I was sitting by myself on my regular stool in my local bar, a quiet night in the warm transition period between Spring and Summer. Some people came in and out, the normal bar conversation around me. Two women came in and sat down next to me, talking about people their friends were dating and the Jets. One started talking to me when I made an off handed comment about the Jets quarterback, and eventually the topic of what I do came up. “Well, I’m about to begin testing on a pilot for a text message project,” which is unusual bar conversation. HeartGov was in the beginning stages of it’s initial pilot, and we were about to bring the prototype to the community groups and government officials I spent the prior several months working with on the design of the platform. “The basic idea is that you can text whatever is important to you - questions, comments, ideas - and they go to your local community groups and leaders.” I had gotten the basic elevator pitch down. “But what if I don’t have anything to say?” one of the women asked. I was taken aback. “What kinds of things are important to you?” She thought for a minute. “I really don’t think what I have to say is that important,” she insisted. “Of course it is, what’s important to you?” She paused. She took out her phone and texted. “No more charter schools, let’s support our public schools!” is what she texted. That was when I knew HeartGov was on to something.