Technical Progress on GPS III

Governments work in the real world which means that once Citizen Intelligence picks all the low hanging fruit of already published government data streams, it’s going to have to go out into the real world to both generate new data and confirm the truth of data already published. The new GPS III system should be just about deployed by then. The first two satellites were deployed in 2013. For Citizen Intelligence purposes,  1 yard accuracy is perfectly fine for the purposes needed and the increased power the GPS III will increase the utility of the signal in urban areas.


Political Plankton

Seth Godin talks about the general case of social media whales. That post really resonated because old school politics is very much like that with broad appeals and uncaring strategies. Citizen Intelligence, by taking advantage of the first amendment right to petition for a redress of grievances, accelerates the existing trend to move away from that to a politics that is much more sophisticated than that, one that is more geared towards customization and which leaves more room for true individual interaction.

Any high level political operation needs to deal with an awful lot of people. That’s in the nature of the beast. They don’t have to be one way interactions.

Third blown deadline

It’s been 13 days since the last blown deadline on the 26th of February. The business is moving forward faster this week then it’s done for quite some time but the daily blog part of executing the plan dropped. That’s unacceptable. Building out and maintaining a buffer needs to happen and so far it’s not. My writer’s block seems to have a very strange relationship with my blog buffer size.

The fight for great

Another episode of Seth Sunday, this time observing the fight for great. As companies grow larger there’s a tendency to revert to mean, to tend towards average and mediocre. It’s a worry for Citizen Intelligence just like any other startup tackling a big task and there are few bigger tasks than an oversight system for the entire US government sector.

What is available to Citizen Intelligence is a peculiarity of the work. Reports can emerge from locals on sight observing a problem or they can emerge from broader perspective analysts and merely be implemented locally. In either case the reports will largely be replicable across jurisdictions.

If you’re checking that the water sources on paper match the water sources actually used, that’s going to be a usable report across all public water systems. Actually implementing the report by jurisdiction can yield excellent results even when the locals doing implementation at a particular jurisdiction are average workers.

Mind Map your Specification

Mind mapping is a neat way to organize what you’re trying to do. I’m partial to FreeMind but there are a large number of competitors with fancier features. It’s useful just about everywhere and that includes in the software development process. Today I’m refining a first draft of a mind map for Citizen Intelligence’s minimum viable product. 

More Selling

This couldn’t wait for Seth Sunday because it fit so well with yesterday’s piece on customer motivation. Today we’re talking about Girl Scout cookies. Going from the traditional “would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?” to “what’s your favorite Girl Scout cookies?” as opening questions apparently doubles sales. What’s the analogue for Citizen Intelligence?

We’re going to be doing A/B testing on these issues, as we will on most issues where we have to figure out what works better but Seth’s formulation seems like a good place to start.

Anger and Revenge

There are a number of psychological handles that are going to motivate people to put in the time and money to create a report in Citizen Intelligence. The two largest are anger and revenge. Righteous anger at an injustice is a common political impulse. It’s found in reformer waves coming from both the right and the left. Historically, these waves tend to come in pulses but there’s always some form of anger over policies that some person or other find unjust. Very frequently they are right, too.

Revenge is an impulse that is more likely to happen in the insider community. Somebody’s lost the fight in the dirty game of politics and so as a parting gift, a report in Citizen Intelligence lets them upend the table so nobody else can play that exact same game again. That corrupt door now has a permanent automated watchman that must be taken into account and time/energy/money have to be devoted to working around it. Revenge also appeals to the excluded business upstart who is excluded from the market by artfully written regulations that eliminates their business model.

Report sales are likely to be disproportionately based on these emotions. The number of analytical vulcans willing to spend in politics is remarkably low.