The Green Button

Following one of basic principals of best practices– you can't manage what you don't know, a new initiative is driving tech innovation. They're lots of things that we are chastized to "manage" but not armed with the data that informs the actual usage of whatever we supposed to be managing. Take all the pleas to do a better job conserving energy. CFL lightbulbs abound, when a simpler way to reduce energy consumption may have been just to turn off the lights. But I digress, last fall the CTO of the United States, Aneesh Chopra,  proposed that utility companies allow consumers a simple way to access their utility data.  First– how cool is it that at least one branch of goverment gets that having a tech position might be a good thing to inform policy– I'm looking at you Congress. The Green Button is what that initiative spawned and last week three big utility comapnies in Califormian announced that they had a green button on their web sites.

The idea, realsing consumer data, originally rolled out as a way for veterans to access their medical records. Let's pause for a moment there and think what a great world we would live in if every medical record you have could be downloaded by you, and thus armed with a usb drive, you could see your next doctor armed with your entire history. 

Meanwhile new apps and web services are actively being built around the concept of the green button, because that is how tech innovation comes about. And why is NYC becoming the tech innovation leader? Because wise peeps in NYC get that investing in startup ideas is economic development. Sadly, Connecticut misses out on that concept.

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