After I gave my TEDxSentosa talk, some people espoused patriotic sentiments, supporting their respective governments. Which is fine; "it's a free country", as they say. Getting people together for pretty much any endeavour seems a-ok to me, it's just that I want to agree with what we're doing. Some people think it's all fine and hop onto their local society bus and go whereever that goes.

I'd like a little more choice. I want something more like a taxi; when we're going the roundabout way, I want to be able to say "this is the long way", and have the government taxi change directions and take me where I want, how I want.

It seems like we should be seeing more taxi-behavior from people over time as more people reach relatively higher standards of living. Compare today to a hundred years ago; back then, the governments and the relatively wealthy were much closer (same country club, or in smaller countries, even the same family). Today, we have roughly the same number of governments and way more relatively wealthy people. While governments may have grown to handle some of the demand for services, it seems that we don't receive the same level of attention that our grandparents would have.

With this rising demand for gov't services, we should see new gov'ts arise, and/or see gov'ts seeking to segment their markets. Singapore seems the most strident newcomer to the global scene (Peter Schwartz TheArtOfTheLongView likened it to Apple at dinner last Friday, for better or for worse). As for segmentation, gov'ts historically have taken the expedient route and just drawn an imaginary line in the dirt, and subjected everyone on the near side of the line to their ideas of how things work.

It doesn't have to be that way. As Federal Agencies sync data, they increasingly can differentiate you from everyone else. Gov'ts just need to offer various service plans (didn't elect to pay for emergency services? no 911 for you; paid for premium international service? your passport allows you 12 months of visa free stay in any country). "Customize your government experience today", as the commercial says.

All in all, I view government as just another party to my endeavours (like Taxes and Business Strategy says), so at worst I want a gov't to make a non-negative contribution. Otherwise, I'll just bail and flag down another taxi.