A couple of years ago, I met with several top officials in a major state government at the peak application time for Federal broadband funds that were part of the stimulus program. Although the Governor was committed to ensuring that 95%+ of the homes in his state would have broadband and his staff all agreed to this goal, many of them couldn’t really say why this would be a good thing.
So, in a moment of frustration in the meeting, I spent maybe twenty minutes rattling off dozens of possible things people could do if broadband were a statewide reality. That frustration led me to start a list called “1001 Uses For Broadband” – partly, in homage to the ending of the classic late 1980s thriller “F/X” and SuperGlue.
Fast forward to last week, where I met with the OneMaryland network and Howard County officials for another broadband brainstorming session. Using stimulus money, they’ve created one of the more interesting broadband projects, partly due to a very innovative executive, Ken Ulman.
To get the discussion going, I put together a presentation based on the 1001 uses approach. I’ll be sharing these ideas on this blog over the next few months, organized by category.
I hope that you and others add to the list. It really won’t be hard. The key is to think about what broadband can do for a community, county, city, state or nation.
The way to frame the question is: what can people do that has been hindered by travel or other significant costs?
Next: How Can Broadband Get People Healthier?
© 2012 Norman Jacknis
One of the most interesting centers for new ideas about economic growth is the Startup Genome project. (See http://www.startupgenome.com and http://blog.startupcompass.co ) This is one of the few places that moves beyond breathless, anecdotal stories to real analysis of the factors in the success and failure of startups.
Its leader, Max Marmer, published an interesting blog on the Harvard Business Review site a couple of weeks ago. It was entitled the Danger of Celebritizing Entrepreneurship (http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/10/the_danger_of_celebritizing_en.html). Like Peter Theil (see my earlier blog post at http://njacknis.tumblr.com/post/28980374812/what-kills-innovation), he is concerned about the trivialization of the entrepreneurial process and the celebration of business ideas that are just not that significant. In turn, this causes a decline in the number of truly important ideas.
More recently, he has moved the discussion to the convergence of business entrepreneurship and social innovation.
See Transformational Entrepreneurship: Where Technology Meets Societal Impact ( http://blog.startupcompass.co/transformational-entrepreneurship-where-techn-11064 ) and Reversing the Decline in Transformational Ideas ( http://blog.startupcompass.co/reversing-the-decline-in-transformational-ide ) from earlier this year.
This is useful reading both for entrepreneurs and those public officials whose economic growth strategy is focused on entrepreneurship – which should be one of the key foundations of that strategy in our new economy.
© 2012 Norman Jacknis