Open Source All The Cities

There is a new sheriff in town. It’s called “Open Source” and it’s here to stay. It will soon be entering a community near you. A good friend of mine, Jason Hibbets of Red Hat, is currently writing a book and needs our help.

First, what the hell is open source? Wikipedia says “open source refers to a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design.” So how does this apply to government and cities? “Open-source governance is a political philosophy which advocates the application of the philosophies of the open source and open content movements to democratic principles in order to enable any interested citizen to add to the creation of policy, as with a wiki document.”

Long story short, open source is a way for our local governments to become more democratic. The people have a stronger voice and are able to create change. If you are interested in politics, policy, or democracy, you should definitely pay attention to open source governance.

Jason is on a mission “to create a better citizen experience.” I can get on board with anything along those lines. In order to make this a reality, Jason has written a book – The Foundation for an Open Source City. He recently started an Indiegogo campaign to raise $3,000. This money will cover the cost of publishing the first 500 books. The incentives are pretty awesome too. You can get signed copies of the book, video chat with Jason, or even have him moderate an event for you!

 

***If you want to become part of the open source movement, donate here!***

My Television Debut….Be Afraid

Plain Talk Politics

The world is ending. Be very afraid. This Sunday, February 3rd, I make my television debut on NBC 17 at 12 noon. Jeanne Bonds, host of Plain Talk Politics and friend of mine, invited me to come on set and share my thoughts on small business, startups, and taxes.

Think that’s scary? I shared my thoughts while two elected officials from the House of Representatives sat next to me! Representatives Tim Moore and Kelly Alexander were great sports. The show was a ton of fun to record and features exciting insights.

Jeanne and Plain Talk Politics aim to help voters stay informed on issues with no party bias. It was great to hear words like “collaboration” and “bipartisan” while we were recording. Take some time on Sunday to tune in and let me know what you think!

Let me know if you agree or disagree with my viewpoints. If you disagree, I’d love to hear why. There is no single “right” answer so sharing is caring! :)

Huffington Post And Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A looked like it had entered the LGBT debate last year. It seemed all hell had broken loose. Activists were protesting stores. There were Facebook pages, Twitter campaigns, petitions, etc. On “Support Chick-Fil-A day”, the food chain broke all their previous sales records. Sort of a confusing situation, huh? Was there a winner? Loser?

Who the hell cares! Shane Windmeyer just wrote an article for Huffington Post that shines an entirely new light on the situation. After reading the article I can’t state how much respect I have for Shane and Dan Cathy. Both men seem to epitomize what it means to be a man. They understand that differences can be resolved and that collaboration is essential to long-term success. Hopefully our elected officials can learn a lesson or two from these two extraordinary men….

Huffington Post Article about Chick-Fil-A

What do you think about Shane and Dan’s relationship? 

Cory Booker and The Political Paradigm Shift

The world is changing all around us. The internet and mobile devices have already changed so many dynamics of our life. I saw something yesterday that simply amazed me. Cory Booker (Mayor – Newark, NJ) was able to directly see the complaint of a constituent. Not only did he see it, but he sprung into action!

Cory Booker Twitter ConversationYes, you just read that right. The Mayor of Newark, New Jersey sent a random constituent his cell phone number and told her to text him. It doesn’t get anymore social then that!

The world is changing around us. Politics and the interactions between constituents and their politicians is ripe for innovation. Booker may be on to something here. Or maybe, he just understands what a true democracy is….
What do you think about having the ability to directly interact with our elected officials? What is the most frustrating thing about the current disconnect? I would love to hear your thoughts below!

 

Why Wolf Blitzer and Piers Morgan Are Scumbags

Too many men and women have died fighting for this country for people to act like this. Watching the video gets me fired up because of their utter disrespect for our country and everything we stand for. I use to think that both men did good journalistic work, but this shows what assholes they are.

It’s bad enough to not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem. It’s even worse when you don’t stand after you’re getting yelled at by congressional delegates. Forget your political party, as a country we must demand more from those in a position of leadership or media.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts. Am I overreacting? Or are these two idiots getting the negative publicity they deserve?

A Veteran’s Perspective on Obamacare and The Supreme Court Ruling

The United States is the greatest country on earth. As a 17 year old I volunteered to risk my life to defend it and the principles on which it was founded. Since then I have had too many friends who gave their life to uphold that commitment. Even more were injured and they still deal with the repercussions today.

This level of sacrifice puts things in perspective. Each veteran I served with felt they were “defending freedom.” This freedom means that the citizens of the United States don’t live in fear. They have the freedom to choose how to live their lives. If they want to have 5 children, they can. This isn’t China. If someone wants to practice a certain religion, they can. No one will stone them for not following a national religion.

