November 12–13, 2015  •  San Francisco, CA

Opening welcome

Tim O'Reilly (O'Reilly Media), Steven Levy (Mr.), Lauren Smiley (Medium)
9:00am–9:10am Thursday, 11/12/2015
Location: Grand Ballroom Level:
Average rating: ****.
(4.40, 5 ratings)

Program hosts Tim O’Reilly, Steven Levy, and Lauren Smiley open the first day of Next:Economy.

Photo of Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media

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

Quotes from Tim

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.

Photo of Steven Levy

Steven Levy


Six years after the IPO, an impressive number of Google’s most important early employees… were still working hard at Google, even though they had the wealth of Saudi princes.

— Steven Levy


Steven is the editor in chief of Backchannel, the new hub for tech writing on Medium. He is the former senior staff writer for Wired, the former chief technology correspondent for Newsweek, and the author of seven books. The Washington Post describes him as America’s premier technology journalist… a Silicon Valley insider who writes for the rest of us on the outside. His most recent book, In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives, has been a New York Times bestseller and is heralded as the definitive word on the search giant. It was chosen by as the Best Business Book of 2011. His first book, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, is the computer history classic that was named by the readers of PC Magazine as the best sci-tech book of the past 20 years; Levy recently updated it for a 25th anniversary edition. A longtime expert on Apple, Levy has written the history of the Macintosh, Insanely Great, and The Perfect Thing, about the iPod. Other books include Crypto, Artificial Life, and The Unicorn’s Secret. A recipient of numerous awards, Levy has written for many publications including the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and Esquire. He wrote The Technologist column for Newsweek, and the Iconoclast column for Macworld. He has been a Japan Society Fellow and a Fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center. Before he covered technology, he wrote about music, crime, sports, and culture, and once made headlines by finding Albert Einstein’s brain in a cardboard box in Wichita, Kansas.

Photo of Lauren Smiley

Lauren Smiley


Depending on the interview, we’re either moving toward a freedom-loving worker utopia or a low-wage nightmare.

— Lauren Smiley


Lauren Smiley is a staff journalist at Medium, where she has been covering the pitched labor debate in the on-demand economy. She penned The Shut-In Economy about the emergent class of waited-upon consumers created by the burgeoning industry. She profiled the attorney suing a growing list of companies including Uber, Lyft, and Instacart in “What Strippers Can Teach Uber.” She examined how mere employment doesn’t mean quality jobs when workers are subjected to just-in-time scheduling in “Quit Your Job and Go To Work.”

Before joining Medium, Smiley was a participant in the 1099 economy herself, reporting for about the tech bus protests and rent battles, and for San Francisco Magazine on crowdfunding ethics, the city’s tech boom battles, and on-demand girlfriends in the region’s sugar baby culture.

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