Future Projection with Tim O’Reilly

Tim O’Reilly’s book What’s the Future? is an overview of business, technology, and society. As the founder of O’Reilly Media, Tim has been steeped in technology trends for the last 40 years. From his vantage point running conferences and publishing technical content, Tim has been able to make informed predictions about what is coming next.

In today’s conversation, Tim gave his perspective on how artificial intelligence will impact our world in the coming decades. More importantly–Tim emphasizes the role of human agency. The future is not something that merely happens to us as we sit back and eat popcorn. Today, we make decisions, and those decisions that we make could help lead us to technology utopia or towards the fall of our great technological empire.

On the subject of business, Tim gave a radically different perspective than most of the entrepreneurs that come on Software Engineering Daily. In our conversation, he raised the question of why entrepreneurs raise massive amounts of money, get on the treadmill of startup hype, and build a company around negative cash flows. For that model, the only possible outcomes are going public, being acquired, or flaming out completely. O’Reilly Media has been cash flow positive since the beginning, and the company has steadily compounded, growing successively bigger businesses from publishing to conferences to online learning.

This episode gave me a lot to think about–just as the O’Reilly Conferences have throughout the years. O’Reilly Media has graciously partnered with SE Daily since we were very small, so I have great admiration for the company and Tim himself. It was a pleasure to get the chance to meet him in person.

Transcript

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