[fwd] [Boston.pm] [OT...almost] Tim O'Reilly (from: flucifredi@acm.org)

Jesse jesse@fsck.com
Fri, 19 Oct 2001 01:05:30 -0400

----- Forwarded message from Federico Lucifredi <flucifredi@acm.org> -----

From: "Federico Lucifredi" <flucifredi@acm.org>
To: <boston-pm@happyfunball.pm.org>
Subject: [Boston.pm] [OT...almost] Tim O'Reilly
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2001 00:35:20 -0400
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.3018.1300

Tim O'Reilly was at the MIT Student Center this evening between 5 and 7. He
gave a fairly broad overview of how he sees the world, and gave out a few
T-shirts and books. I have to say I quite liked the guy!

here are my nots from the talk: (quotes are approximate but reflect the
spirit of what was said)

-no one gets a business-plan right straight away. O'Reilly and associates
was invented as they went along.
-memories of the Open Source Summit. All these important people in OS never
met one another before.
-communication. Network technologies change social structures.
-barriers to entry lowered by 80's commoditizing of PC hardware - now M$
trying to raise barries again by creating APIs too burdensome to replicate
-UNIX philosophy enabled people to produce very diverse tools that can work
together even if the authors never communicated. just a few conventions and
pipes. Afer all, UNIX came out of a communications company.

COMMUNICATION-CENTRIC architecture enables the creation of COMMUNITIES OF

Capture the knowledge of technology innovators (this is the ideal O'Reilly
seeks from a book author).
"Someone who has been out there using it and knows all the complexities and
is willing to share them". ORA's job is  "Technology transfer from the front
of the leading edge to the back of the leading edge".

Amazon/Mapquest/etc are Applications, they just don't come in a package.

Time to generalyze the model. Providing web services. XML-RPC and SOAP.

BioInformatics -> computizing applied science. Inflation of number of
science stories in slashdot.

O'Reilly uses as a routine a number of applications that link against amazon
as a resource. "How many cents per page does a wrox book cost compared to an
ORA" ? kind of questions. Hackers do not ask themselves how to make money
out of it, they just want the functionality. Internal carpooling tool
linking mapquest, other examples.

Sites exposing an API seen as sources/sinks of data.


RPC++ approach versus EDI++.

Low barrier of entry keypoint. Hackers find a way to get what they want.

Real advertising is good company information put on the web. Only we do not
think of it that way because we do not pay for it (sort of). Not those
hideous popups.

ORA website: 6/7 million visitors per month.

small paradigm shift MP3.com (client/server)->napser p2p. Just because Sean
[Fenning] (sp) is a kid grown with a different paradigm in mind. The
difference it makes.

The Web commoditized publishing ->low barrier to entry point.

O'Reilly -> 8/10% profit margin
Academic Publisher -> often 50% ("Microsoft-like margins")

from bypassing the middleman (net early days) -> to getting new middleman
(less greedy) which are aggregators.

margins of open/commoditized vendors are very different than those of closed
/proprietary ones
redhat/dell -> microsoft/big-iron IBM

PERL->Duct Tape of the internet (he recalled an Active-X publicity demo all
written in PERL except for a little component moving a little animated

Raising Barriers (Microsoft) - Where are the choke points of the industry ?
Becoming the leader provider of online identity.

Becoming the American Express (single point of issue) VS becoming the
VISA/Mastercard (federated issuers) of authentication. gotta open up a bit.

"Bill Gates sounds like the kind of guy that sits at the table for dinner
and says 'I think I'll have all the mashed potatoes'" - O'Reilly's Mom

Recommended: Code and other laws of Cyberspace - Lawrence Lessing (sp?)
Importance of having a free intellectual backgound (could Disney produce the
Hunchback of Notre Dame if that was DMCA protected ? :D )

Social conventions - even if people wanted to pay for music, there was no
way they could have, and by the time the industry came up with a way for
them to, people had the ingrained idea that Napster was the only place to
get it from. The Music industry wants to keep unreasonably high profit
margins (point where the problem is, because, according to O'Reilly, a
reasonable fee people would pay).

CD-Bookshelf from O'Reilly. Online in Romania. Fine, they could not pay for
it anyway. We shipped there many books for free, and this is a heck of a lot
cheaper (hahaha).

In the Microsoft world there is only one way of doing it - and it does not
work =3D)

This is my summa of what Mr.O'Reilly - or Tim, like he insisted being
called, said. Of course, it is colored by the eyes of the viewer (listener,
rather), so... disclaimers apply here!


----- End forwarded message -----

jesse reed vincent -- root@eruditorum.org -- jesse@fsck.com=20
70EBAC90: 2A07 FC22 7DB4 42C1 9D71 0108 41A3 3FB3 70EB AC90

A REAL sysadmin challenge is "resurrect five dead mailserver while so ripped
to the gills on mdma that you can't focus on any given line of text for mor=
than 10 seconds continuously."
					-Nathan Mehl