Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media Inc. His original business plan was simply “interesting work for interesting people,” and that’s worked out pretty well. He publishes books, runs conferences, invests in early-stage startups, urges companies to create more value than they capture, and tries to change the world by spreading and amplifying the knowledge of innovators. Tim is also a partner at O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, O’Reilly’s early stage venture firm, and is on the board of Safari Books Online, PeerJ, Code for America, and Maker Media, which was recently spun out from O’Reilly Media. Maker Media’s Maker Faire has been compared to the West Coast Computer Faire, which launched the personal computer revolution.
Over the years, Tim has built a culture where sustainable innovation is a key tenet of business philosophy. His active engagement with technology communities both drives the company’s product development and informs its marketing.
Tim graduated from Harvard College in 1975 with a degree in Classics. He began working as a technical writer, and soon began writing and publishing his own books on technology topics. Since 1978, O’Reilly has been a chronicler and catalyst of leading-edge development, honing in on the technology trends that really matter and galvanizing their adoption by amplifying “faint signals” from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. His company is publisher of the iconic “animal books” for software developers, creator of the first commercial website (GNN), organizer of the summit meeting that gave the open source software movement its name, and he was a key figure in the “Web 2.0” renaissance after the dot com bust, focusing the industry on the role of data rather than software in driving competitive advantage in the next generation of applications. His conferences include the O’Reilly Open Source Convention, Strata: The Business of Data, the Velocity Conference on Web Performance and Operations, and many others. His writings and speeches have played a key role in understanding the evolution of the internet as a platform, and he has been a catalyst for Gov 2.0 “government as a platform” efforts at the federal, state, and local level.