Time to support Innovation in Washington, D.C, not Milking the Government

Washington, D.C. has the money, we have the top universities, we have smart coders spin off the AOL, we are recession-proof,  we have ton of smart tech people in the region…We have all these, but why the hell have we been struggling to position Washington, D.C. as a technology hub? Although, we have Clearspring, OPower, LivingSocial, ComScore, Micros Systems, PointAbout, the creators of AppMakr and AOL, and of course awesomize.me 🙂 but will they be able to position DC like the way Google, Facebook, and others defined Silicon Valley?

I sort of addressed the problem back in December of last year, but I am sure there are more to this.  So, I just felt like addressing a few more challenges or obstacles hoping the local investors read this and do something about it.

We need to define DC tech scene more than just top secret clearances, government contracts and billing hours. These are NOT innovation. Clearance locks you in. Maintaining Top Secret/SCI clearance requires you to continue work in that field. You can always get reinstated, but it’s a pain. Once you get a TS job, you have strong disincentives to get out of the game.

Although, we have the largest educated population in the country and perhaps even the world, but regretfully,  it’s geared toward milking the government; not toward producing value or innovation.

Come to think of it, that’s how Yurie systems started their business – government contractor. As an employee number 8, we started milking the Pentagon by building them a proprietary video protocol to support US servicemen in Bosnia via UAV predator back in mid 90s, but then we went commercial in 97, and finally Lucent bought us in 1998 for over $1.23 B when we had the revenue of only $51 m (23x) 🙂  But then again, that was the pre-bubble days 😦

As you can see, it’s going to be very difficult to build a robust high tech scene from scratch in DC area when you are competing for talent against Government contractors.

On the positive side, I believe the DC Entrepreneurial scene is definitely growing. Thanks to the Entrepreneurial programs initiatives by a few of our local universities including the George Washington University that I have been involved with, University of Maryland, DC tech event meetup, and in particular the DC Founder Institute I previously covered.

Feel free to connect with me via awesomize.me

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Women on the Web: How Women Shaping the Internet

A new report by comScore titled  “Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet” shows more women than men across the world visit social networking sites and spend 30% more time per month using them.

Frankly, I am not surprised, women do pretty much the same things whatever communication tools you give them, whether it’s phone, TV, or the internet, they use it to talk to each other, look for deals, follow celebrity gossips etc. Read more of this post

More and More Texting, Browsing, Downloading

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging in May, while nearly a third used their mobile web browsers or downloaded apps, according to a new report by comScore.

All three categories rose about 2% from figures released in February. The largest increase, however, occurred among those using their mobile devices to access social networks or blogs (up 2.6% to 20.8%). All told, 49.1 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in May, up 8.1 percent from February, with Research In Motion‘s (Blackberry) platform running on nearly 42%. Apple (24.4%) and Microsoft (13.2%) followed, with Google‘s Android platform (13%) the only one among the top five gaining market share, up 4%.

The report further shows that 65.2 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device in May, up 1.4 percentage points versus the prior three month period, while browsers were used by 31.9 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 2.3 percentage points). Read more of this post

Android is kicking Ass taking Names

ComScore released its May numbers for U.S. smartphone owners over the age of 13 yesterday. According to comScore, 49.1 million Americans owned a smartphone from February to the end of May, which is an 8.1 percent increase from the previous three-month period ending in February.

All other major smartphone OS platforms, including Palm, Microsoft, RIM, and Apple, dipped while Android has grown significantly – rose 4 points from February to 13 percent.

RIM retains its lion’s share of the market with a 41.7 percent share that saw a small drop of 0.4 points from February. Apple slipped 1 point to 24.4 percent while Microsoft dropped 1.9 points to 13.2 percent. Rounding out the top five was Palm, which dropped 0.6 points to 4.8 percent. Read more of this post

E-Commerce Spending Increased 10% in the First Qtr 2010

U.S. online retail spending soared 10% to $34 billion in the first quarter — the largest quarterly jump in nearly two years by upper-income consumer spending – the largest increase in spending since the second quarter of 2008,  according to comScore.

Key first-quarter highlights are: Read more of this post

Are Googlers becoming AOLers?

by Elias Shams
Either AOL offers hell of a compensation package to their executives or their new CEO, Tim Armstrong must be hell of a guy. Since Armstorng departure from Google over a year ago, many more Google’s executive have been following him from West to East including:

. Jeff Reynar, their new head of technology for engineering and products.
. David Eun, their new Content Chief
. Jeff Levick , their new head of Global Advertising and Strategy
. Erin Clift,their newly-created role of senior VP-global sales development

And many more. Read more…

Our comScore Gearing Up To Kick Ass And Take Names!

I just heard the former AOL’s Senior Vice President of Global Products, Eric Bosco who had left AOL two month ago, just joined comScore. Those of you my non-techi readers or not familiar with our comScore, they are a marketing research Reston, VA based company that provides marketing data and services to many of the Internet’s largest businesses.

I met Eric a few times during the networking events. So, I don’t personally know him, but I think he is a very nice guy and a smart engineer – nice to have him find a good gig in the DC area again! Eric will be comScore’s Chief Product Officer which is a newly created position. He will be overseeing their global product development efforts.

He was with AOL for over 13 years and he really kicked ass while with them. He created the AOL Instant Messaging. He wrote most of the AIM backend software. He was also responsible for managing all of AOL’s community and communications products including AIM, Email, Chat, Blogs, Wireless and Telephony as VP, Community and Communications Engineering.

As for his new position, I wish him luck. He needs a lot of that. He is up against many tough competition including GOOGLE!

The way Google Trends, Compete, Hitwise, Alexa, and Quantcast who recently raised about $27 m from Cisco, going and rolling out new products, I hope Eric’s move doesn’t turn out to be a move from one sinking boat to another one.
Read more…