Capitol Hill, that is. This week he again participated in the Association for Competitive Technology’s (ACT) Annual Fly-In. Upwards of 50 top tech execs met with DC representatives of Silicon Valley companies determined to learn about the potential impact that pending government activity may have on the IT industry. They also spent time with elected officials and agency staff, from the White House to Congress to the FTC, helping educate them about the nuanced interactions of the IT business ecosystem.
Andy, as you might expect, took the point as a champion of enterprise mobile applications. He was able to cite a recent study completed by ACT concerning the revolutionary changes occurring as America is increasingly becoming a mobile economy. What’s critical is that this environment, which is so conducive to startup success, doesn’t get over-run by giant software companies that might otherwise overwhelm newcomers and smaller innovators.
The primary ACT mission during this Fly-In was to make sure that lawmakers and regulators hear the voices of small business tech companies. Innovation is taking place at a remarkable pace, but overreaching laws or regulation could this industry growth to a screeching halt.
Specific ACT recommendations reiterated by Andy and his peers to our elected officials included:
- Allowing internet companies to implement new solutions for data transparency; Congress should resist the urge to apply broad regulatory restrictions that would deny consumers many of the products and services they rely on every day;
- Implementing a program to improve computer science education in our schools to help students qualify for rewarding careers in the tech industry. This would build a larger workforce of American software developers and address the high skilled worker shortage we face;
- Allowing small software companies to protect their intellectual property without having to fight patent trolls and speculative lawsuits; and
- Ensuring that the government does not impede efforts to strengthen and expand our Internet infrastructure so consumers can benefit from more reliable wireline and wireless data connectivity.
Andy and his peers agree that this kind of effort is essential to keeping Washington aware of what’s needed to create a healthy, competitive marketplace for continued IT innovation.