Small Pieces, loosely funded – my #publicsphere 3 slides

There are a lot of pictures, so I’ll post some notes later.

This is very brief summary of key points, based on my presentation notes:


Slide 2: Global competition:

  • There are positives and negatives.
  • I told a story about visiting CeBIT in Germany in 2005.
  • However, consider Australia’s Olympic record – we rank 11th in the world total medal count, but are the 232nd most densely populated country on the planet.
  • So how should we we compete in a global Web 2.0 industry? For a start, we have to accept that this is *NOT* Sillicon Valley.

Slide 3: “1.3 million downloads @ $1 each”

  • This refers to Firemint’s successful Flight Control Game for the iPhone.
  • It easy to dismiss Web 2.0’s value – but do the math! The FIremint examples shows there is room for Australia to compete.
  • Web 2.0 is creating new business models. Built on ideas, bits.

Slide 4: The Web 2.0 industry is *different*

  • This picture is from BarCampSydney5
  • BarCamp, Hackfests, OpenSource – the industry has its own rules and culture, enabled in part by the technology itself.
  • The industry has a low barrier to entry, but it can be hard to be successful – think of “superstar” companies and the Long Tail.

Slide 5: Mismatch!

  • Government likes big funding models (no issue with that) – e.g. NICTA, CSIRO, Unis, CRCs, etc – and typically offer support on the basis of $1 for $1 funding or 3-way consortiums.
  • There is a risk that this can create a dependency economy for business, but I don’t believe the Web 2.0 industry is begging for handouts.
  • Major mismatch between government and the Web 2.0 industry – process of gaining funding is too slow, its the wrong funding models anyway and most importantly they have very different cultures!

Slide 6: Recommendation #1: Open Innovation

  • Example of TJam – Tesco’s shopping cart API. Held a design session with developers and customers in August.
  • Government needs to start seeding innovation and proving in-kind support
  • We can still make the process transparent (Gov 2.0).

Slide 7: Recommendation #2: Adopt Government 2.0

  • Talked about the CityRail and iPhone app example.
  • Government could actually help to directly seed opportunities without the need for direct funding – this will help drive innovation and allow local companies to gain real world experience, with real world applications.
  • This could actually increase the participation of government in the Web 2.0 community

Slide 8: Recommendation #3: Support the Web 2.0 community

  • I look at the community with a knowledge management perspective (as I do the ICT Illawarra cluster).
  • We need to support the “Gardening” of this community
  • This gardening would help with succession planning, increase its national effectiveness – not just Sydney, but states and regions, and also globally.
  • We *don’t* just need big stands at CeBIT

Slide 9: Summary 

  • What about measurement? I suggest we look at the network value not each project/initiative.
  • What about value for money? The amount of funding that would help nurture the Web 2.0 industry could be so small (relatively speaking) that we should just do it.

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