The end of a GovFresh era

This will sound crazy coming off the heels of one of the best professional experiences I’ve had in my entire life (see manor.govfresh), but it’s time for me to change gears as far as GovFresh is concerned.

For the past 15 months, this has been a civic adventure driven by pure patriotic adrenaline. It has been an amazing learning experience, and I have met the most incredible, passionate, patriotic group of people I’m proud to now call friends.

Over the past few months, I’ve tried to work on establishing a sustainable business model, but the challenge around building an immediate solid foundation has turned into a case of ‘too little, too late.’

I’ll have more information about what will happen to GovFresh once I have a little more time, but just wanted to relay this as soon I reasonably could. For now, I must step away and seek professional opportunities more focused and sustainable (contact me at [email protected] if you have ideas).

Thank you to everyone who’s believed in what we’ve done with GovFresh. This has been as much yours as it’s been mine.

Luke Fretwell is the founder of the civic innovation and technology blog GovFresh. He advises civic leaders and businesses on how to best leverage digital strategies to create more effective, collaborative governments. He has written about government IT for Federal Computer Week, NextGov, FedScoop, StateScoop and FierceGovernment, and has been referenced by the Washington Post and Fast Company on civic technology issues. He has worked with a number of government-focused companies and media, including CivicActions, NuCivic and FedScoop and has been involved in broad-focused community efforts, such as GovPress, CityCamp, CivicMeet, Agile Government Leadership and Open Source for America. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Funding government technology

I’m always inspired talking and working with entrepreneurs trying to solve big civic problems, especially those who realize much of the challenge lies within modernizing and empowering internal government operations, so it was great to finally meet with Govtech Fund Founder and Managing Partner Ron Bouganim this week.

Government and the ’empowered product owner’

The 18F Delivery team released a “Partnership Playbook” that aims to help federal agencies understand what to expect when working with 18F, and the gem within is play number two, “We work with an empowered product owner.”

Benchmarking for better government

Citizens simply glaze over when they are confronted by a sea of large numbers with many zeros. These figures need to be relatable to the person reading the data. Otherwise, open data is just more data that dies on the vine.

Why local government must go digital

The Welsh Government released a report of its findings on how local government in Wales can better leverage digital technologies and realize significant savings while still providing quality, scalable citizen services.

‘No ugly, old IT.’

“No ugly, old IT” jumped out at me when I first reviewed DataSF’s strategic plan, “Data in San Francisco: Meeting supply, spurring demand,” and it still sticks, mostly because someone inside government was so bold as to make this a priority and openly communicate it and also because this should be a mantra for everyone building civic technology.

Why is a big deal

Enabling internal government tech shops to quickly stand up applications in a secure testing environment is fundamental to quick prototyping, and 18F’s new is a major step in realizing ultimate IT flexibility.

FCC launches beta

Based on “extensive user research,” the Federal Communications Commission has launched a beta version of that aims to make the site “more useful and accessible to FCC stakeholders.”


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