It’s Cloud-y In Seattle

March 21, 2011

I don’t know if any of you have friends and relatives that don’t live here (I assume you do), but there’s nothing more annoying than when they ask me “Hey, is it raining in Seattle?” Or, when they come to visit and it happens to be raining, they say, “I’m SOOOO surprising it’s raining!” It reminds me of all the comments I got when I was an intern in DC during the Clinton administration (“say hi to Monica Lewinsky for me!”).

So you can imagine how mixed my emotions were to write that post title. (The other option was some obscure Lando Calrissian/Cloud City reference). But sometimes, true is true. And it’s true: our region is the world leader in the cloud. Cloud computing, that is!

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Weekly B-MOW: Washington Innovation Summit

March 18, 2011

I go to a lot of events. Many of them are boring. But I put my neck out a few weeks ago and said that the Washington Innovation Summit would not be. And I was right. I mean, really interesting panels, very forward thinking topics and some great keynotes. If you haven’t heard Geoffrey Moore speak on the transition in enterprise IT from “systems of record” to “systems of engagement,” then you don’t know what the next major business opportunity in the global economy will be.

Apparently, the whole day was video recorded, and will be available on the Technology Alliance website. And you can follow the audience’s questions and comments on Twitter via the hashtag #WAInnovation (including several insightful tweets from yours truly and a back and forth on how funny Bill McSherry is).

But if you want an immediate taste, I took a video of the opening panel, featuring some of the state’s economic development luminaries talking about how we continue to invest in economic development in a time of scarce public money.

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Buildings are the New iPhones

February 28, 2011

Over the last year and a half, we’ve been working on our BETI proposal to facilitate this region becoming the leader in building energy efficiency software. A big part of our optimism for the success of this endeavor is the mix of clean tech entrepreneurship and software development expertise that this region is already known for.

But I had a major realization on Friday that, in many ways, I wasn’t seeing the forest for the trees. The most exciting prospects for our region are not to wire buildings so that their energy use can be controlled; the most exciting prospects are to wire buildings such that everything can be controlled. And in our open source society, it’s not going to just be large companies developing software to manage building activities…it’s going to be everyone.

Buildings are the new iPhones.

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Validation About Validation

February 11, 2011

It’s one thing to be right about something and have someone else agree with your ideas. It’s another thing entirely for someone to take your same idea and begin implementation of it! Which seems to be happening with our BETI project and the City of New York.

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Weekly B-MOW: Legislative Hearings on Higher Ed & Clean Tech

February 3, 2011

Back and better than ever, loyal readers, it’s your weekly look at the glamorous comings and goings of the humble economic development staff here at the Prosperity Partnership – a little segment we like to call “Best Meeting of the Week.” Now, this week’s B-MOW is a tie, which reminds me of the jazz album my friend Dan always joked about making, entitled “In the Event of a Tie.” There would be a picture of a necktie on the album cover, but with the clever double entendre of the sports reference. Of course, in the sports world, a tie is “like kissing your sister,” but here at the Prosperity Blog we have no such resistance. If two meetings are equally great, we’ll B-MOW them both. Which, without further ado, is exactly what’s going to happen now with “Weekly B-MOW: Legislative Hearings on Higher Ed & Clean Tech.”

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Man Vs. Technology (In Energy Efficient Buildings), Part II

February 1, 2011

About a year ago, I wrote about how the energy efficiency of buildings is very dependent on human behavior. The idea is that, no matter how good your energy efficiency technology is, it won’t help if it is counteracted by someone opening the window at the wrong time or turning up the thermostat for no reason. And believe me, as someone whose grandmother keeps the thermostat on 76 degrees – in Florida! – that’s a real concern.

But these are acts of omission…or, at the very least, thoughtlessness. If someone is too hot or too cold, they’re not thinking about their building’s energy use, just their own comfort. And so that’s why I’m so interested in how software and automation technology can be used to counteract human error as a way to minimize energy use (and how our region can be an international leader in providing those products, with the help of BETI). What I didn’t anticipate are the acts of commission with regard to building energy use, like creating a human blockade to stop your local utility from installing smart meters!

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Here Are Some Uninformed Thoughts on Pharmaceutical Development

January 24, 2011

As I’ve mentioned many times, I know almost nothing about science. I’m not even sure that my iPod is working the way it should, so you know that I definitely don’t understand biochemistry or molecular engineering. And while this article about a new federal drug development center is better left to blogs like Xconomy and TechFlash, I’d still like to share a few thoughts. Join me for an uninformed journey.

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