Steve Ballmer is working on USAFacts, to make sense of government spending
Perhaps bored with the life of being the semi-retired head of one of the largest tech companies in the world, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer plans to reenter the tech community championing a new pet project called USAFacts.
According to a report from Bloomberg Technology,
Ballmer and a team of about 25 data geeks have been poring over more than three decades of government documents to create a comprehensive accounting of U.S. spending. The goal is to treat the nation like a company and create what Ballmer describes as a “10-K for the government,” like the one publicly traded businesses are required to file with regulators each year.”
Unlike when Ballmer was in charge of engineering geniuses behind the Office software suite, he is limited to a comparatively skimpy production of a hundred or so Excel files and 385 PowerPoint slides. The data is drawn from fifty-five government and independent sources from states and municipalities which date back as far as 1980.
The compilation of information won’t be making into some new flashy app or web service just yet. Currently, Ballmer is using the data to help educate a class he now teaches at Stanford University.
I just think it’s important if you are going to make your case, for you to make your case in the context of numbers,” Ballmer said at his office in Bellevue, Washington. “Here are the numbers. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist. You don’t have to be an economist. You decide what you believe. And when things come up that you need to vote on, you need to opine on; you’ll have the view of a citizen that’s informed by facts.”
Bloomberg Technology also reports that origin of Ballmer’s side project had partly to with his legacy during his retirement. Similar to Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Ballmer wanted to his retirement to have meaning and sought his philanthropic pursuits by holding the US government spending accountable.
To find out Ballmer’s results or get more information regarding USAFacts, visit Bloomberg Technology or wait for the filings sometime next year.