Lessons from yesterday's giants

The contracts of the mid-1990s laid the foundation for many of today's most important contract vehicles.

Dr. Jim Kirkwood, my college English professor, introduced me to the expression, “We stand on the shoulders of giants.”

The idea is that we can see further and do more because of those who went before us. Socrates taught Plato, who in turn taught Aristotle. Each one built on the work of earlier generations.

I think about that concept when I think about my parents. So much of my success is owed to their success. They are my giants.

In this issue, we explore some of the giants of the government market. But we will explore contracts, not people.

We’ve developed a list of game-changing contracts that transformed both government and contractors.

Those contracts laid the groundwork for today’s mega vehicles such as Alliant, the Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge Solutions program and the Army’s Information Technology Enterprise Solutions contracts.

They stand on the shoulders of contracts such as Desktop IV, Defense Enterprise Integration Services contract and ITOP.

As we say in the special report, the list is not definitive. We hope you comment on our Web site and pass along other contracts that you think are important.

I think it is important for any industry as it matures and grows to think about where it came from. It helps you understand where you are today and where you might be in the future.

Who knows, you might be building tomorrow’s giants.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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