So, I attended the O’Reilly Government 2.0 Expo & Summit last week in DC. There were many great presentations over the 3 days and I've highlighted several in my personal blog at http://guengerich.wordpress.com. But, I want to highlight three in particular that I thought had personal styles – each different, but fitting in their personal own way – and compelling content.
Eric Ries (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers) – http://www.startuplessonslearned.com/ – I mentioned Eric’s excellent commentary in my post about initial impressions from the Summit a few days ago. When he first walked out onstage, I’ll have to confess – being a veteran of sitting through dozens of VC and start-up talks (including my own) where you hear the same pointers rehashed the 100th different way by the latest VC clown, as Guy Kawasaki would say – I was prepared for the 101st version of the same old thing.
But, I was pleasantly surprised: his style and substance on lean start-ups was thoroughly engaging. In just the few minutes he had to speak, he conveyed a core familiarity with the issues that gave you a sense of someone speaking from experience, combined with a studied observation of the larger dynamics of the subject. I would definitely invite him to lead a workshop on the subject.
James Heywood (PatientsLikeMe ) – http://www.patientslikeme.com/ – The Summit program described PatientsLikeMe as committed to providing a better, more effective way to capture valuable results about disease and share them with patients, healthcare professionals, and industry organizations that are trying to treat the disease. And that word “committed” is perhaps the strongest word I can use to capture the essence of James’s presentation.
The compelling back story to his web service is the desire to help save his brother’s life from the effects of a degenerative disease. But, without relying on sentimentality, James illustrated the power of quantitative and qualitative data, when available, in the pursuit of a patient’s gaining greater control over his or her medical destiny. If I was ever going into a healthcare battle, I would totally want this guy on my side of the table.
Michele Weslander Quaid (US Government) – The phrase that comes to mind for Michele is “kick ass.” She was one of three people on a panel discussion. Seated demurely in black dress between two agency heavyweights from the TSA and DoD, Michele held her own and then some. In the Q&A, she came across as a super-sharp bureaucrat…a straight-shooter, clearly in command of her facts and opinions.
Her comments about the realities of leadership and making realistic, tactical progress with IT initiatives – Gov 2.0 or otherwise – in the U.S. defense and intel communities struck the listener as razor-sharp and authentic. I have little doubt that she’d be a killer workshop leader on the subject of “How to actually get a significant project done in a major federal agency.” Catch the video of her panel when it gets uploaded to Blip.tv.
So, that’s a wrap on my speaker / presenter impressions. If you want to read them all, go to my personal blog. And if you really interested in what to expect “over the horizon” with respect to Government 2.0, then I also recommend you consider requesting an invitation to attend nGenera’s All Members meeting for our Insight 2.0 programs. Scheduled for December 1-3 and hosted at Federal Express in Memphis, we will be presenting a slew of new research ranging from Participatory regulation to Prediction markets.