The Mercury News: Draper, From ‘Six Californias’ to ‘Fix California’

This article originally appeared in The Mercury News

By Josh Richman

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper has gone from “Six Californias” to “Fix California.”

 

The man who last year had proposed splitting the Golden State six ways – but failed to get the idea onto 2016’s ballot despite spending $5.2 million from his own pocket – issued a public engagement challenge Wednesday to crowdsource ideas for fixing California’s government.

 

“California-based businesses are on the cutting edge of technology – constantly pushing the envelope,” Draper said in a news release. “Most good ideas come through Californians innovating and collaborating with each other. We should be able to do the same with government, but unfortunately, our government is still stuck in the 1980′s. They can’t complete a project, like building a bridge or updating a computer system, without it being late, over budget, or even obsolete by the time of completion. That’s why we are launching the ‘Fix California Challenge.’”

 

Draper, 56, of Atherton, said he realizes “that not everyone was a fan of Six Californias.”

 

“But most people agreed that something needs to be done to fix the state. That’s why I’m asking Californians if they think they have a better idea,” he said. “If so, I want to hear it. If you have an idea that will transform government, bring it to me and maybe we can get it on the ballot.”

 

Draper said he’s looking for ideas that address:

 

Transformation: Challenge the status quo by fundamentally transforming and modernizing California with a “fresh start” or an “entrepreneurial” mindset.

 

Representation: Provide for better representation and engagement of citizens and accountability of leaders to the people they represent.

 

Education: Improve incentives in education to achieve long-term economic prosperity and create a more educated workforce that is better prepared for the jobs of the future.

 

Accountability: Incentivize governments to be accountable to their citizens and compete for customers.

 

Opportunity: Create opportunities to improve the quality of life for hard-working Californians across key sectors such as housing, infrastructure, social safety net programs and the environment.

 

Renewal: Clean up the failures and update methods of the last several decades that are preventing further success and progress.

 

Draper is running this “Fix California Challenge” through Innovate Your State, a nonprofit he founded that’s dedicated to educating and encouraging public participation to fundamentally improve government.

 

“As a venture capitalist I see innovation everywhere and invest in bold ideas everyday. We need to bridge the gap between innovation and government, and this requires a ‘Venture Governance’ approach where everyone’s ideas have a chance to be heard and backed if they’re good enough,” he said. “Similar to a business plan competition, we’re going to run a ‘government plan competition’ to find the best ideas and implementation strategies out there.”

 

No word on the status of Draper’s proposed television reality show about Silicon Valley startups.

 

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