One of the great things about living in Washington DC is that you often get the chance to hear or meet important people of our time. Tuesday November 18, 2008, Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO talked at an event at the New America Foundation about what’s ahead on technology, economic growth and open government.
It was a pleasure for me to see the CEO of one of the icons of the tech industry. Eric Schmidt was passionate and knowledgeable, although he was not always structured in his way of presenting his points. However, I am still fascinated by the open source approach to technology and information which has been the driving force behind Google’s (and others’) success. And I share his fascination of the fact that lots of people have access to most of the information that is out there. And new technology (such as cell phones) will give even more people access to information – and more information will also be accessible in the coming years. What an opportunity for America –and for the rest of the world.
You can watch Eric Schmidt’s speech here.
Here’s a few of my notes and reflections from the meeting:
- Communication in every ones hand is powerful. But we do not get it yet.
- Openness: Anyone can play and that can drive the modern economy
- That does not only apply to the tech industry, why not do the same with the energy sector?
- Doesn’t matter how big you are, it is the service you offer that matter (remember the cartoon Nobody knows you are a dog)
- Google products:
- Google’s Smart Energy Plan
- Great initiative – for a company that praises innovation might come up with a new perspective.
- I missed a point on who’s going to make the investment? And is the government the right decision-maker in this case? However, I am not sure the free market is either. Schmidt said we need balance between the market and the government. But how do we move on from here?
- Not all the ideas are revolutionary such as adopting technologies and practices promoting energy efficiency for buildings, equipment, vehicles etc. But as long as it is not standard it does not matter. Just do it and give the citizens the incentives to invest in better solutions. (The Danish experience is that it works).
- More public funding to education and research
- Few political scandals this year
- Because of “the policing of the internet” where everyone is tracking the truth
- Better to have people with you than shot them out
- Governments have not embraced the tools the citizens have such as blogs and YouTube.
- Amazing that people are spending their free time when they get the chance to be involved.