It may be the holiday season, but Gavin Newsom, California’s tech savvy Lieutenant Governor, is as mad as hell. And he’s not going to take it any more. The fury of California’s second most powerful state politician is, ironically, directed at government itself. After what Newsom called “the debacle” of Obama’s Healthcare.gov roll-out, he says that we now know how fundamentally useless government is when it comes to what he calls the “procurement” of technology.
That’s the really big deal about 2013, Newsom told me when I interviewed him at one my FutureCast salons at the AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto. In what he identifies as a “Code Red” alert, the incredible incompetence of government has finally been exposed to everyone. It’s both a federal and state problem, Newsom insists, reeling off five outrageous screw-ups of Californian government procurement of technology which has cost the state billions of dollars.
“This is serious,” the Lieutenant Governor insists. “We need to wake up to this.”
So what is to be done in 2014? According to Newsom, the “good news” is that “government is on a collision course with the future.” And it’s government that going to get “run-over” by digital natives. So perhaps Newsom’s advice is to have lots of babies in 2014. After all, that may be the best way to make sure that the government does, in fact, eventually collide with the future.