Why Michael Powell is a rock star

Cimg3713Yesterday I spent five hours with outgoing FCC Chairman Michael Powell. this guy knows his stuff.

i don’t think i am out of line by saying that Chairman Powell understands technology better than any other government official — elected or otherwise. he understands where technology is going and the strains and benefits it will bestow on our society. Powell is also incredible articulate, candid, and thoughtful — another rarity in Washington.

Yesterday I saw him in three different settings. One was a private meeting with the top venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. The second was a meeting with the CEOs of some of the foremost technology companies. The third was a large evening reception where hundreds of Silicon Valley execs came to hear Powell discuss his views on the industry.Cimg3708

In all the meetings, Powell was incredibly charismatic, intelligent, and extremely engaging. Even people who were predisposed to be his critics were incredibly effusive after meeting him.

When Powell leaves the FCC at the end of this month, the government will lose one of its finest public servants (it lost another amazing person last month when his father also left government employ). Michael Powell is young and has a large opportunity ahead of him. He’ll probably go into the private sector and help grow the tech economy from the inside. But I hope he doesn’t stay away from the public eye — Powell is an incredible advocate of technology.

And I, for one, will be the first one on line to support Powell if he chooses to go back into public life by running for a Virginia US Senate seat or Governor.

Spme pics at: http://summation.typepad.com/photos/politics/

2 thoughts on “Why Michael Powell is a rock star

  1. Ben Casnocha

    Auren – I’m sorry, but the FCC acting as national nanny on the censorship stuff is nuts. Responding to the 10 parents from Parents Televison Council with outrageous fines is ridiculous.

  2. David Stern

    I find it interesting that just about every member of the SV100 who has commented on their membership in the group, has defended their membership in some fashion or another, mostly with the “I just wanted cool free stuff” line of commentary. While network marketing and influencer groups are as old as well…as anything old, this one has a particular hubris to it that is definitely rubbing people the wrong way, even if the idea has been well conceived and executed. Remember how cool it was to be a member of the Nordstrom Fashion Board when you were a teenager? I don’t (that’s another story, but I was more welcome on the Nordstrom Dysfunction Board). But it was. Trust me. Your peers respected that involvement. And even aspired to be involveed. I’m sure the SV100 has merit as a potential key influencer in product testing and proliferation, and certainly as a decent revenue stream to its organizer. The people on the list are certainly good people, well connected, and early adopters who I would trust for a product recommendation. (Hell, I had even pitched one of the SV100 to invest in my company, and immediately after hearing his thoughts about the new Blackberry, went out and bought one.) But, whereas when you asked your friends if they were on the Nordstrom Fashion Board as a teenager, they would most likely proclaim their membership. I’m not so sure in this case though that many of those who have lent their name to the SV100, have either regretted their decision, or wished that Brad Stone hadn’t outed the group.


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