“Capture all the value you can, then grab some more” would probably be the view of a great many people trying to describe what corporations have been doing for some years now. Tim O’Reilly, the founder and CEO O'Reilly Media, thinks companies and individuals should aim for an entirely different goal; create more value than you capture. During his session at SXSW 2012, the influential interactive conference, O’Reilly offered up many such quotable nuggets which frame a positive and inspiring view of what business can be. “Work on stuff that matters. Work on stuff that you’ll look back on and be proud of”, “Investors don’t create jobs. Customers create jobs”, “Policy should protect the future from the past, not the past from the future”, “No, you don’t [need to find the right answer for Hollywood]. You have to find the right answer for society”, “Almost all great companies have a higher purpose” and “Breakthroughs in generosity create value”.
O’Reilly has been called ‘The Oracle of Silicon Valley’ and for good reason, for years now he has been observing ‘alpha geeks’, paying attention to the technologies they use and create, looking forward from there and picking areas of interest. He then dives into those subjects and starts taking part in the education, promotion and evolution of those fields. Coming up are co-creating monikers like ‘Web 2.0’, ‘Gov 2.0’ and ‘Government as platform’--which has now even been picked up by the White House. His take on the technology environment, business and society is always valuable and well presented. He’s one of our favorite thinkers on the tech side, the talk cited above is a great example of why.