The human motive to share is very powerful. The human motive to profit is also very powerful, but the profit motive and the sharing motive are not exclusive.
— Tim O’Reilly
If companies don’t think systemically enough—if they try to capture too much of the value—eventually, innovation moves somewhere else.
The thing we should all be looking for are people who want to make a difference. I’m a big believer in the Silicon Valley religion of the power of markets. But I also believe in our obligation to give back, and to give back in the way we do business, to create more value than we capture for ourselves.
At O’Reilly, the way we think about our business is that we’re not a publisher; we’re not a conference producer; we’re a company that helps change the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators.
I’ve been deeply influenced by Aristotle’s idea that virtue is a habit, something you practice and get better at, rather than something that comes naturally. ‘The control of the appetites by right reason,’ is how he defined it.
Money is like gasoline during a road trip. You don’t want to run out of gas on your trip, but you’re not doing a tour of gas stations.
Tim has a history of convening conversations that reshape the industry. In 1998, he organized the meeting where the term “open source software” was agreed on, and helped the business world understand its importance. In 2004, with the Web 2.0 Summit, he defined how “Web 2.0” represented not only the resurgence of the web after the dot com bust, but a new model for the computer industry, based on big data, collective intelligence, and the internet as a platform. In 2009, with his “Gov 2.0 Summit,” he framed a conversation about the modernization of government technology that has shaped policy and spawned initiatives at the Federal, State, and local level, and around the world. He has now turned his attention to implications of the on-demand economy, AI, and other technologies that are transforming the nature of work and the future shape of the business world. He is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media and a partner at O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV). He is also a founder and board member at Maker Media, which was spun out of O’Reilly Media in 2012, and a board member at Code for America, PeerJ, Civis Analytics, and PopVox.
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