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Tim O'Reilly › Comments

Tim O'Reilly
Re: Not another VC blog - First Round Review - http://firstround.com/article...
"As this stuff accumulates, want to turn it into a book?" - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
"No, that's probably about right. I didn't remember it being 14%. And I really didn't see that as being in the same category as our 2001 layoffs, which were truly forced winnowing, with our continued existence in doubt. Our 2009 layoffs consisted of closing down businesses in which we didn't make any money, and in which we didn't see any future prospect of making money. My point is that we were being prudent in the face of the downturn; we have stopped various other businesses since. Any good business does this, on an ongoing business. I will say that I do regret that we weren't able to make a go of some of those businesses. In many cases, if we had let go of some people earlier through better performance management, we might have saved the broader business unit. We had a constant struggle in the past at O'Reilly to get some of our business units to take the business itself seriously. They are so mission driven that they forget that someone has to pay the bills. I think we're getting..." - Tim O'Reilly
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Tim O'Reilly
"Thanks, Bruce. I like your comment that O'Reilly is a bit more Harvard than MIT, which surprises many people (though it shouldn't.) Regarding the one interaction you cite, I'd forgotten it until you brought it up. But it highlights an important point in any organization. There should be lots of room for everyone to speak up, but at some point, it's essential to come to closure and move on. I really enjoyed working with you too, and in the end, I think the things that didn't work out during your tenure had far more to do with external industry trends than with either of us!" - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
"We did shutter some non-performing businesses during the 2009 downturn. We did not lay off 14% of the staff. And we were not forced to, as we were in 2001. We were using the opportunity to increase our focus on what was working." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
Re: Big Data's Dehumanizing Impact On Public Policy - by Matt Asay - http://readwrite.com/2013...
"I'm sorry, Matt, but I have to disagree. Your argument is based on a hypothetical . That comes out most clearly in the Morozov quote, which, like so much of his work, builds its argument on a straw man that sound plausible only to those with no knowledge of the actual situation. Policy makers don't give out pedometers (or if they do, they do so in quest of additional data to make better decisions.) They look at that correlation and say "Wow, we need to find ways to build more walkable cities." (Check out the Blue Zones initiative, for example, or Bloomberg's focus on making NYC more bikeable.) Correlation is additional data for human decision makers, not blind abdication of common sense. When Mike Flowers of NYC used data about the correlation between illegal apartment conversions and fires to guide building inspectors, he was using not just insight but data to direct fire inspectors to use their limited time most effectively. (See http://www.slate.com/articles/... Nor is your..." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
Re: The Stories I Enjoyed Most in Last Week’s Sunday New York Times - http://radar.oreilly.com/2013...
"Tiomoid of Angle - what a wonderful demonstration of systematic bias you provide! Given the range of articles I pointed to, the fact that you coud find something for your grindstone in most of them while finding nothing of value (apparently without actually reading the articles themselves) says something about how you approach your intellectual culture. For example, your recommendation about health care would be one option for "the more profound change" I was suggesting, and might even be consistent with the "policy consensus" Douthat referred to. But you wouldn't know that if you didn't actually read the article. That is not a conversation I particularly want to be part of." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
Re: Tim O’Reilly’s Key to Creating the Next Big Thing - http://blog-admin.wired.com/busines...
"This bit was taken a bit out of context. My point was that if novels matter to customers, they will survive. They don't need special protection. I was reacting to a conversation that I had on Charlie Rose that struck me as very entitled. I had made a comparison to classical music, making the point that what we consider "classical music" was once popular. And that when we got this mindset that classical music needed special funding and protection, it became increasingly disconnected from what people really wanted to hear. I love fiction and consider it a great art form. But if it really matters, it will survive. And meanwhile, it will continue to evolve." - Tim O'Reilly
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Tim O'Reilly
Re: We’re releasing the files for O’Reilly’s Open Government book - http://radar.oreilly.com/2013...
"Aaron didn't actually release the JSTOR downloads. He did some research on the downloaded corpus. If someone did the same for Safari, I might well have been intrigued and asked for a copy of the research. It's true that if Aaron had actually released all the bulk-downloaded data, in despite of the copyright owner's wishes, he would have been doing something I wouldn't approve of. If you look at my history on the subject, I am all about finding the right balance between open and closed. E.g. when bookshare.org asked for copies of my company's books for scanning, I said, "Why don't we just send you the files?" Now almost all publishers do that." - Tim O'Reilly
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Tim O'Reilly
Re: The future of programming - http://radar.oreilly.com/2013...