All of this has come under jeopardy. Months ago President Barack Obama helped pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The same day, 26 states sued the federal government over the ACA (also known as Obamacare). Is that a joke? I wish. More than 50% of the states

The Supreme Court of The United States of America

A portrait of the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States of America

didn’t agree with it. Unheard of! Many felt that the individual mandate was unconstitutional because it violated personal freedoms. Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling on the case. In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare. Chief Justice John Roberts, a historically conservative-leaning justice, voted with the liberal justices to make the difference.

It is noteworthy that President Obama was very clear from the beginning that the Affordable Care Act was not a tax. I don’t know if this was for political reasons or not. It doesn’t matter. The Supreme Court stated that the law was upheld because they viewed it as a tax (as opposed to viewing it as a regulation on commerce) which therefore gave Congress the power to enforce it. This legal jockeying is absurd. I’m not a lawyer so maybe I’m just naive and dumb. Doubt it though.

For a moment, I want you to forget party lines. I don’t care if you’re a Republican, Democrat, Independent or Alien. Frankly I don’t care if you have never paid attention to politics in your life. THIS IS A BIG FUCKING DEAL. For the first time in my life I’m scared of what is possible in America. I’m scared that we’ve lost the first piece of our freedom. When this has happened historically, the rest of the societies freedom usually crumbled soon after.

Today I don’t write as a Republican or Democrat. I write as a protector of freedom. The same thing I swore to protect at age 17. I can’t truly be free if it is mandated that I buy something. I understand controlling or prohibiting me from doing certain things for reasons like safety, etc. A mandate to do something is completely different. If the government can mandate me to buy insurance, what can’t they mandate me to do? What if they mandated me to have kids? What about if they mandated that I need a job and can’t retire? This is some scary shit.

The sad part is that there are many people that President Obama has tried to help with Obamacare. I think these people need help too. They should have access to care. Instead of mandating it for everyone, we can merely provide access to those in need. Nobody says that sick people should be abandoned. I do think however, that there are better options to help without encroaching on the inherent freedom that this country was founded on. We can’t forget that the pilgrims came to America to escape mandates and other forms of government oppression. I don’t think we’re at that point yet but the door is certainly open.

I rarely become passionate about what happens in Washington. Today I can’t stop thinking of each young man I know that sacrificed so much in order to protect our freedom. If we lose that freedom than they died in vain. That is not an option. I will be paying close attention to how the next 6 months play out and who is elected President in November. While everyone must choose their candidate individually, I ask that each of you becomes educated on the issues so that you can make a sound decision according to your thoughts, values and morals. Is that too much to ask?

What is your reaction of the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare? Do you see other areas where our freedoms are being encroached? If you completely disagree with me, why? Help me understand more of this issue by leaving a comment below or tweeting me @APompliano!

An Open Letter To The US Media

Dear US Media,

I am a 23 year old military veteran that recently came to some conclusions that I wanted to share with you. Lets start with our relationship. Your job is to seek and report the facts of events around the world. You bundle everything into shows, interviews and articles before presenting it to me. My job is to pay attention to you. I watch your shows and read your articles in order to gather all the facts. Once I have the information it is my responsibility to form an educated opinion. If we both do our jobs than the general public is able to hold our government accountable, have interesting/informed conversations and sometimes even put the information into action.

Lately you have broken your end of the agreement. You failed me. Over the last few months you have neglected to report or tried to alter your reporting on a number of issues. I want to make it very clear that this type of behavior is unacceptable. In case there are any questions, here are a few examples:

-NBC edited a tape of the 911 call in the Trayvon Martin case. Do not give me or my fellow Americans the excuse that it was an edit due to “timing.” Let a court decide who is guilty and who is innocent, not you. I just want the facts so I can come to my own conclusions.

-Last week Notre Dame and other Catholic entities filed a suit against the Obama administration. ABC, CBS, and NBC neglected this historic lawsuit for three nights until other media outlets forced coverage of the events. Instead of reporting the facts you tried to hide the information from me and other viewers. This is unacceptable and creates an environment of distrust between us.

-A bill was voted on last week pertaining to abortion. Some media framed it as intending to jeopardize women’s rights. Other media outlets framed the opponents of the bill as proponents for gender-based abortions. Neither “spins” on the bill are correct. The truth is somewhere in between.

These are just three examples from the last three months. Here is something that you may not know – Facts do not belong to any political party. They are not Republican or Democrat. They do not belong to any religion, race, or income group. Every individual has the right to know what the truth is. Do your job and let us do ours.

To be clear, I understand that you have an opinion. Not only is this okay but I can respect your opinion. I don’t mind hearing your opinion…..after you have presented all of the facts. The facts have to come before your opinion.

