Monday, December 21, 2009

Top 10 for 2010 ...

What will be the top 10 events of 2010? Give us your predictions!

1. The most expected political event of 2010 - passage of health care reform?
2. The most unexpected political event of 2010 - the failure to pass health care reform?
3. The next disruptive technology to follow Twitter and Facebook?
4. The biggest media deal of 2010?
5. The most important media deal of 2010?
6. The most unlikely media event of 2010, to parallel the Tiger Woods scandal of 2009?
7. The closing price for the Dow Jones Average at the end of 2010?
8. The biggest movie of 2010?
9. The most unlikely media celebrity of 2010?
10. The most unlikely political celebrity of 2010 (is that the same as #9, see Sarah Palin)?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Scheduled to Testify at the NYC Council Committee on Tech. about the Importance of Tech Companies to the City

I am scheduled to testify at the hearing to be held on Wednesday, December 16, by the New York City Council Committee on Technology in Government. The Committee is seeking suggestions from the tech and business community as to how City government can foster the development of small technology start-ups. In turn, I am seeking suggestions from each of you.

My initial thoughts are that there are 3 key areas of development:

• Ease of creation of new companies. In the last few months, I have met with a lot of new companies and with budding entrepreneurs who want to start new companies, both because they have great new ideas or out of economic necessity. Anything that City government can do to make it easier to create new companies, especially in areas such as licensing, permitting and incorporating, will encourage more people to take the plunge.
• Increased employment opportunities. Many of these companies are one-person operations. They could definitely use more help, but hiring people is often a risky proposition. Anything that the City can do to make it easier to create in-house staff will create jobs. This is especially valuable because we want to encourage entrepreneurs to create new jobs, especially since their alternative is often to out-source functions, which pushes the work, and jobs, to other locations here in the U.S. or abroad. Furthermore, in-house development of technology is important to these fledgling companies so that they can have greater control over their technology and more flexibility with regard to its development.
• Support services. Every startup technology company needs an ecosystem of vendors and suppliers to enable its business – hosting, legal, accounting, advertising, etc. Making it easy for entrepreneurs to launch new technology companies will have spin-off benefits within the ecosystem of companies and agencies that spring up or staff up to service these new clients.

I am open to additional suggestions from the tech, entrepreneur and finance communities as to other items that any of you feel should be raised in this forum. Hopefully, the benefits of this inquiry by the City government will result in benefits to us all.

More information about the hearing is available here: and the media alert is reproduced below:

Who: Council Committee on Technology in Government, Council Committee on Small Business, Technology Community, Entrepreneurs, and Developers

When: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 10 AM

What: Public Hearing on Tech start-ups, their benefits to NYC, and methods to encourage digital entrepreneurship

Where: Council Chambers, City Hall

(The Hearing will be webcasted through and tweeted on More details below.)

New York, NY - On Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 10 AM in the Council Chambers of City Hall, the New York City Council Committees on Technology in Government and Small Business will hold a joint public hearing to examine how small technology start-ups are surviving in this tough economy. This hearing will help the Council understand the dynamics behind successful firms as well as what options are available to the City in aiding these important businesses in their struggle to remain competitive and viable in a global environment.

City lawmakers are seeking ways to foster small business growth and boost New York City’s image as technology and digital media leader. Small businesses and information technology groups offer a myriad of job opportunities and ideas to the broader economy. Current incubators, venture capitalist funds, and industry consortiums help improve the economy and provide support for future entrepreneurs. By understanding the dynamics of how these firms operate, the City can help facilitate broader innovation and attract additional companies within knowledge-based industries.

The Committee on Technology in Government will be live twittering and webcasting this entire public hearing.

* You can follow us on twitter at and use the tag #nycstartup if you have any comments, suggestions, and questions during the hearing. Wireless Internet is available to attendees to tweet this hearing.
* If you are unable to attend the hearing, you can view the live webcast at You may also use the chat function available on the site for comments, questions and suggestions.
* Furthermore, you can follow all of the Tech Committee’s activities on