"What a great framework you've laid out for exploration, Edd! I can't wait for future installments in this series. In the meantime, what O'Reilly books would you recommend to get a head start in each of these areas?" - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
"I totally agree with your thinking here, Joe." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
Re: Square Wallet, the Apple Store, and Uber: Software Above the Level of a Single Device - http://radar.oreilly.com/2012...
"Yes, fantastic observation." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
Re: Square Wallet, the Apple Store, and Uber: Software Above the Level of a Single Device - http://radar.oreilly.com/2012...
"What a great observation! Local businesses used to do this the human way, without technology." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
Re: Square Wallet, the Apple Store, and Uber: Software Above the Level of a Single Device - http://radar.oreilly.com/2012...
"Just because Napster was shut down didn't mean that the future of music wasn't online.... Whether Uber succeeds or not, we can look forward to hailing cabs on our phones with a system much like it." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
Re: Square Wallet, the Apple Store, and Uber: Software Above the Level of a Single Device - http://radar.oreilly.com/2012...
"That's an important and thought-provoking point, Alasdair. A world without cash simplifies user experience, but creates many new issues, both the credit-divide issue you highlight here, but also privacy." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
"I didn't know Corwin well; I wish I had. The stories told here are a testament to how he lives on in the lives of others. I am reminded of Auden's poem on the death of W.B. Yeats: "Now he is scattered among a hundred cities And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections, To find his happiness in another kind of wood And be punished under a foreign code of conscience. The words of a dead man Are modified in the guts of the living." I also think of Wallace Stevens, as if reflecting on Corwin's intense physicality: "The greatest poverty is not to live In a physical world, to feel that one's desire Is too difficult to tell from despair. Perhaps, After death, the non-physical people, in paradise, Itself non-physical, may, by chance, observe The green corn gleaming and experience The minor of what we feel. The adventurer In humanity has not conceived of a race Completely physical in a physical world." and, Stevens again, reflecting on death and continuance: "How red the rose that is the..." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
Re: Who Cares If Samsung Copied Apple? - http://blogs.hbr.org/cs...
"I hear you, Normm. Of course, Xerox themselves later sued Apple, so their earlier spirit of "hey, if you can do something with this, that's great" evaporated in the face of later events. But in any event, the main point of the article stands: copying doesn't inhibit innovation. It may enhance it, as companies need to run faster to stay ahead of those who copy them. You could argue that it inhibits the profits of those who innovate - but it's hard to make that argument today in the face of Apple's enormous success, and their determined attempts to lock-in customers to their entire product suite. So copying by Samsung (to the extent it's happening) is definitely pro-consumer and pro-competitive. And frankly, the idea that Apple can somehow protect the whole idea of the tablet or smartphone is fairly extreme. The iPhone and Android phones are sufficiently different that I find myself having trouble going back and forth between the two. Most of the deepest similarities are in third-party..." - Tim O'Reilly
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Tim O'Reilly
Re: Who Cares If Samsung Copied Apple? - http://blogs.hbr.org/cs...
"I agree with your basic point here, but your historical analogy for Apple stretches the facts pretty far. There are decades between Apple's near-death experience after Windows rather than the Mac dominated the windows and mouse paradigm, and their resurgence with Mac OS X, then the iPhone. But it's very true that Apple didn't lose out to Microsoft because of copying.  In fact, the original Mac interface was itself inspired by the Xerox Alto and other work at PARC.  That's the real disingenuous part of Apple's argument.  They copied from Xerox, and the Microsoft copied from them.  But in each case, it was execution (and business model) that made the difference." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
"Evan - the fact that people build proprietary cloud services on top of open source is not news. I highlighted that fact a decade ago in my talks on "The Open Source Paradigm Shift." It's not only not news, it's the way things work. Open platforms always create new value that is captured by people who close the system down in some ways. But we're all better off from the dance. Roger's post is not open source "triumphalism" but a statement about how open source and proprietary, revolutionary and enterprise, have learned to coexist. There is plenty of room still for new open source innovation. The notion that if everything isn't open source, we've somehow failed is a bankrupt notion. My own thinking about open source has always been shaped more by the generosity of the Berkeley/MIT/Apache/Internet approach - here's our work, build on it however you will - than on the hyper-controlling approach of the GPL. There's no question in my mind which of those approaches has created more value for..." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
Re: The End of the World: The State vs. the Internet - http://eaves.ca/2012...