Lastly I want to leave you with a thought to ponder. You are no longer the only source of information. In the world of the internet we are all connected. Platforms and services such as Twitter provide the everyday man with a real-time news feed. As traditional media outlets, you must get in shape before you erode the trust of the American people. Once you lose that trust we will never give it back to you. Media outlets with no trust end up becoming extinct. Get on board with the ideas of transparency, authenticity and accountability. Your future and profits depend on it.

Best,

Anthony Pompliano

Young America is Hardly Working Hard

There is an old saying that “no magic pill exists other than a little hard work and sweat.” This is still true today. The tragedy of the technology revolution is that the idea of hard work gets lost within the race for a quick fix to any problem. Most individuals see Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple as companies that just appeared one day. This could not be farther from the truth.

Our country was built on the foundation of hard work from a collection of great entrepreneurs. The key to their success was that they worked hard, every day. Society did not have this belief that you only worked from 9-5 for 5 days a week. These men and women worked as many hours and days as it took to get the necessary work done. Neither Henry Ford or Steve Jobs drove home at 5pm to get some dinner and watch television.

The more I work with and am surrounded by individuals of Generation Y, the more I realize that this notion of hard work has been lost. I am not saying that nobody works hard, nor am I saying that I am not guilty of some of these same things. This is purely my analysis of the current culture that surrounds 16-28 year olds. When a task needs to be accomplished you can usually here things like “I will do it later” or “We should hire someone to do that.” This lack of hard work can also be found in entrepreneurs as well. They work hard, but do they work as hard as they can?

My experience is that the answer is no. Those that outwork their competition are usually the ones that you read about in magazines and books. The successful entrepreneurs are the individuals willing to go beyond the “limits” of the common man. No task is too hard or too daunting, and nothing will stop them from succeeding. Take a minute every 2-3 days to reflect how you have been performing. Are you outworking your competition and peers? Are you working as hard as you possibly can?

Hard work is not a magic pill by any means but it is an essential ingredient to success that is currently lacking in many young people today. In order to have the iPhones, iPads, sports cars, and jewelry you must work hard! One thing you can do to cultivate this thrist and hunger for success is to read the biographies and stories of the entrepreneurs who came before you. Many of these stores exist such as Mark Cuban, Steve Jobs, Sean Parker, and Scooter Braun.

Do you have the intestinal drive to succeed in a global economy? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to achieve success? How bad do you actually want to succeed? Ask yourself these questions and get refocused on your goals so that you can ensure you are taking the efficient path to success!

What Political Attack Ads Can Teach About Guerilla Marketing Techniques

This photo has been circulating the internet for a few days and I think it can teach entrepreneurs some pretty interesting things about marketing regardless of political views. First lets look at the actual photo. On the left, Mitt Romney is sitting in a chair on an airport tarmac getting his shoe wanded for security purposes. On the right, Barack Obama is walking past a janitor and “pounds it” (the modern, cool handshake). Both of these photos are put together to offer the viewer a contrast about the individuals, their beliefs, and ability to lead our country.

Why is this important to entrepreneurs? This is a fantastic job of implementing proven guerilla advertising and marketing techniques. Here are three effective aspects at play:

Use of public perception: The first aspect is the use of priorly held perceptions about each individual. People commonly think Romney is a rich, white man, while Obama is seen as an African-American who is “a man of the people.” This photo plays on those feelings by trying to make people think that Romney is receiving a shoe shine, while Obama is spending time with the everyday person. Right or wrong, these perceptions will persevere and are very powerful.

Use of powerful images: This “ad” uses two photos that are extremely powerful when you first look at them. It counts on the fact that the viewer will not look very hard at either one of them. They will not question them, but they will be in awe of their initial reaction to such powerful images. I must admit that at first glance, I thought Romney was getting a shoe shine as well. Shock and awe is a tactic that can create great results.

Viral Sharing/Exposure: You have heard that “any exposure is better than no exposure.” In this case, as long as people are talking, debating, or arguing over this ad, it is seen as effective. Create emotional responses from people and you will be more likely to get your desired results. Also, the viral sharing aspect is important because someone is much more likely to find an ad effective if it is attached to their friends in social media, rather than a generic ad. The more you can make something viral, the more eyes will see it, which ultimately increases effective exposure.

In the end, this ad accomplishes its goal through very simple means. Get people to solidify their thoughts on political candidates with two very simple photos. Context and delivery are important and affect the effectiveness of a campaign. This guerilla tactics not only work in politics, but in business as well!

Are there any other political ads that have similar traits? What other aspects do you see with this particular ad that could be used in business marketing?