Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is co-founder and CEO of ProudCity, and the founder of 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.

Beta government

The beta period has eliminated the fear associated with the a big launch. Knowing that beta is the beginning of a collaborative process eases that fear and creates a feedback culture that is much-needed in digital government innovation.

Say hello to ProudCity

Today, I’m excited to announce a new civic startup, ProudCity, founded by me and three others, committed to making it easier for cities to stand up and manage municipal digital services.

4 ways the federal government can improve plainlanguage.gov

Managed by the Federal Aviation Administration, plainlanguage.gov, the federal government website tasked with helping agencies write better for those it serves needs renewed attention. While momentum on better government digital services is in full-swing, it’s time to re-invent how plain language is presented.

How to build a lean startup inside government

Leaders from 18F and the White House Presidential Innovation Fellowship program presented at the 2015 Lean Startup Conference on “Lean Methodologies When the Organization is the Product,” and this is the best video you’ll watch on getting a holistic approach to building a lean startup inside government.

How you can follow and discuss government technology news using HashtagGov

I’ve been using Slack for a while now to follow government and civic technology news and, while it’s mostly a tool for team communications, the integrations features make it a great way to manage and digest a lot of information.

Thank you

Every day I get to engage with entrepreneurs, public sector innovators and journalists on re-imagining and re-energizing how government works, what it means to be “civic,” and this year has been an incredible one for many friends and colleagues.

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.”

9 reasons why Vets.gov is the future of federal government websites

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released a beta version of Vets.gov, and it’s the future of federal government digital development.

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.

California commission wants the state to design a better government

A California bipartisan oversight committee, the Little Hoover Commission, has issued recommendations on how the state can bring a more customer-centric government to residents and visitors.

Romulus wants to make constituent relationship management more delightful

Seneca Systems CEO Chris Maddox shares the inspiration behind the new constituent relationship management system, Romulus.

‘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 Cloud.gov 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 Cloud.gov is a major step in realizing ultimate IT flexibility.

FCC launches beta FCC.gov

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

Oakland seeks chief information officer

Oakland is looking for its next chief information officer to help position the city “at the forefront of American cities in its use of technology.”

Elon Musk as government innovator

After reading Ashlee Vance’s new Elon Musk biography, I find myself wondering whether we should really worry about bad government websites, and instead chalk them up as inspiration for those who will change the world.

USDS publishes design standards for federal government websites

The U.S. Digital Service has soft-launched new U.S. Web Design Standards to “create consistency and beautiful user experiences across U.S. federal government websites.”

Thank you, Jake

There have been countless, beautiful anecdotes on Jake’s compassion, humility and contributions, and there’s nothing I can add that would do justice to honor the influence he’s had on me other than to say, Jake, I miss you so much, and you will be with me always as I try to live up to the standards you set for those of us still here.

Retrospecting agile government

Last week, I was in New Orleans for the CivicActions corporate retreat, and presented to the team on the work done around Agile Government Leadership, and I wanted to share some of this here because, while there’s still much to do around changing government project management practices, we’ve accomplished a great deal over the past 18 months since its inception.