I’m headed to Washington on Sunday as part of the Association for Competitive Technology‘s Annual Fly-In. Our group of 50 tech CEOs and developers will be meeting with the DC representatives of many Silicon Valley companies to learn about the potential impact that pending government activity may have on our industry. We will also meet with our elected officials and agency staff to educate them about our businesses and how the ecosystem works.
One of the main messages I will bring to Capitol Hill lawmakers is that the [software/app] industry is having a tremendous impact on our local community. ACT did a great study on the revolutionary changes happening right now as America is increasingly becoming a mobile economy. Software companies are finding success in every part of the country and those that are most successful in the mobile space are overwhelmingly small companies and startups.
We need 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. I plan to explain to my elected representatives the success our company is having in Tampa and what we need that will allow us to continue to grow and create more jobs. Specifically, Washington should:
- Allow 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;
- Implement 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;
- Allow small software companies to protect their intellectual property without having to fight patent trolls and speculative lawsuits; and
- Ensure 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.
These are issues that the federal government is facing that will impact my business. I’m looking forward to meeting with my elected officials and others in Washington to educate them about the technology industry so they can make the right decisions about our future. Hopefully, an informed Congress will help companies like mine continue to flourish in our community.