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Software Above the Level of a Single Device: The Implications

Tim O'Reilly (O'Reilly Media, Inc.)
Location: Festival Pavilion
Average rating: ****.
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It’s easy to talk about “the Internet of Things” and to miss the bigger pattern: we are no longer just building software for individual devices, but creating networks of intelligence and action that make it possible to completely rethink how we organize work, play, and society itself. As Aaron Levie of Box.net wrote on Twitter: “Uber is a $3.5 billion lesson in building for how the world should work instead of optimizing for how the world does work." Once both driver and potential passengers were instrumented with devices reporting their location in real time, it became possible to completely rethink urban transportation. How much more will that be true with self-driving cars? Similarly, when GE designs jet engines that report when they need maintenance, the notion of the “maintenance schedule” goes out the window. And whither jet engines, so too the human body. Manufacturing, logistics, transportation, healthcare: these are all ripe for the “Solid revolution.” That revolution isn’t just about designing smart stuff, and dumb stuff that can be built with smart tools, it’s about designing software and systems above the level of a single device, software that completely transforms industries. This is a time for the most prodigious feats of imagination, applying hardware, software, big data, sociology, and creativity to redesign processes and institutions, not just things.

Photo of Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media, Inc.

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 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 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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Picture of Sally Applin
05/22/2014 3:37am PDT

Super glad to see this topic covered as it is a critical piece of this framework. I proposed something related for a talk at Solid as “Managing Multiplicity in the Solid World.” The abstract (and our papers)is here: “http://posr.org/wiki/O%27Reilly_Solid_Proposal”

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Picture of Sally Applin
05/22/2014 3:35am PDT

Super glad to see this topic covered as it is a critical piece of this framework. I proposed something related for a talk at Solid as “Managing Multiplicity in the Solid World.” The abstract (and our papers) is here:http://posr.org/wiki/O%27Reilly_Solid_Proposal