"A couple of points I want to inject into the online discussion (as I injected them into the real-world discussion at Foo Camp): 1. We can already see signs of the corporation as an actor of stature to match the nation-state in the fact that companies like Google and Facebook effectively have a "foreign policy" with regard to China. Google had a foreign policy with regard to the Egyptian revolution. I know at least some people in government who have remarked on this. Perhaps more importantly, it's useful to frame the current financial disorder as a kind of "war" between corporations (particularly hedge funds) and nation states. George Soros vs. the British pound was only a foretaste; since 2008, the destabilization of the Euro is a struggle between financial firms and nation states, with nation states trying to preserve their currency and banking system against those who would profit from destabilizing them. And you can certainly see the recent JP Morgan losses as a cyber war between..." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
Re: Letter to the DoJ about the collusion lawsuit and settlement - http://www.idealog.com/blog...
"Mike, I completely agree with your analysis. I'd actually go one further, and argue that Amazon's actions are keeping prices *higher* for consumers in many cases. Because Amazon discounts so heavily from list price (using the huge quantity discounts that they demand from publishers because of their near-monopoly position), the publishers keep their prices higher than they would in a world where the publisher was attempting to sell directly to consumers, and needed to find the market price. Right now, if a publisher looks to price books at the market clearing price (the optimum point on the demand curve), Amazon will undercut that price in order to get share, making the publisher look like they are overcharging whatever price they set. In short, we have a market where only one player gets to set the consumer price. Right now, Amazon is using "most favored nation" treatment for themselves to always have the lowest price, and right now this looks good for consumers. But will they still..." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
"I think you misconstrued my post. I wasn't arguing that technology kills jobs (although I do think that it kills some jobs, at the same time as it creates others), but that the relentless drive to squeeze labor costs out of business misses a major point: that those same businesses depend on consumers having the income to purchase their products. There's a kind of long-term madness in the pursuit of short-term advantage that is starting to bite Western economies in a big way. And much as I admire and support the craftsman, the entrepreneur, and the move up the skills ladder, I think you have to recognize that we are moving away from a culture where there were lots of well-paying jobs that were essentially repetitive (and hence easily automatable), and that to replace those jobs with something more creative will require a major retooling of the economy." - Tim O'Reilly
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Tim O'Reilly
Re: Productivity and Employment (and Technology): In the Jaws of the Snake - http://andrewmcafee.org/2012...
"I love the notion of portable internet-connected devices being used to add skill to currently low-skill jobs. I first noticed this in thinking about the way that the Apple Store swarms with clerks helping customers - and each of them is turbocharged with the phone as a cash register. Todd Park (now US CTO) clicked when I told him this and noted that Walgreens is exploring adding the equivalent of a genius bar for prescriptions and medications, and that he could imagine the Apple Store model being used to empower home health care aides to help manage outcomes (e.g. reminding elderly patients to take their meds.) I think there's a lot here. Another really interesting trend is our trend to user-generated entertainment, and bit by bit, new ways to monetize that. Etsy is invigorating a craft economy, YouTube, Kickstarter, and Amazon Kindle are enabling new kinds of self-financing of creative work. It's small stuff yet, but getting more interesting. And of course there's the maker movement,..." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
Re: NYT Features Chicago’s “Adopt-a-Sidewalk” - http://codeforamerica.org/2012...
"This is another fabulous demonstration of our unconventional adoption strategy for the apps we produce.  It's of course unconventional only for cities, since it's how open source projects have always been adopted, by pull rather than push.  And like traditional open source projects, it's often unpredictable which ones will be adopted, and where.  But it's clear that Adopt-a-Hydrant has legs.  Of course, now the challenge is seeing how it gets used by citizens.  But this is a great start.  I love the way CfA apps are bringing open source to cities.  Right now, we're doing it with little apps, but eventually, these things will add up to something bigger.  It's just the way the various Unix/Linux and Internet utilities eventually coalesced into something much larger and more impactful.Nice work, nice recognition!" - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
Re: Be Good (Not Less Bad) - http://continuations.com/post...
