October 21, 2013

How Healthcare.gov Doomed Itself By Screwing Startups | TechCrunch

The severity of the problems with the ACA Exchanges puts big government inefficiency on display. This piece argues that the nimble startup private sector may well have been in a better position to build and operate these exchanges.

Nevertheless, I suspect the most severe problems are to be found in the backend, connecting the various government legacy systems. Perhaps the exchanges are fatally flawed by the wrong systems architecture.

The fact that the CIA will spend $600 million with Amazon Web Services should be seen as a signal that big systems and big data may best be handled by smart people who can leap ahead of legacy systems many of which were designed in the last century

How Healthcare.gov Doomed Itself By Screwing Startups | TechCrunch: "These types of solutions will be entirely absent from California and New York. Ironically, the president’s chief technology officer, Todd Park, often espouses the principle of “Joy’s Law,” named for legendary founder of Sun Microsystems, Bill Joy, which states that “no matter who you are, most of the smartest people in the world work for somebody else.” 
For a year, Park has been reorganizing the entire federal IT system to put data in the hands of private developers, rather than have government websites be the central hub. It is bizarre that the president’s signature initiative would ignore its own principles."

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