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Rah! Rah! We're So Great!

Posted by Scott Kirsner  July 23, 2009 07:40 AM

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I had a tough time sitting through these two new videos produced by Innovate MassTech, a group of tech leaders deputized by Gov. Deval Patrick to figure out how to improve the global competitiveness of our IT/digital sector.


The videos were shot at a really provocative and constructive meeting held last month in Cambridge. They include many of our local tech celebs, like Akamai CEO Paul Sagan and iRobot co-founder Rodney Brooks.

But who are they for? Are we trying to convince ourselves that we still matter, that we're still cool? Are we trying to convince people outside the state that they should relocate here? People in Europe that they should set up their U.S. outposts here?

About the only points that were interesting to me, in the first video, were made by Brian Shin of Visible Measures, former Lightbridge CEO Pamela Reeve, and Joyce Plotkin, the long-time head of the Mass Technology Leadership Council. They argue that we could be doing a better job encouraging experienced execs to mentor younger ones; endeavoring to build really big businesses; and connecting enthusiastic students with our tech companies.

But let me know what you think. Here are the two videos.

"Talent" video:

"Entrepreneurship" video:

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3 comments so far...
  1. 10% unemployment and climbing, expensive housing, debt ridden graduates, Plummeting state coffers, etc etc and these guys want to talk like boston was back in the Clinton days. Gone and never coming back. Chickens have come home to roost and Boston is vulnerable. All the rest is blather.

    Posted by jack July 23, 09 04:42 PM
  1. Great comments Scott thanks for sparking off the conversation.

    Over at we have posted a couple of videos (with more to come) with the aim of seeding conversation around key areas including Entrepreneurship and Talent.

    We hope they will be used to start people thinking and talking about what defines this sector now, and what we want it to become. To highlight our strengths, to get the great minds of Massachusetts and beyond to start thinking and talking about ways to consolidate and grow these creative and innovative industries.

    We hope more people will take Scotts lead and join in the conversation at

    Posted by Bonnie Shaw July 23, 09 05:24 PM
  1. It's sad that the Mass high tech sector has declined to the point that we need to make these. Do you think California or Santa Clara county would ever think it necessary to "convince" the world that they're relevant? I guess the reality is that, after years of ignoring the consumer sector for more "lucrative" enterprise and government business, we're now just tied with all of the "Silicon Prarie"'s of the world for a distant 2nd.

    Posted by Dave Rensberger July 24, 09 09:14 AM


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Innovation and technology news that matters, on a new website from the Boston Globe, featuring Scott Kirsner and other original reporting.

About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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More from Scott


March 3: Web Innovators Group
Demos, drinks, and schmoozing at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge.

March 7-8: MassDigi Game Challenge
Competition for aspiring game developers... plus panels and keynotes related to the business of play.

April 3-4: Mass Biotech Annual Meeting
Issues facing the region's life sciences community.