Tim O'Reilly

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This article is about the founder of O'Reilly Media. For the musician, see Tim O'Reilly (musician).
Tim O'Reilly
Tim O'Reilly in 2009.
Tim O'Reilly in 2009.
Born (1954-06-06) June 6, 1954 (age 61)
Cork, Ireland
Alma mater Harvard College
Occupation Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media
Website
Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly (born June 6, 1954) is the founder of O'Reilly Media (formerly O'Reilly & Associates). He popularized the terms open source[1] and Web 2.0.

Life and career[edit]

Born in County Cork, Ireland, O'Reilly moved to San Francisco with his family when he was a baby.[2] He has three brothers and three sisters.[3]

As a teenager, encouraged by his older brother Sean, O'Reilly became a follower of George Simon, a writer and adherent of the general semantics program.[2][3] Through Simon, O'Reilly became acquainted with the work of Alfred Korzybski,[4] which he has cited as a formative experience.[5][6]

In 1973, O'Reilly went to Harvard College to study Classics and graduated cum laude with a B.A. in 1975. During O'Reilly's freshman year at Harvard, George Simon died in an accident.[3][4] After graduating, O'Reilly completed an edition of Simon's Notebooks, 1965-1973.[7] He also wrote a well-received book on the science fiction writer Frank Herbert[8] and edited a collection of Herbert's essays and interviews.[9]

After graduating, O'Reilly married his first wife, Christina, with whom he moved to the Boston area. The couple raised two daughters.[3]

O'Reilly got started as a technical writer in 1977. He started publishing computer manuals in 1983, setting up his business in a converted barn in Newton, Massachusetts, where about a dozen employees worked in a single open room.[3]

In 1989, O'Reilly moved his company to Sebastopol, California, and published the Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog best-seller in 1992.[3]

O'Reilly's business, then known as O'Reilly & Associates, steadily grew through the '90s, during which period it expanded from print to web publishing. In 1993, the company's catalog became an early web portal, the Global Network Navigator, which in 1995 was sold to America Online for $11 million. The company suffered in the dotcom crash of 2000. As book sales decreased, O'Reilly had to lay off about seventy people, about a quarter of the staff,[3] but thereafter successfully rebuilt the company around ebook publishing, events, and online learning. The company has about 500 employees worldwide.

O'Reilly serves on the board of directors of three companies, Safari Books Online, Maker Media, and PeerJ. He served on the board of Macromedia until its 2005 merger with Adobe Systems, and on the board of MySQL AB until its sale to Sun Microsystems. He also serves on the board of directors for the advocacy group Code for America. In February 2012, he joined the UC Berkeley School of Information Advisory Board.[10]

As a venture capitalist, O'Reilly has invested in companies such as Blogger, Delicious,[3] Foursquare, Bitly, and Chumby.[11]

On 11 April 2015 O'Reilly married Jennifer Pahlka,[12] a former collaborator on his company's Web 2.0 events,[13] former Deputy CTO of the USA, and currently Founder and Executive Director of Code for America.[14]

Advocacy[edit]

O'Reilly has worked as an activist for a number of causes[15] and prides himself on his company's "long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism."[16] As a strategy of persuasion, he has evolved a technique of "meme engineering," which seeks to modify the terminology that people use.[17][4]

Early causes[edit]

In 1996, O'Reilly fought against a 10-Connection Limit on TCP/IP NT Workstations, writing a letter to the United States Department of Justice, Bill Gates, and CNN, concerned that the Internet is still in its infancy, and that limitations could cripple the technology before it ever has a chance to reach its full potential.[18]

In 2001, O'Reilly was involved in a dispute with Amazon.com,[19] against Amazon's one-click patent and, specifically, Amazon's assertion of that patent against rival Barnes & Noble. The protest ended with O'Reilly and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos visiting Washington D.C. to lobby for patent reform.

Open source software[edit]

In 1998, O'Reilly helped rebrand free software under the term open source.[20][17][4] O'Reilly sees the role of open source as being inseparable from the development of the Internet, pointing to the widely used TCP/IP protocol, sendmail, Apache, Perl, GNU/Linux and other open source platforms.[1] He is concerned about trends towards new forms of lock-in.[21]

Web 2.0[edit]

In 2004, collaborating with John Battelle and Dale Dougherty, O'Reilly popularized the phrase Web 2.0 for the resurgence of the web after the dotcom crash of 2000, and as a generic term for the "harnessing of collective intelligence" he viewed as the hallmark of this resurgence. O'Reilly first called an "executive conference" in 2004,[22] inviting five hundred technology and business leaders, followed by a public version of the event in 2005. Annual iterations of the event, known as the "Web 2.0 Summit" from 2006 onwards, continued until 2011. By that time, O'Reilly was applying the "2.0" concept to conferences in publishing and government, amongst other things.[23]

