52 Quotes of Tim O’Reilly About Technology

” We’re entering a new world in which data may be more important than software. “
” I like to think that even if we make some really bad choices and go down some bad paths, we’ll eventually emerge from it. “
” Empowerment of individuals is a key part of what makes open source work, since in the end, innovations tend to come from small groups, not from large, structured efforts. “
” What new technology does is create new opportunities to do a job that customers want done. “
” Conferences are really like parties, and an A-list party is one where A-list people are in attendance. You figure out who are the really important people to invite and get them to show up as speakers or as guests. Then everybody wants to be there. If you don’t know who the important people are, you shouldn’t be doing a conference. “
” There’s not a single business model, and there’s not a single type of electronic content. There are really a lot of opportunities and a lot of options and we just have to discover all of them. “
” If you are extremely well known and have a very desirable product, then yes, you probably do suffer a bit from piracy, in the same way that if you make a lot of money, you pay more in taxes than if you don’t make any money. “
” I believe that the human motive to share is very powerful. The human motive to profit is also very powerful, and I think that the profit motive and the sharing motive are not exclusive. “
” We want to show how technology can be applied to fix our problems. We need to celebrate not just success but to celebrate people who make a difference. It starts with people who do things for love, with no expectation of return. Some of that turns into enormous financial success, and then some of it goes back into doing it for love. “
” We often get blinded by the forms in which content is produced, rather than the job that the content does. “
” Apple is in a position they’ve been in a lot of times before. They’re like Moses showing the way to the promised land, but they don’t actually go there. “
” 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. You have to pay attention to money, but it shouldn’t be about the money. “
” A short, glorious life in service of a greater good – say, the life of the Spartans at Thermopylae, or the pilots in the Battle of Britain, of whom Winston Churchill said ‘Never have so many owed so much to so few,’ – that is worth praising. But for glory alone? I think not. “
” I think Microsoft will have to change. I think that the business of Microsoft, the company of Microsoft, is going to continue to succeed. But I think the business model of Microsoft is going to have to change. “
” I think that Microsoft will increasingly feel margin pressure from Linux as well as people saying: well actually the applications that really matter to me are not on my PC. And so they’re going to be able to extract less of a monopoly rent, so to speak. “
” I think that companies always become complacent, over time. Or most companies, that is. “
” A book is always a dialogue with other readers and other books. “
” The network is opening up some amazing possibilities for us to reinvent content, reinvent collaboration. “
” An invention has to make sense in the world it finishes in, not in the world it started. “
” So many technologies start out with a burst of idealism, democratization, and opportunity, and over time, they close down and become less friendly to entrepreneurship, to innovation, to new ideas. Over time, the companies that become dominant take more out of the ecosystem than they put back in. “
” If companies don’t think systemically enough – if they try to capture too much of the value – eventually, innovation moves somewhere else. “
” Everybody who goes into government gets somewhat chewed up in the process. Being a senior appointee is like being at a startup, only more so: You run into opposition from the entrenched oligopoly of contractors whose business model is to extract as much money from government as possible for doing as little as possible. “
” I see publishers bemoaning their fate and saying that this is the end of publishing. No! Publishers will recreate themselves. Some of that comes from my experience as a print publisher. “
” 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. “
” One of O’Reilly’s advantages is that we have a network of thousands of user groups to whom we give free books, to whom we advertise our products, and they spread the word. If you don’t have that database, it’s hard to get the attention of the market. “
” 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. “
” A lot of my energy is going to Code for America, Jen Pahlka’s non-profit startup. We’re doing a lot of great work teaching government how to apply technology and changing the culture of government. “
” I guess I would just say that in general, one of my weaknesses is that I love everything. There’s too much of everything to keep up with it all. I get bored with Silicon Valley technology a lot. I’ve always had much more of a draw to the people who are doing things for love than the people who are doing things for money. “
” It’s hard to make something as large as a government change. It’s a little bit like building the transcontinental railroad. “
” My original business model – I actually wrote this down – was ‘interesting work for interesting people.’ “
” I wanted more control of my life. I wanted work to fit in, not to dominate; to support, not to lead the pattern of my life. “
” There is a possibility of fresh talent coming to work for the government. Millennials are the most public-spirited generation since the 1960s. There is an opportunity to harness that generation and make government service cool again. “
” This whole idea of visibility by the public creates a pretty powerful lever. In the new transparency era, you are able to make change you would otherwise have difficulty making. It’s no longer possible for somebody just to bury the problem. It’s the reason why things like WikiLeaks are important. “
” Why did Google, for example, recently decide to offer free 411 service? I haven’t talked to people at Google, but it’s pretty clear to me why. It’s because of speech recognition. It has nothing to do with 411 service: it has to do with getting a database of voices, so they don’t have to license speech technology from Nuance or someone else. “
” I have to say there are a lot of me-too products and companies. Yet another social network, of the 15th flavor – that’s common in every new technology revolution. There are imitators who have marginal improvements. “
” One of the big changes at the heart of Web 2.0 is the shift from the creation of software artifacts, which is what the PC revolution was about, to the creation of software services. These are services that ultimately, if they are successful, will require competencies of operation, of scale, and the like. “
” Amazon is now the definitive source for data about whole sets of products – fungible consumer products. EBay is the authoritative source for the secondary market of those products. Google is the authority for information about facts, but they’re relatively undifferentiated. “
” I believe people are fundamentally good and want to find things that make life better for themselves. There are social dynamics for people that work, and there are ones that are pathological. But beneath every ‘no’ lays a ‘yes’ that had never been broken. I put my life-faith in that. “
” People don’t care about books. They care about ideas. “
” We were the first people to do advertising on the Web. I actually saw in 1993 that the ad could be the content, the destination. “
” Proprietary software grew up, starting really in the 1980s, as an alternative and that became the dominant model with the rise of companies like Microsoft and Oracle and the like. “
” A lot of the websites built through the 1990s used Perl. The first webmaster of Sun Microsystems coined a wonderful phrase. He said Perl is the duck tape of the Internet – it’s this language that people would write all these scripts that make things just work. “
” Virtually every real breakthrough in technology had a bubble which burst, left a lot of people broke who’d invested in it, but also left the infrastructure for this next golden age, effectively. “
” We don’t market products narrowly. We market big stories about the industry, things that matter to a lot of people. “
” There are a lot of lousy conferences that pander to sponsors. They end up creating an opportunity for boring speakers who are paid shills for their companies. We still get a few of those, but we really try to police it. Think about who the audience is and what works for them, and deliver high-quality content. “
” Who was the first person to fly across the Atlantic? Lindbergh. Who was the second? No idea. “
” 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. “
” I’d love to have the time to learn to sing opera properly rather than bellowing half-formed fragments of melody in exuberant moments. “
” While the willingness of the ancient Greeks to sacrifice their lives for glory brings tears to my eyes, I cannot ultimately condone the choice of Achilles. “
” I came up with the idea that I wanted to develop products because I saw services businesses being a dead end long term. “
” There is people who make stuff with words. There is people who make stuff with programs. And I really believe that that whole creative culture, people didn’t realize how creative programming is. And anybody who’s done it of course knows that not only is it creative, but it’s incredibly absorbing. “
” I find that creative streak I think often leads in programmers to be good predictors of where culture as a whole is going to go. And that is where I think I’ve tried over the years to in some ways use my customers as a filter or a predictor of where technology as a whole is going to go. Or where the world as a whole is going to go. “