Stop Saying “Silicon Valley of the _______”

I move and travel quite a bit. In different areas of the USA and the world, I continuously hear, “We are the the Silicon Valley of (the North, India, the Midwest, Africa, the mountains, Idaho, prison system, yadda yadda)” or some regionalized variation of Silicon Valley such as “Silicon Alley” or “Silicon Forrest”. Stop.

Like Mitch Hedberg said about turkey:

There’s turkey ham, turkey bologna, turkey pastrami — someone needs to tell the turkey, ‘man, just be yourself’.

I was at event tonight where FutureNYC’s Jonathan Bowles was talking about their report (excellent, by the way) and they we’re proud to say “We’re #2!”. NYC, along with other metropolitan areas, has the chance to completely alter and improve urban conditions throughout our planet. The tech in Silicon Valley is laying a serious foundation which we will all be a part of, but each type of region will create amazing technological advance that only can made in their respective region and/or circumstance.

One of my favorite quotes from the event was by Andrew Rasiej – “Technology is not a slice of the pie, it’s the pan.”

We’re in a transitional period and it is up to each city/region to maximize technology to better embed human society as an asset into the earth instead of a parasite of it. The ways Detroit (used to be #1 at something) will utilize technology will help other cities greatly damaged by 20th century industrialization. Only a city like Detroit can accomplish such.

VC money, acquisitions and currency in general don’t exist in a truly post-industrial society. Global advancements will certainly occur, but no one will care where they come from.

The whole world is just as excited as you and will also be playing their part.

Be yourself, everybody.

Three Recently Read Books That I Loved – Reviews

These are the best three books that I’ve read over the past six months. I just left these reviews on the individual Amazon pages, but figured I would compile the videos here.

Bringing Nothing to the Party – Paul Carr 
The Age of the Platform – Phil Simon
Linchpin – Seth Godin (bonus link: Drake’s The Resistance)

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Leave Yourself Bread Crumbs

It’s only been a few days, but I’m already deeply hooked on 4sq&7yearsago. Sign up and enjoy blasts from the pasts!

UPDATE: 4sq&7yearsago is now Timehop and also includes Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in addition to foursquare:

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This is a bit of a selfish way to leave bread crumbs, but also keep in mind that what we post can be found for who knows how many years.

Government 2.0 = A New Startup

I just read a piece by Tim Conners that asks for a Gov 2.0 app. Overall it’s a phenomenal idea but the  features are rather short-sighted in my honest opinion. By that, I mean it would be phenomenal tool today, but makes no sense for the real “Governement 2.0” that will shortly be ready for tomorrow.

Frankly, any system/company/organization/person that sucks will fail as full transparency is taking over. We know this happening in the commercial world as we continue to see startups take over huge companies and industries (Netflix/Blockbuster, Pandora/radio Skype/phone). See Wikileaks, Mubarak.

Gov 2.0 = A New Startup

Imagine if Egypt came up with a new system that combined the best of communism but with zero government and laid a gamificattion model on top for incentive. Every citizen has a version of Tim’s app and they quickly the Egyptians build a phenomenal infrastructure and quality of life that (see Robert Kennedy’s quote on GNP) that is unparalleled throughout the world. Soon, neighboring countries Libya and Sudan emulate this and find the same success. It makes sense for Egypt, Libya and Sudan to combine the region since their is no power to be lost or gained, just more minds to extract creativity to tackle their regions challenges. The rest of the world soon catches on and develops their regions own version a new government. This eventually leads to world without and countries and government completely controlled by the people, segmented by geographical region.

First though, we need to be connected by our devices before we can connect mentally. Facebook and Twitter are doing this now, but only to a certain extent. We need an app like Tim’s to do so but without the archaic government systems of today preloaded in them.

“Imagine there’s no country. It’s easy if you try.” – John Lennon

Obviously this all hypothetical and Egypt may succumb to another bad regime in government, but either way, sooner or later, a new startup of a government system is going to knock out the current giants of capitalism and government-led communism.

The Birth (and death) of VoterVision

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Check out Startup Weekend in your city.

Here is a much more detailed post that shows you what Startup Weekend is about.

Thanks for watching – Mike

Lorin Halpert and Sohail Somani Working Hard at #swtoronto


December 10th, 2010

Many say only one in nine startups are successful, so get your eight failures out of the way soon as possible.   The idea of VoterVision still lives on, but we were unable to secure any government funding. I think the deeper concepts and overall vision will happen (not explained in the video above), just from those with a greater foothold in the government industry.  I saw the video below on Facebook from my former colleague, Gia Lyons.  Jive can accomplish these things and I am sure they will naturally progress as governments implement such software.  We wanted:

A place where you can gather information on EVERY candidate, not just those with the most marketing dollars.

A place where candidates are  rewarded for engaging with the community online through video, audio and text.

A simple match-finding tool for those who don’t have time to put in the research.  This would be great for those smaller elections that many of us just vote for the last name we like best.

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I am confident companies like Jive will lead the way and the old way of politics will naturally subside giving us true democratic elections with an equal voice for all who deserve it.