O'Reilly envisions the Internet Operating System[24] as consisting of various sub systems, such as media, payment, speech recognition, location, and identity. He uses the analogy of the biome of the human body, having more bacterial than human cells, but depending upon millions of other organisms, each pursuing their own interest, but nevertheless weaving a co-operative web.[25]

Government as platform[edit]

O'Reilly has been propagating the notion of "government as platform", or "Gov 2.0".[2] He is considered the most enthusiastic promoter of algorithmic regulation,[26] the ongoing monitoring and modification of government policies via open data feedback.[27]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b O'Reilly, Tim (June 2004). "Open Source Paradigm Shift". O'Reilly Media. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Chafkin, Max (2010-05-01). "The Oracle of Silicon Valley". Inc.com. Retrieved 2015-03-05. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Levy, Steven (October 2005). "The Trend Spotter". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d Morozov, Evgeny (2013). "The Meme Hustler: Tim O’Reilly’s crazy talk". The Baffler (22). 
  5. ^ O'Reilly, Tim (2005-07-07). "Books That Have Shaped How I Think". O'Reilly Media. Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  6. ^ O'Reilly, Tim (2012-10-29). "Language is a Map". LinkedIn Pulse. Retrieved 2015-04-26. 
  7. ^ Simon, George (1976). Notebooks, 1965-1973, ed. with commentary by Timothy O'Reilly. Watertown, Mass.: Summer Publishers. 
  8. ^ O'Reilly, Timothy (1981). Frank Herbert. New York: Frederick Ungar. Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  9. ^ Yoke, Carl (1988). Robert A. Collins, ed. Science fiction & fantasy book review annual. Westport: Meckler. pp. 409–410. ISBN 0887362494. 
  10. ^ "Tim O'Reilly joins I School Advisory Board". ischool.berkeley.edu. Retrieved February 16, 2012. 
  11. ^ Levy, Steven (2012-12-21). "Tim O’Reilly’s Key to Creating the Next Big Thing". Wired. Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  12. ^ O'Reilly, Tim (12 April 2015). "Last night at the reception". Twitter. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "Web 2.0 Expo Speaker Bio". O'Reilly Media. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  14. ^ Scola, Nancy (August 25, 2014). "How the U.S. Digital Service could upset D.C.'s IT vendor ecosystem". Washington Post. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  15. ^ Guynn, Jessica (2008-10-10). "Tech guru challenges next generation to get serious". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  16. ^ O’Reilly, Tim (2006-03-12). "About O'Reilly". O'Reilly Media. 
  17. ^ a b O’Reilly, Tim (2001). "Remaking the Peer-to-Peer Meme". In Andrew Oram (ed.). Peer-to-peer: Harnessing the Benefits of a Disruptive Technology. O’Reilly Media. pp. 38–58. ISBN 9780596001100. 
  18. ^ The 1996 Controversy about the 10-Connection Limit on TCP/IP in NT Workstation at the Wayback Machine (archived November 10, 2001)
  19. ^ O'Reilly, Tim (June 2000). "Internet Land Grab". oreillynet.com. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  20. ^ van Rossum, Guido (1998-04-10). "Open Source Summit". Linux Gazette. Retrieved 2015-02-07. 
  21. ^ Tim O'Reilly (May 6, 2010). Web 2.0 Expo SF 2010: Tim O'Reilly, "State of the Internet Operating System" (SWF/FLV(FLASH)/H.264) (Videotaped Conference). San Francisco: OReillyMedia. Event occurs at 7:00. Retrieved August 24, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Web 2.0 Conference". Web2con. 2004. 
  23. ^ Turner, Fred; Christine Larson (2015-01-01). "Network Celebrity: Entrepreneurship and the New Public Intellectuals". Public Culture 2 (1 75): 53–84. Retrieved 2015-02-04. 
  24. ^ O'Reilly, Tim. "The State of the Internet Operating System". radar.oreilly.com. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  25. ^ Tim O'Reilly (May 6, 2010). Web 2.0 Expo SF 2010: Tim O'Reilly, "State of the Internet Operating System" (SWF/FLV(FLASH)/H.264) (Videotaped Conference). San Francisco: OReillyMedia. Event occurs at 12:20. Retrieved August 24, 2011. 
  26. ^ Morozov, Evgeny (2014-07-20). "The rise of data and the death of politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-02-13. 
  27. ^ O'Reilly, Tim (October 2013). "Open Data and Algorithmic Regulation". In Brett Goldstein, Lauren Dyson (eds.). Beyond Transparency: Open Data and the Future of Civic Innovation. San Francisco: Code for America. 

External links[edit]