Iceland has a unique opportunity to lead the world by defining a Internet Enterprise Zone, Brad Burnham of Union Square Ventures defined this term to me while he was in Iceland. What do we mean by this IEZ? We mean a Policy framework focused on allowing innovation in the Internet space. There are many policy issues as it relates to Internet, Copyright, Information, User Data, Data Security, Spectrum, Net Neutrality etc etc but as I had written about earlier, IMMI is by far the most inspirational effort towards creating this IEZ. There have been many pieces that are aligned for Iceland to execute on this, what we need is a SOPA, PIPA Resistance like initiative at the grass roots level to drive political will to put a stake in the ground to start the global discussion around this. Fundamentally, what we are seeing is a paradigm shift in terms of value creation. We have a WordPress Economy, a Etsy economy, a kickstarter economy, where an individual could create something of value, use the social media to spread and attract customers and partners and get economic value out of that endeavor. No point in our lives have we had this freedom.
Iceland has many value propositions, I have written about some in previous posts on My Vision for Iceland, Rebooting Iceland and Why Iceland can create the next Google. The simplest is the access to cheap renewable power, well educated young workforce, non-incumbent industry establishments, the recent financial collapse, change in the political order and mandate. All these have provided Iceland with all the right impetus to really change the structure of the economy to accomodate the next phase of our global growth. Not only will this environment be conducive for Icelanders, but it will attract Investments and other innovators to locate to Iceland to truly create a zone where Internet Enterprises can thrive. So, what is needed? to start with we need to push the envelop on the initiatives like IMMI, actually push the initiatives to be law of the land where we provide protection to User Data i.e the User owns his data and no-one without the Users permission can access it. The policy framework should define the governance structure and not the mechanics of it, so innovation in implementing the framework brings value to the innovator.