Could Steve Jobs Be Obama’s CTO?
This is the next (and hopefully last) nutty-MacWorld-rumor-with-a-morsel-of-plausibility floating around the Mac websites. The gist of it: the real reason why Steve Jobs cancelled his MacWorld apperance is because he landed the position of Federal Chief Technical Officer for the new Obama administration, and is preparing for the job. Read more over at Mac.Blorge. And Mac Soda. And Macenstein.
My thoughts? Steve’s biggest strength would be as a public speaker, being able to translate complicated technical stuff into easy to understand sound bites for both politicians and the general public. If the government decided to pursue government subsidized broadband as a national Internet policy, for instance, Jobs would do a great job of promotion. On the flip side, I could easily imagine Jobs’ strong personality becoming frustrated by the government bureaucracy. He wouldn’t be running the show, not anything close to it.
For further consideration, it’s worth looking at the job description of the federal CTO:
- Obama will appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century. The CTO will ensure the safety of our networks and will lead an interagency effort, working with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices.
- The CTO will have a specific focus on transparency, by ensuring that each arm of the federal government makes its records open and accessible as the E-Government Act requires. The CTO will also focus on using new technologies to solicit and receive information back from citizens to improve the functioning of democratic government.
- The CTO will also ensure technological interoperability of key government functions. For example, the Chief Technology Officer will oversee the development of a national, interoperable wireless network for local, state and federal first responders as the 9/11 commission recommended. This will ensure that fire officials, police officers and EMTs from different jurisdictions have the ability to communicate with each other during a crisis and we do not have a repeat of the failure to deliver critical public services that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Doesn’t sound like Jobs at all, does it? I’m thinking this rumor is just that – a big wishful-thinking pipe-dream, based on the desire to have a big “one more thing” at the keynote, and a juicy reason for the Jobs cancellation. I’d guess Jobs is more interested a peaceful retirement than jumping head-first into the pressure-cooker that is politics.
Still, it’s a very entertaining final rumor to chew on before the MacWorld keynote come Tuesday.