Watching the Alpha Geeks

                  Tim O’Reilly

 Harvard Club of Silicon Valley
                   May 5, 2010
I’m best known as a computer book publisher
“Martha Stewart
  for Geeks”
Reinventing the Faire
         Low Tech Meets High Tech
“A wondrous thing: the gathering
of folks from all walks of life who
blend science,
technology, craft, and art to make
thi...
What We Really Do At O'Reilly




           Change the world by spreading the
               knowledge of innovators
O’Reilly Radar Methodology
 “The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed
  yet.” - William Gibson
 We “watch th...
11
12
Just give the one finger salute and
     keep going! - Col Joe Kittinger




13
14
Closer to home...




15
16
“A PC on every desk and in every home”




17
“The PC is just a toy.”




18
In 1998, search had largely been written
     off as a business opportunity...




19
“Organize all the world’s information”




20
Hackers Like Big Challenges




21
“I’m an inventor.
 I became interested in
 long term trends because
 an invention has to make
 sense in the world in
 whic...
The Internet as Platform
“Ask yourself for a moment, what is the
operating system of a Google or Bing search?
What is the operating system of a mob...
The smart phone plus local search. Today pizza, tomorrow




                             Pazzia, 337 3rd Street
         ...
An application running on a
mobile device whose user
interface is driven by sensors:

- Touch screen
- Motion and proximit...
An application that depends on
cooperating cloud data services:

- Speech recognition
- Search
- Location data
Another application that
depends on cooperating
cloud data services:

- Location
- Search
- Speech recognition
- Live Traf...
The Yelp Monocle
 Find cafes nearby.
35
AMEE - the world’s energy meter
We’re moving to a world in which every device
generates useful data, in which every action creates
“information shadows” o...
What’s wrong with Government today
Vending Machine Government




               Vending Machine Gov concept from Donald Kettl:
               The Next Gover...
We Need to Do More Than Shake
the Vending Machine!




   http://image06.webshots.com/6/2/57/50/190125750NgQXwu_ph.jpg
Manufacturing
 Transportation
  Food & Water
Renewable Energy
    Learning

    There’s a lot
we can do ourselves.
A Maker Faire
           For Detroit

Foster the
engagement of
individuals and
communities in
science and
technology
innov...
For More Information


     • What is Web 2.0?
     http://www.oreillynet.com/go/web2
     • http://tim.oreilly.com
     •...
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks
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Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks

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My talk for the Harvard Club of Silicon Valley connects the dots between enthusiasts and technology innovation.

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  • Results from 90 million geotagged photos on Flickr: http://code.flickr.com/blog/2008/10/30/the-shape-of-alpha/

  • Each device is recognizable solely from its “energy signature.”



































  • Harvard Club of Silicon Valley: Watching the Alpha Geeks

    1. 1. Watching the Alpha Geeks Tim O’Reilly Harvard Club of Silicon Valley May 5, 2010
    2. 2. I’m best known as a computer book publisher
    3. 3. “Martha Stewart for Geeks”
    4. 4. Reinventing the Faire Low Tech Meets High Tech
    5. 5. “A wondrous thing: the gathering of folks from all walks of life who blend science, technology, craft, and art to make things goofy and grand.” –New York Times
    6. 6. What We Really Do At O'Reilly Change the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators
    7. 7. O’Reilly Radar Methodology  “The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” - William Gibson  We “watch the alpha geeks” and think about the futures they are living in  We then look for trend data that tells us that a particular future is becoming mainstream  I’m going to tell you some seemingly unconnected technology stories from the front lines of innovation. Then we’re going to connect the dots.
    8. 8. 11
    9. 9. 12
    10. 10. Just give the one finger salute and keep going! - Col Joe Kittinger 13
    11. 11. 14
    12. 12. Closer to home... 15
    13. 13. 16
    14. 14. “A PC on every desk and in every home” 17
    15. 15. “The PC is just a toy.” 18
    16. 16. In 1998, search had largely been written off as a business opportunity... 19
    17. 17. “Organize all the world’s information” 20
    18. 18. Hackers Like Big Challenges 21
    19. 19. “I’m an inventor. I became interested in long term trends because an invention has to make sense in the world in which it is finished, not the world in which it is started.” -Ray Kurzweil
    20. 20. The Internet as Platform
    21. 21. “Ask yourself for a moment, what is the operating system of a Google or Bing search? What is the operating system of a mobile phone call? What is the operating system of maps and directions on your phone? What is the operating system of a tweet?”
    22. 22. The smart phone plus local search. Today pizza, tomorrow Pazzia, 337 3rd Street California Pizza Kitchen, 53 3rd Street Blondie’s Pizza. 63 Powell Street
    23. 23. An application running on a mobile device whose user interface is driven by sensors: - Touch screen - Motion and proximity sensors - Microphone - GPS or cell tower triangulation
    24. 24. An application that depends on cooperating cloud data services: - Speech recognition - Search - Location data
    25. 25. Another application that depends on cooperating cloud data services: - Location - Search - Speech recognition - Live Traffic - Imagery
    26. 26. The Yelp Monocle  Find cafes nearby.
    27. 27. 35
    28. 28. AMEE - the world’s energy meter
    29. 29. We’re moving to a world in which every device generates useful data, in which every action creates “information shadows” on the net.
    30. 30. What’s wrong with Government today
    31. 31. Vending Machine Government Vending Machine Gov concept from Donald Kettl: The Next Government of the United States
    32. 32. We Need to Do More Than Shake the Vending Machine! http://image06.webshots.com/6/2/57/50/190125750NgQXwu_ph.jpg
    33. 33. Manufacturing Transportation Food & Water Renewable Energy Learning There’s a lot we can do ourselves.
    34. 34. A Maker Faire For Detroit Foster the engagement of individuals and communities in science and technology innovation, the practices of creative arts and hands-on education for kids of all ages.
    35. 35. For More Information • What is Web 2.0? http://www.oreillynet.com/go/web2 • http://tim.oreilly.com • http://radar.oreilly.com • http://www.makezine.com • http://www.oreilly.com 54

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