"So interesting.  I did a version of my "Towards a Global Brain" last night, which ends with the slide "We've got one world. We've got to get it right."  In the Q&A, one of the questions brought back to mind Jay Winik's book, The Great Upheaval, which is a tale of three revolutions: The American, the French, and one at about the same time in Russia, which was brutally put down by Catherine the Great. They represent a nice spread on the possibilities.  If we truly make it new, as the American Revolution did, we have a bright future.  If we let the Revolution devolve into rivalries that grow ever more acrimonious, we get the French. And then there's always the possibility of the Old Guard intervening forcefully to keep the new from happening." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
Re: Google to Launch Major New Social Network Called Circles, Possibly Today - http://www.disqus.com/people...
"Marshall - Sorry to appear to have confirmed your story. A while back, I saw some of the same research you refer to here, and when I saw Steve Case's tweet about a product being announced at SXSW, I thought "cool, they made it into a product." I hadn't clicked through to your story, and didn't realize it was just speculation." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
Re: Google to Launch Major New Social Network Called Circles, Possibly Today (Updated) - http://www.readwriteweb.com/archive...
"Marshall - Sorry to appear to have confirmed your story. A while back, I saw some of the same research you refer to here, and when I saw Steve Case's tweet about a product being announced at SXSW, I thought "cool, they made it into a product." I hadn't clicked through to your story, and didn't realize it was just speculation." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
"One-click is one of Amazon's biggest advantages, since once you have an account there, it reduces shopping friction. The biggest opportunity for products like Paypal and Google Checkout is to recreate that frictionless experience across any retailer who doesn't have the breadth of Amazon. Major merchants fighting Amazon shouldn't be requiring customers to create accounts; they should piggyback on existing payment players with network effects. Osama Bedier, who was the CTO at Paypal, and is now running payment technology for Google, remarked to me the other day that the only reason for taking a payment mechanism (from cash to credit cards) is because it increases sales. Once you realize that, you understand that using new payment mechanisms to reduce the friction of buying, and to increase the ease by which people can buy without registering (again), is absolutely critical." - Tim O'Reilly
EXACTLY! That is what I have been trying to tell all those GBF's who think that Amazon is going to pick up Google Check out. Will they? I'm not 'in the know' so only my future will tell. My thoughts? WHY WOULD THEY? - Heidi Jacobson
Tim O'Reilly
"Can reports be interfaces? Sure, but are they? Consider as a thought experiment the difference between a paper map, or even first generation online maps, and what you experience now with mapping on your phone. The map is now an interface to data and services - what's nearby, how to get from one place to another, how long it will take by car, by public transit, by bicycle, or on foot, which of your friends are in the neighborhood, and much more. That's a data visualization as an interface. Statistical visualizations can also be interfaces. Check out the cool demo of Microsoft's Pivot interface. http://www.microsoft.com/press... This is the same kind of approach that Bloom is taking to visualization as interface. But stick with the map example, and think on how a shift of framing can help you turn an output-only visualization into a set of new affordances." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
Re: Bye Bye, Long Tail - http://techcrunch.com/2011...
"One-click is one of Amazon's biggest advantages, since once you have an account there, it reduces shopping friction. The biggest opportunity for products like Paypal and Google Checkout is to recreate that frictionless experience across any retailer who doesn't have the breadth of Amazon. Major merchants fighting Amazon shouldn't be requiring customers to create accounts; they should piggyback on existing payment players with network effects. Osama Bedier, who was the CTO at Paypal, and is now running payment technology for Google, remarked to me the other day that the only reason for taking a payment mechanism (from cash to credit cards) is because it increases sales. Once you realize that, you understand that using new payment mechanisms to reduce the friction of buying, and to increase the ease by which people can buy without registering (again), is absolutely critical." - Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly
"Can reports be interfaces? Sure, but are they? Consider as a thought experiment the difference between a paper map, or even first generation online maps, and what you experience now with mapping on your phone. The map is now an interface to data and services - what's nearby, how to get from one place to another, how long it will take by car, by public transit, by bicycle, or on foot, which of your friends are in the neighborhood, and much more. That's a data visualization as an interface. Statistical visualizations can also be interfaces. Check out the cool demo of Microsoft's Pivot interface. http://www.microsoft.com/press... This is the same kind of approach that Bloom is taking to visualization as interface. But stick with the map example, and think on how a shift of framing can help you turn an output-only visualization into a set of new affordances." - Tim O'Reilly
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