Editor’s note: The following guest post is by Tim O’Reilly, the founder and CEO of computer book publisher O’Reilly Media and a conference organizer. O’Reilly coined the term Web 2.0 five years ago. Now he is arguing it is time for Gov 2.0, and has helped organize a summit next week to talk about what that might mean.
…But as with Web 2.0, the real secret of success in Government 2.0 is thinking about government as a platform. If there’s one thing we learn from the technology industry, it’s that every big winner has been a platform company: someone whose success has enabled others, who’ve built on their work and multiplied its impact. Microsoft put “a PC on every desk and in every home,” the internet connected those PCs, Google enabled a generation of ad-supported startups, Apple turned the phone market upside down by letting developers loose to invent applications no phone company would ever have thought of. In each case, the platform provider raised the bar, and created opportunities for others to exploit. There are signs that government is starting to adopt this kind of platform thinking. Behind Federal CIO Vivek Kundra’s data.gov site is the idea that government agencies shouldn’t just provide web sites, they should provide web services. These services, in effect, become the government’s SDK (software development kit).