In this talk we will go back to basics with ontologies and from that project forwards to their future. I’ll base most of what I talk about on my experience in bio-ontologies, but most experience will be applicable in many domains; most domains are not as special as they think. When it comes down to the basics, we need to know what our data represent or mean; that is where ontologies come into play; We need to know what we’re talking about. Once we have that clear we can proceed. There is much that one can do with data once we know what it means. We can exploit those data through knowing what it represents. We can exploit these data better if our ontologies are also better. In taking this simple point of view forwards, I will use this talk to establish a set of principles for ontologists.