Can Entrepreneurs Lower Our Taxes by Rebuilding Legacy Government Systems?

Perhaps what is needed is to let the dinosaurs become extinct and be replaced by swift birds and mammals.

I really like that quote by Prof. Vivek Wadhwa. By dinosaurs, he’s referring to the large software consultancy firms that seem to have a stranglehold on government computing hardware and software and in sustaining those systems for big bucks. By “swift birds and mammals” he’s talking about 21st century start-ups and entrepreneurs who build with open source and agile systems. (Prof. Washwa is an entrepreneur turned academic and a Visiting Scholar at UC-Berkeley, Senior Research Associate at Harvard Law School and Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University.)

He has two articles over at TechCrunch that look at bringing Silicon Valley tech expertise to Sacramento (capital of California) and rebuilding the legacy computer systems. In particular, he points to the unemployment insurance system. California has budgeted $50 million to upgrade it. Wadhwa bets “the Valley’s entrepreneurs could build this system from scratch in less than a year for less than $5 million.” A couple of entrepreneurs have already agreed.

Most states are probably in the same predicament as California with old COBOL (and earlier) systems that they continue to maintain but are not easily changed or expanded. Cities are in the same predicament. What an incredible opportunity for software and developer entrepreneurs to begin discussions with government IT shops about rebuilding systems for the future. We (who pay taxes) are looking at system rebuilds for a tenth of the cost of an upgrade of an ancient system!

Bringing Silicon Valley to Sacramento: Why Entrepreneurs Need to Help Rebuild California’s IT Systems

Calling All Entrepreneurs: California Needs You

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