"Barack Obama’s promise to appoint the first chief technology officer for the US has had Silicon Valley buzzing all year. Now the election is over, it’s time for the real horse race to begin.
John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins got things going this afternoon at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. Asked who should get the job, the always-outspoken Doerr didn’t hesitate.
His first pick was Sun co-founder, Kleiner partner and all-round brainiac Bill Joy (pictured above left.)
As an alternative he suggested Danny Hillis (above right), a supercomputer pioneer and leading exponent of artificial intelligence.
Both men would certainly be a good fit for Doerr’s personal job description for the first US CTO: someone to lead a new, much-needed focus on fundamental research, the sort of work that will bring new breakthroughs as significant as the birth of the internet (a product of DARPA.)
That doesn’t seem to be what Obama has in mind, though. He’s talked about the job as a way to increase transparency and citizen involvement in government, and make Federal agencies more productive and accountable.
It sounds vague, the sort of job description that may be worthy but often lacks teeth. But after the amazing technology awareness shown by the Obama campaign machine, there are certain to be many eager and capable applicants."