What motivates you

What motivates you?

Nov 28th, 2010 | by Mark Murphy | 0 Comments
Tags: Daniel Pink, motivation

At the lab, we are discussing plans about an applications contest and have been thinking about how much cash to offer for prizes. As I read works about motivation, open source and Web 2.0 I’m becoming convinced that the value of cash is more as a symbol of recognition. Consider the costs incurred by teams in contests such as the XPrize or the DARPA Grand Challenge for driverless vehicles. Time and expense is always far more than what could be won back.

Daniel Pink talks about this counter-intuitive concept in a brilliantly illustrated presentation called Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us.

Code for America

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Aug 25th, 2010 | by Mark Murphy | 1 Comment

Tags: gov2.0 appsforamerica

When OSCON was running in our home town of Portland, I had an opportunity to meet the team of CodeForAmerica and hear about their unique plan for matching cities with Web 2.0 talent.

In the first phase, cities compete with each other to obtain the services of a crack development team to create a Web 2.0 application to improve efficiency, transparency and citizen participation. Five cities were chosen for best potential impact. The winning app ideas:

  • Boston: An education platform that uses city data and leverages the Boston’s place in American history
  • Boulder: A one-stop interactive hub for citizens to learn about, help improve, and request county and local services
  • Philadelphia: A web app that engages individuals and enables them to develop groups and networks that support neighborhood services
  • Washington, DC: Replicate the city’s successful Gov 2.0 efforts through an open-source repository of programs, policy information and case studies
  • Seattle: The public safety infrastructure will be complemented by a powerful network of helpful citizens coordinating with the city to keep streets safe

In the second phase, concluding Oct. 10, developers, designers and product managers are being chosen as CodeForAmerica fellows to staff teams of five to address each application. The pay may not be great but the crowd is. With spending ten months with other talented fellows also comes the attention and input of advisors like publisher Tim O’Reilly, author Clay Shirky and Peter Corbett of iStrategy Labs.

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In the second phase, concluding Oct. 10, developers, designers and product managers are being chosen as CodeForAmerica fellows to staff teams of five to address each application. The pay may not be great but the crowd is. With spending ten months with other talented fellows also comes the attention and input of advisors like publisher Tim O’Reilly, author Clay Shirky and Peter Corbett of iStrategy Labs.

Prior to the arrival of the fellows at the CfA Institute, the application ideas will be discussed among top leaders in the web industry for critique and improvement. When 11-month program begins at the beginning of 2011, the fellows will find themselves in a start-up like atmosphere in the San Francisco Bay Area, doing training that will not only help them create the applications but prepare them for leadership roles in the future.

CodeForAmerica received a big boost August 24, with a pledge of support from the Knight Foundation. The Foundation’s $250,000 grant, as part of its Technology for Engagement Initiative, funds participation of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Boulder, Colorado, in the 2011 program.

Please show your support for development of Gov 2.0 public purpose applications by getting the cool shirt modeled at right by Mitch Kapor. It features a famous quote on government, in binary, by James Madison.

One Comment

  1. Serete says:

    Code for America is good concept especially harnessing the power of developers towards social goals is a noble idea. I do not know if the city government or education institutions are willing to do what it takes to avail the necessary data and build the necessary infrastructure to see the projects through.