WTF? What's the Future and Why It's Up To Us

From the WTF? economy to the Next Economy

The book is a combination of memoir, business strategy guide, and call to action. It covers the lessons that I’ve learned about technology platforms from four decades in the industry, and how they apply both to businesses and to the broader economy.

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Tim O'ReillyMaker@timoreilly · Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media
I wrote this book because I want something from you. I'll get to that in a moment. First, I want to tell you what you'll get if you read it. 1. You'll get some insights about what it takes to reinvent the world, which is what all great entrepreneurs do. I share stories about how folks like Jeff Bezos have done it again and again, seeing the world with fresh eyes and doing things that previously seemed unthinkable. 2. I'll show you how to think about business models - how a simplistic version like "we do advertising" misses the point. A business model is the way that all the parts of a business work together to drive strategic advantage and customer value. I show, for example, how Uber and Lyft's business model implies a very different approach to autonomous vehicles than most analysts assume. 3. I outline some of the key features that make the great platforms successful - and platforms are the biggest winners in our entrepreneurial ecosystem - and why the most central feature is that they make others successful. When platforms forget this, I show how they begin to wither away. What do I want from you? I want from you a commitment to use your entrepreneurial and technological superpowers to make a better world. I'm sick of hearing talk of "disruption." I want to know what you're going to create, and why it matters. Anyone can see that the world we're in is headed for trouble, serious trouble. People are hurting, and lashing out because of that. There are huge problems coming at us that we aren't dealing with. The job of the entrepreneur isn't to start a company, sell it, and get rich. The job is to create value for other people by the things you invent and the services you provide. I've heard too many entrepreneurs and investors talk about the industries they are going to disrupt without any regard to the people they are going to put out of work. I've seen too many focused on the payday, and not the work that needs doing. I'm sick and tired of hearing that technology will take away jobs, because it will only do that if that what we ask it to do. As Nick Hanauer says, "Technology is the solution to human problems. We won't run out of work until we run out of problems." Work on stuff that matters. I hope that this book will help you understand how to succeed by doing that, and in the process, to make the graph of goodness for our entire society to continue to go up and to the right. Thanks.
Chris MessinaHunter@chrismessina · 🏆 PH Community Member of the Year!
@timoreilly love this statement, Tim, and the values behind it! Can you share some quick and tangible examples of how you've applied this thinking to your work at O'Reilly and elsewhere?
Mark M. Whelan@mark_m_whelan · Founder @Human-Centered Leadership
@timoreilly We met last week at the Gbx gala, anyway, do you think that technology is the answer to human problems or is technology a tool (as in the monkey with the bone in Kubrick's 2001) how we look at problems and the methods/habits we employ is the way we're going to create a better world?
Natali Molko@natali_molko
@timoreilly thank you for your descption. Sounds really interesting.
Eric Ries@ericries
I got to read an early copy of this book and it is 🔥🔥🔥
Mark M. Whelan@mark_m_whelan · Founder @Human-Centered Leadership
@ericries would you be so kind as to elaborate on why you are so enthusiastic?
Chris MessinaHunter@chrismessina · 🏆 PH Community Member of the Year!
Super excited for Tim's new book. I've followed his thoughts and writings for years — and obviously followed the model of FOO Camp with BarCamp all the way back in 2005! Eager to dive into his earned wisdom in his latest work.
Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Why no animal on the cover, @timoreilly!? 😫
Chris MessinaHunter@chrismessina · 🏆 PH Community Member of the Year!
Tim O'ReillyMaker@timoreilly · Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media
@rrhoover I'm not the publisher (it's from Harper Business), but even if O'Reilly Media had published it, it's not an animal book. That brand means something: applied learning on a very specific topic. This is a business book wrapped in a memoir and an economic call to action. As to why I published it with Harper Business - that's because I already can reach my existing audience. And I wanted to get my message out to people who aren't already following me.
Nico Lumma@nico · Managing Partner Next Media Accelerator
Can‘t wait. Tim O‘Reilly has one of the sharpest minds in the industry.