He is not a software engineer. He graduated from Harvard in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts in the classics.
From the outside looking in, the company he founded, O'Reilly Media, looks like either or both an online publisher of books and conference related materials, or as major conference producer. O'Reilly prefers to describe it as a technology transfer company, "changing the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators."
Photo of Tim O'Reilly by takeshi
O'Reilly maintains a blog he calls O'Reilly Radar and the other day he posted an entry he called Why search competition isn't the point. It happens to include viewpoints I share.
Shared viewpoint #1 -
- "To focus on search is to miss the big picture. Web 2.0 (or whatever the fullness of the Internet Operating System ends up being called) is far bigger than search .... The key question is what kind of platform we're collectively building. There is strong evidence that the platform that's emerging is more like Linux than it is like Windows. That is, no one player is going to own all the pieces. But that could change if someone owned enough of the pieces that everyone else became dependent on them. So I'd be much more concerned about a single player rolling up unrelated and complementary pieces of the larger internet [operating system] till they owned critical mass in multiple areas than I would be about a single player owning a best of breed application in one area or another." [bold emphasis added]
Shared viewpoint #2 -
- "The race is on to own certain classes of core data: location, identity, calendaring of public events, product identifiers and namespaces. In many cases, where there is significant cost to create the data, there may be an opportunity for an Intel Inside style play, with a single source for the data. In others, the winner will be the company that first reaches critical mass via user aggregation, and turns that aggregated data into a system service." [bold emphasis added]
Shared viewpoint #3 -
- "Google's search dominance will be toppled by a disruptive innovation that changes the game, not by playing catch-up at the same game. The challenges that keep Google on their toes, innovating in search, will come from outside the current system." [bold emphasis added]
From my vantage point, what Tim O'Reilly is talking about is a good 'ol paradigm shift. Paradigm shifts come from 'outside of the box'. When they happen it is as if 'nobody saw it coming'. But, once they happen, 20/20 hindsight reveals that the 'writing was on the wall' well in advance of the shift.
In advance of this paradigm shift, the writing that I see on the wall is simply this:
"Data ownership matters"
This simple premise is the raison d'etre for The Pardalis Data Ownership Blog.