Back in 2004 Tim O’Reilly popularised the term Web 2.0 to describe the shift then emerging from a static and fixed version of the web to one that was more interactive and social. Since then his company’s successful series of conferences bearing that name have become a powerful way to bring together innovators, investors and just the plain interested.
In common with the other presentations over the last few days, O’Reilly issued a clarion call to SXSW to use social media to help make the world a better place.
Eminently quotable, here are some of his comments that caused a flutter of agreement and discussion on Twitter:
– We need to reform corporate governance
– Corporations have duties to all of us, not just shareholders
– If we are going to thrive in the future we have to think about how we are going to be better
– We need to focus more on protecting the future from the past, not the past from the future.
– How are we going to be different? We need corporate and government leaders who actually ask this question to create real value
– We need some real leadership that focuses on real values other than money
– Education, government and manufacturing are all ripe for tech themed disruption.
And if this wasn’t enough of a manifesto for change, he threw out a challenge directly to the next crop of entrepreneurs looking to break through: “Work on stuff that you will look back on and be proud of.” His recommendation for business success: find questions that matter, and find people who are just as passionate as you are.
Good business is clearly emerging as one of the themes of this year’s SXSW and is finding a receptive audience. It’ll be fascinating to come back in a year’s time and hear about some of the start-ups that are heeding this call to action…