This page on my blog is intended to act as a repository for rants. I’ll be the first to admit that these rants (by their very nature) are *not* well thought out and intended more as a place for me to vent about what frustrates me. The point in posting these rants is that at some stage (once I am a bit calmer), I can come back to view these rants in a more methodical and mindful way. The value in these rants is therefore not in the intellectual ideas, but rather in the emotional ideas that provoked their ‘knee jerk’ reaction. I hope to learn from these rants by posting them publicly, and (hopefully) through my friends and colleagues I can separate the emotional from my ideological responses.
These rants will not be published in my normal blog feed so if you want to receive them via email you’ll need to leave a comment and then tick the “Notify me of follow-up comments via email” box.
NB The other reason for having this page on my blog, is my perception that twitter is increasingly becoming a failed space for having short topical debates that often get kicked off on twitter and usually erode after three or more people join in the discussion.
Rant no.1: Why developer events are not beholden to being sustainable.
Of the ten years I’ve been doing hack events in the US, UK, EU and now Aus** the reoccurring problem that continues to float-up in all these events is people asking (mostly managers): “why don’t these events sustain the products they produce?” – my answer (and I know not all of you will agree) is that these prototypes are not “products”, but rather “pre-seed incubation ideas”.
If people really want to see these ideas “productized” (in the global American sense of the word), then they need to realise that the next steps are incubation programmes in preparation to pitch for seed funding (if they get past that stage then VC / Angel funding, i.e. product business models can come into play).
Our upcoming GovbHack showcase in Melbourne has targeted both the government innovation department (DBI), seed funding via the Melbourne Accelerator Programme (MAP) and data.vic.gov. If we can get these stakeholders talking we believe we can turn some of the hacks into “products” (though this is a journey of 2-3 years, not a weekend hack).
NB Please know that I am not advocating that all the GovHack entries should pursue a “productization” end goal, but should instead be seen as foundations for societal change and charitable support, hence my involvement with #OKFNau and the promotion of ideas (not products). This is also the reason why the Melbourne GovHack pushed the ‘beautiful data’ theme where ‘hacks’ are metaphorically-equivalent to an ‘article’ in the newspaper re data journalism (instead of a product to put on the shelf).
None the less, I also want to see viable product emerge like @GetUnlockd, and we should all want to see this, as it will be the thing we can all point to and say “that began at GovHack”, which is what politicians and business investors will care about the most.
**sorry for pumping my own tires, but hoping to get your attention!