In his final letter to shareholders, Jeff Bezos calculated how much his company has benefited stakeholders. Let’s check his math.

“If you want to be successful in business (in life, actually), you have to create more than you consume. Your goal should be to create value for everyone you interact with. Any business that doesn’t create value for those it touches, even if it appears successful on the surface, isn’t…


Before winner-take-all became the name of the game, a bookseller called Ingram showed a better way

Note: This is a republication of an article that I published last week on LinkedIn Pulse exploring the limits of Amazon’s vaunted “customer obsession” when pursued at the expense of suppliers, and contrasting it with the philosophy of Ingram, the book wholesaling platform that gave Amazon its start.

A few…


“Are You Really the Product?” Will Oremus asks on Slate, and hints at his answer with the subtitle for his piece: “The history of a dangerous idea.” Before getting to the meat of the argument, he gives an unexpected history of the phrase “If you aren’t paying for it, you…


“The world is moving apart in trust. In previous years, market-level trust has moved largely in lockstep, but for the first time ever there is now a distinct split between extreme trust gainers and losers. No market saw steeper declines than the United States, with a 37-point aggregate drop in trust across all institutions. At the opposite end of the spectrum, China experienced a 27-point gain, more than any other market.” 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer

We must renew trust in our institutions!

I spoke a few months ago with Philip Howard, the head of the Computational Propaganda Project at the Oxford Internet Institute. In the course of our conversation about the use of bots and fake social media profiles to game Facebook’s algorithms in order…


Cropped image from the Jefferson Memorial by Rian Castillo on Flickr

There’s a scene in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton in which Thomas Jefferson, who has been away as ambassador to France after the American Revolution, comes home and sings, “What’d I miss?”

We all have “What’d I miss?” moments, and authors of books most of all. Unlike the real-time publishing platforms of…


Illustration: Sunday Büro

W e are all fools in one way or another. Fools for love, fools for vanity, fools for greed and arrogance, laziness and envy.

In the fourth century AD, the Egyptian hermit Evagrius the Solitary classified human failings into eight major groups. In 590, Pope Gregory I revised Evagrius’ list…


The jacket for my forthcoming book, available October 10.

That’s the title of my new book, due out on October 10 from Harper Business in the US, and on October 17 from Penguin Random House in the UK. The book won’t be on sale till October 10, but you can pre-order on Amazon now!

WTF? can be an expression…


When I broke my electric kettle, Amazon had a new one to me in less than six hours.

We hear again and again that AI and robots are going to take away human jobs. My broken kettle says otherwise.

Yesterday, I set my electric kettle down awkwardly on the edge of the sink. Crash! It toppled over and smashed. I searched Amazon for a replacement, found several that…


Fake maps claiming to correlate crime rates and Democratic votes, circulated via email.

How I traced the falsity of one internet meme, and what that teaches us about how an algorithm might do it

I have a brother who is a big Donald Trump fan, and he frequently sends me articles from various right-wing media sources. …


This is protest as it should be done. Forcefully, clearly, respectfully.

I was really struck by the coverage of the Hamilton cast statement last night. The video is above. Please watch it before reading.

Donald Trump, of course, described the cast’s statement in the worst possible light.

I am sad…

Tim O'Reilly

Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media. Watching the alpha geeks, sharing their stories, helping the future unfold.

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