At O’Reilly, we’ve always tried to live by the slogan “Create more value than you capture.” It’s a great way to build a sustainable business and a sustainable economy.
The prevailing mentality of mainstream business has led to short term gain, but long term loss. Yet the economy depends on consumers as well as producers: as consumers are increasingly less able to find employment, we’re going to have to start thinking about how to put people to work, rather than how to put them out of work.
We need to rethink our understanding of value and rediscover idealism in business. For entrepreneurs, there’s a great opportunity to work on the hard problems that matter.
Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media. His original business plan was “interesting work for interesting people,” and that’s worked out pretty well. He publishes books, runs conferences, invests in early-stage startups, urges companies to create more value than they capture, and tries to change the world by spreading and amplifying the knowledge of innovators.
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