Tuesday, March 10, 2009

ETech: Monday evening keynote

After a very quick dinner I'm sitting in the Monday evening keynote waiting for Tim O'Reilly's to give his annual O'Reilly Radar...


Brady Forrest introducing Tim O'Reilly

Brady Forrest opened the show and introduced Tim, who is here to talk about the pilosophy that drives O'Reilly and stuff that matters...


Tim O'Reilly and stuff that matters...

These are pretty tough times... some things are being preserved, while some things are falling into ruin...

But what are our best and brightest doing? Throwing sheep on Facebook. Last year at the Web 2.0 conference Tim told people to work on stuff that matters,

Alot of people thought I was saying to work on non-profits, or maybe social ventures... I'm actually sauing that the world's great challenges is also the world's greatest opportunities.

But he's pointing to Better Place who are attempting the pioneer an new business model for electric cars,

Some of the things we think are so important today, are actually getting in our way...

He's talking about other power and energy companies like his son-in-law's company that's just come out of stealth, Makani Power working on high-altitude wind power systems. We have to get rid of about 8 terrawatts of fossil fuel energy and replace with renewables. Just because it's worthwhile, doesn't mean it isn't going to make money.

This attitude has started to bubble up form small companies to larger companies and agencies, like Google, and the NASA-Cisco climate project to flash the "planetary skin'. IBM has made it a center point of their new advertising campaign, a smarter planet, and instrumented, interconnected planet.

The idea of tackling big challenges, and bringing people along with us is what we have to do...

Talking about "big hairy audacious goals" Tim is now talking about public access to government data and has announced a new conference called the gov2.0 Summit which will be in Washington DC in September.

If you're not paying attention to what's happening to open government data, we have an opportunity that is unprecedented. We have a great challenge, but also a great opportunity. We have about 2 years to make a difference in the current administration...

He's talking about long term goals and the Long Now Foundation and scenarios for future planning, and the idea that there can be discontinuities, and we're in the middle of one just now. Both a financial one, and an environmental one.

The core of scenario planning is to develop a strategy that will be robust against any of the extreme strategy. Tim is urging us to think that way, think about what are the extremes in our lives, our business and figure out what are things that will be worth doing in the face of any of those extremes.

We're entering an era of choose your own adventure...

We're being told to find a place where you can make a difference, but make it count, like the $100 house...

Work on something that matters to you more than money. That's in the realm of things that matter.

Like deliberately unsustainable business models. If you're thinking about startups, stop thinking about whether it's going to succeed or not, and start thinking about what you're going to do instead. You need to create more value than you capture.

You guys are inventing the future, and what we want to do is help you spread the world, take on those giant challenges and eventually change the world.

Be minimal, leave places for other people to do things, and be friendly to people that extend you.

Update: Slides from Tim's keynote talk are now up on slideshare.net.