Can Congress Work Like A Tech Startup?

from the as-long-as-they-don't-drop-vowels dept

We’ve discussed a few times in the past Rep. Darryl Issa’s Madison platform for crowdsourcing ideas around legislation. Over the last few months he’s used it to create a productive discussion around the OPEN Act, the more reasonable alternative to SOPA/PIPA, and also used it to post the text of ACTA for discussion. While the platform may need some tweaking and advancement, it’s still quite a feat to see someone in Congress actually innovating, and that should be encouraged. Joshua Lamel — who admits that he’s politically at the other end of the spectrum from Rep. Issa — has a really nice profile of how Issa is trying to treat his job in the House like a “lean startup,” with projects like Madison. It is a bit of a slog going up against the entrenched ways that Congress acts today, however:

“I try to bring a lean startup mentality to my work making government more efficient, open and participatory,” he said.

“This technology-centered approach, however, is disruptive to the government bureaucracy and many in Congress because it demands experimentation, data-driven analysis and actually listening to our users — the American people — about how to make government work better for them. That’s why social media and innovation are so central to my work: we in Congress do not have all the answers, but we can have a relentless drive to adapt technology to let taxpayers re-engage with government on their own terms. I firmly believe that just as new technologies are revolutionizing nearly every aspect of life in America, nascent tools like Madison show the transformative impact technology will have on government, and ultimately overcome the inertia of the bureaucracy.”

While not a traditional industry, it sure seems like Congress could use some significant disruption — and having people in there treating it like a startup might just be a good way to start.

Filed Under: , , , , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Can Congress Work Like A Tech Startup?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Can Congress Work Like A Tech Startup? NO.

…”is disruptive to the government bureaucracy and many in Congress because it demands experimentation, data-driven analysis and actually listening to our users…”

Our Congress operates like a “too big to fail” monopoly entity and any good cynical realist must point out that that sort of thinking would end corruption. Therefore, not going to happen.

Anonymous Coward says:

Good to see Rep. Issa using Madison for all the bills he sponsors, like CISPA, which probably explains why it received so much support from the internet community. Wait, that didn’t happen? Say, you don’t think Issa’s just going for cheap political points here, do you? I mean, that doesn’t sound like something a politician would do…

Dave Reed (profile) says:

Disruptive Technology

Just for the record, at one time, the US Constitution WAS a Governmental Disruptive Technology. Heck, it was Version 2.x (how do you count the Bill of Rights? ) as the Articles of the Confederacy was version 1.

And remember how much fuss-and-bother there was getting ver 1 installed?

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. Kennedy, In a speech at the White House, 1962

Anonymous Coward says:

We can change things by changing the field.

Don’t play in congress, play it in the streets, in the open.

The same tools people use to write open source code can be used to write any code and that means laws.

But that is not enough, politicians are only part of the problem, they are not experts in every field and so they rely on others expertise those others are the positions that people with power target and they put their people in there, that is what the revolving door is for, we also need to map the political landscape to see what is happening.

Politicians in a sense are just distractions, the real people formulating the policies are hidden is time to shine light on those people and open discussion and mapping are key to that effort.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Older Stuff
20:09 Even More Patent Reform Bills Being Floated In Congress (19)
15:05 CBS Tells Court: No One Could Possibly Read Our Statements 'We Will Sue Aereo' To Mean We Will Sue Aereo (71)
15:32 TV Broadcasters Sue Alki David's TV Streaming Service Once Again, To Establish More Bad Precedents (27)
11:35 The Aftermath Of Napster: Letting Incumbents Veto Innovation Slows Down Innovation Drastically (45)
06:00 When Startups Need More Lawyers Than Employees, The Patent System Isn't Working (55)
09:21 Patents As Weapons: How 1-800-CONTACTS Is Using The Patent System To Kill An Innovative Startup (54)
14:51 Winning But Losing: Lessons From An Internet StartUp (51)
17:00 DailyDirt: Take The Red Pill, Young People (9)
03:52 Startups Realizing That Patent Trolls Are An Existential Threat (30)
19:39 This Is Not The Cloud Computing We Should Have (72)
13:03 Taxi, Limo Trade Group Hates Innovative Upstarts, Labels Them 'Rogue Applications' (25)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Life Never Sounded So Good... On The Go (6)
20:13 Flattr Makes It Easier Than Ever To Support Content Creators Just By Favoriting Tweets (61)
19:39 No, The Death Of Google Reader Doesn't Mean 'Free' Doesn't Work (77)
11:01 Kickstarter Projects That Don't Meet Their Goal Are Not 'Failures'; They Help People Avoid Failures (41)
17:44 The Killing Of Google Reader Highlights The Risk Of Relying On A Single Provider (141)
15:04 Innovative Open Textbook Company Fights Back Against Publishers' Copyright Infringement Lawsuit (29)
20:21 Startups And Innovators Speak Out In Favor Of Fixing CFAA (11)
16:03 Case Study: Band Embraces Grooveshark And Catapults Its Career (21)
09:50 Innovators Break Stuff, Including The Rules: How Gates, Jobs & Zuckerberg Could Have Been Targeted Like Aaron Swartz (48)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Rethinking The Mouse (Finally!) (58)
18:30 Is The 'Innovator's Dilemma' About To Get Disrupted By 'Big Bang Disruption'? (17)
08:18 Just Cause 2 Developer On Why It Won't Utilize DRM: 'It Treats Our Fans Like Criminals' (64)
13:08 Global Free Internet Act Introduced In Congress (43)
09:00 Crowdfunding Picks: Throw Trucks With Your Mind & Other Cool Control Interfaces (24)
19:39 Amanda Palmer On The True Nature Of Connecting With Fans: It's About Trust (131)
20:00 SHIELD Act Targeting Patent Trolls Re-Introduced; It's A Step In The Right Direction, But Just A Small One (18)
11:44 Hipmunk Raises Money... And Is Immediately Threatened By Patent Troll (52)
05:16 A Floating Island Of Nerds... Or Just Evidence Of A Broken Immigration System? (130)
18:05 New Evidence Shows That Patents Matter Less And Less For Startups (25)
More arrow