Barack’s Technology Potential

Barack Obama has already let it be known that he will be seeking a Chief Technology Officer for the United States of America.  Wow!  Really?

For me, this is right up there with the current PM of Australia running on a platform of broadband to the masses, and one to one education to the children.

Australia is living in the 21st century, based on its last election and current administration.  Perhaps the U.S. can now leave the 18th or 17th century, and join them.  That would be a relief.

Tonight, at the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) Annual Predictions Dinner, I had the chance to be on a panel with Ben Elowitz, CEO of Wetpaint (and past co – founder, Blue Nile, the most successful online jewelry site); Matt McIlwain, managing director, Madrona Ventures; and Kelly Smith, Founding Partner, Curious Office.

The panel was moderated by John Cook, who has just come off writing a great column for the Seattle Times on local venture ops, to joining hands with well-known SNS member Todd Bishop, to form a new local site called Techflash.

The whole evening was enjoyable.  Some of the high points: everyone had a very high regard for Amazon’s cloud compute data center.  My suggestion of Microsoft being the stock to own going forward a year seemed to be well accepted, as at least a smart defensive maneuver.  Matt and I had some ideas about what might be done with EMC and VMware to make gobs more money than they are currently making, despite their recent capture of our genius / friend Paul Maritz.

I think the seasoned folk convinced the general crowd that more bad things were coming, both in the equities markets and on Main St.,  but that there were several ways to the exits, if you were paying attention.

I will soon be writing a full newsletter on this subject, and Members will learn more about which companies will be coming back first, in my estimation, and why.

All in all, it was a delightful eventing, and I thank Ken Meyer and the WTIA for including me, once again, in their Predictions Dinner.

Now I will start getting ready for our private release of SNS predictions for 2009.   These seem, increasingly, like the things folks could make real money on.  I hope we will see you with us in New York, at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, on December 11th, for our Fourth Annual meeting.