orgs across the country?