Full disclosure: I have a financial arrangement with the companies discussed in this post.
For the past 15 years, I’ve spent much of my professional life working with and in startups. It’s an environment I love. You have complete control over your destiny, and you win by blending the perfect amalgam of people, design, technology, strategy and execution all into one mission.
And, you hustle. You hustle hard, because you’re driven by a common mission and have the unified audacity to try and make it work.
Many, many times — more often than not — it doesn’t work. Startups are like restaurants. They fail frequently and not in the “fail forward” sense of the phrase. But, when they succeed and move to the next level — rapid customer or revenue growth, acquisition or initial public offering — the sense of entrepreneurial accomplishment and camaraderie is special.
With the announcement of GovDelivery’s acquisition of NuCivic, it feels much like that. I’ve been lucky enough to be privy to the inside operations and success of three government technology-focused startups, and this has been the most rewarding — the leadership, team, mission and the outcome.
I recently had the opportunity to spend a few hours talking one-on-one with GovDelivery CEO Scott Burns about the possibility of an acquisition, what it would mean for NuCivic and learn more about his business philosophy and him as a leader and person. After I left our meeting, it was clear this was the right move for both Scott and Andrew (and Andrew’s co-founder Sheldon Rampton), and the GovDelivery and NuCivic teams.
The GovDelivery-NuCivic acquisition represents a growing trend towards open source options in government that will soon be the norm. It’s a strong sign that civic technology sustainability is within the community’s reach. We see it in this instance, we see other companies in the industry following suit, and we’ll see it more and more, especially as innovators inside government continue to drive demand to open solutions that are best for the taxpayer and the citizen.
As Scott wrote, “We are glad to have them on board and know that they share our passion for serving government clients and the public.”
That passion, to build software that fully empowers government, is the glue that will continue to drive the NuCivic team.
There’s still a ton of heavy-lifting to make NuCivic the success envisioned, but this new phase is an inspiration for those of you who believe that the future of government technology, and delivery, is open.