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Government Startup Culture

Should Politicians Be More Like Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs?

Should all politicians have to launch a startup before entering politics? That’s the question I asked California’s Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom, at the latest Ericsson and AT&T hosted FutureCast event held at the AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto. Newsom, the author of “Citizenville,” a kind of digital manifesto for 21st century networked politics, didn’t beat around the bush.

“Yes,” Newsom replied, sounding more like a startup guy than a career politician. But then that’s what Newsom is. A serial entrepreneur who treats politics like a Silicon Valley startup, Newsom is about as unlike a traditional politician as anyone in California, particularly since he answers questions honestly.

“Are you saying that government doesn’t work?” I asked the second most powerful state politician in California.

“I’m saying technology and government doesn’t work–period, exclamation,” Newsom shot back.

Wow. If all politicians were like Newsom, then maybe politics would be as innovative as Silicon Valley.

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