Agenda for MassGOP Chairman: Act like an Internet startup!

Here is what I think a new MassGOP chairman should do, in one sentence:

“Overhaul party operations to emulate the very successful model of Massachusetts Internet startups.”

Why use companies like HubSpot, Stylefeeder, Kayak, and EchoNest as a model for the MassGOP?

Our party should have a lot in common with internet startups. Why?

– Both are in the information business

– Both have to work to gain customers

– Both must raise money

– Both must work on their brand

– Both have large, established competitors with big advantages

Yet, when you visit a startup office (sometimes in a coffee shop as they don’t always have offices) and then when you compare that to what you see at the MassGOP headquarters on Merrimac Street, these two organizations could not seem more different.

– Startups develop an elevator pitch that describes what they stand for and who their customers are, to make it easier to raise money and find those customers.

– I have been to a dozen events and read many emails, yet I don’t know what the MassGOP stands for.

– Startups use powerful tools to collect and analyze data about their customers

– The MassGOP has things like Voter Vault – which are out of date, hard to use, and of poor quality

– Startups use web technology to avoid spending money on office space, desktop software, phone lines, filing cabinets, etc. They create the ability for employees to be productive from any computer or mobile device.

– The MassGOP operates the old fashioned way.

– Startups realize that they must have efficient, inexpensive technical tools and infrastructure.

– The MassGOP gets a website from the RNC and spends no time or money on infrastructure.

If I were the next chairman, I would stop everything and explain to all party members that technology is now our number one concern. It affects how we raise money, how candidates run for office, how we distribute our positions on the issues, how we get people trained and organized, how we know who the voters are, and how we measure and analyze every initiative we undertake.

Ultimately, to compete against the Democrats in this state, we must be much smarter and more efficient than they, as we have vastly less resources. We cannot do that with the current central office, an ineffective web presence, outdated voter information, no online GOTV or campaign tools, and training classes where we hand out binders of paper.

I am not interested in a chairman who just wants to “clean up Beacon Hill” or give the same tired speeches about how we have to get “organized” without doing anything about the infrastructure to actually make better organizing possible.

Technology is everything in politics now. It’s time for a chairman who gets that.  

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