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The Billion Dollar Startup: Inside Obama's Campaign Tech 90

Posted by Soulskill
from the devs-we-can-believe-in dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "A presidential campaign is many things to many people: a reason to hope in the future, a wellspring of jokes and debate fodder, an annoyance to tune out, a chance to participate in the civic process. But for a couple dozen software engineers and developers involved over the past two years in President Obama's re-election effort, a campaign was something entirely different: a billion-dollar tech startup with an eighteen-month lifespan and a mandate to ship code under extreme pressure. Speaking to a New York City audience, some of Obama for America's leading tech people—those involved in the all-important Dashboard and Narwhal projects, as well as fundraising and DevOps—characterized the experience as 'insane,' filled with unending problems and the knowledge that, at the end of the whole process, nearly everything they worked on would likely end up tossed away. This is the story of what happened, and how technologies on a massive scale can make or break campaigns."
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The Billion Dollar Startup: Inside Obama's Campaign Tech

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  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @04:46PM (#42537203) Journal

    Yes, but they don't have to deal with 50 individual, winner-take-all races over several hundred markets with three hundred million voters.

    And, to be fair, most of the 1.1 Billion spent by the Obama campaign was spent on advertising slots and ground game (rental, printing). This wasn't really a $1 Billion startup, but rather a conduit for $1B in spending. It's like saying your stock broker is a billion dollar operation because he directs clients 401k money for a 10,000 person corporation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @05:49PM (#42538203)

    I was at first taken aback when I heard the clip of "You didn't build that". I just had to go youtube the Obama speech that it came from. Wow, he was talking about the infrastructure - roads, post offices, other public services... that all businesses count on to run. His point was that some things are best done by businesses, and other things are best done by Public Sector. For example, what company would take on building and maintaining Interstate highways throughout the US? Funny the statement sounded when taken out of context.

  • The reason he won (Score:0, Informative)

    by amightywind (691887) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @08:25PM (#42540421) Journal
    And I thought Obama won because he gave stupid people money.

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