Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Rick's Startup Whiteboard #2: You Need Partners, Not Employees

Welcome to Episode #2 of Rick's Startup Whiteboard (the video is at http://techtv.mit.edu/videos/4106-ricks-startup-whiteboard-episode-2-ear... if it's not showing up above). This one focuses on the importance of working with partners -- not employees, not contractors -- when you're the pony-diving stage of a startup project, still trying to figure out the key pieces of the puzzle (see episode #1 on pony diving).

Iranian Government’s version of “privatization”


A few days ago the Iranian government completed the process of “privatizing” the Iranian national telecommunications company.

Sounds great right? Less state control, more public sector involvement, free market and all that jazz.

However, a closer looks shows that the majority stake (50% + 1 share), purchased for $7.8 billion, were bought by a consortium that is directly connected to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Out of the 3 groups contending, one was disqualified by the government for not having the necessary security credentials (read: probably not affiliated with the Guard).

If you are not that familiar with the Guard, here’s some background: The Revolutionary Guard, or in its full name, “Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution”, was founded right after the revolution in 1979 as an independent force loyal to Khomeini, but later became a full military force alongside the regular army.
Here’s what AP describes in their article (link below):

Newsfail: No major newspapers able or willing to cover catastrophic floods in Atlanta

With the exception of the beleaguered Atlanta Journal-Constitution, no major papers are covering the flooding currently ravaging Atlanta, Georgia. I only know about it because my mother and step-father live there---they're fine, but my mother nearly couldn't get home last night because of so many downed trees, washed-out roads, and police barricades. My step-father, being ex-Special Forces, was ridiculously well-prepared (hurricane lamps, a universal charger for multiple cell phones that hooks up to his car's cigarette lighter), but their neighbors aren't so lucky: good friends of theirs have seen their house so damaged that they expect to live in a hotel for months.

Rick's Startup Whiteboard

MIT Tech TV

This is the first of (soon to be) many videos by Rick Borovoy on entrepreneurship and social media. See all of them at Rick's blog: http://civic.mit.edu/blog/rborovoy/

Rick's Startup Whiteboard

Welcome to the first video webisode of "Rick's Startup Whiteboard" (it's at http://bit.ly/eqeAX if you don't see it above for some reason)

It's a sharper-than-broken-glass-and-every-bit-as-dangerous look at what's involved in getting a new social technology project started. The first clip is about "Pony Diving" -- the very early stages where you're trying to put together an idea with a technology that can implement it with a group of people who will use it, another group of people who can an build it, and a third group of people will fund it. Here's the feedback so far:

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