Tim O’Reilly: How to Think About the Future

This is part of my set of notes from the Startup School 2006 sessions at Stanford.

Unfortunately, I returned from lunch a bit late and only caught the tail end of Tim O’Reilly’s presentation; hence, my notes are a bit sparse.


  • “Find a parade and get in front of it”
  • For example, when launching the Whole Internet User’s Guide, O’Reilly used it to tell the world “the Internet is coming” as opposed to trying to simply hawk the book. Sent the book to Congress members to inform, not to peddle.
  • Amazon One-Click Patent: Know who your friends are – used Scripting News, Slashdot, others to push the agenda against Amazon 1-click

Asymmetric Competition

  • Figure out where there’s an industry that right for disruption – look at how Craig Newmark is hurting the newspaper industry. Craigslist is at number 7 on the list of top sites on the net in 2005 – 18 employees versus 9,000 of Yahoo (#1 on the same list)!
  • The best way to be ahead of the curve is to be working on something that you’re passionate about