Year Founded: 1978
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, research, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly has been a chronicler and catalyst of leading-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and galvanizing their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
Publisher of the iconic "animal books" for software developers, creator of the first commercial website (GNN), organizer of the summit meeting that gave the open source software movement its name, and prime instigator of the DIY revolution through Make magazine, O'Reilly continues to concoct new ways to connect people with the information they need. O'Reilly conferences and summits bring alpha geeks and forward-thinking business leaders together to shape the revolutionary ideas that spark new industries. Long the information source of choice for technologists, the company now also delivers the knowledge of expert early adopters to everyday computer users. Whether it's delivered in print, online, or in person, everything O'Reilly produces reflects the company's unshakeable belief in the power of information to spur innovation.
O'Reilly publishes definitive books on computer technologies for developers, administrators, and users. Bestselling series include the legendary "animal books," Missing Manuals, Hacks, and Head First.
O'Reilly Media started out as a technical writing and consulting company named O'Reilly & Associates. In 1984, we started retaining rights to manuals we created for Unix vendors. Our books were grounded in our hands-on experience with the technology, and we wrote them in a straightforward, conversational voice. We weren't afraid to say in print that a vendor's technology didn't work as advertised. While our publishing program has expanded to include everything from digital photography to desktop applications to software engineering, those early principles still guide our editorial approach.
We were early users of the Internet. After the publication of our first million-copy bestseller, Ed Krol's The Whole Internet User's Guide & Catalog, we ventured onto a new medium called the World Wide Web and developed a version of the Internet catalog from the book. That product, the Global Network Navigator (GNN), was the first Web portal. In addition to being the first exclusively Web-based publication, GNN pioneered the advertiser-supported model of online publishing. We sold GNN to America Online in June 1995.
Today, our online offerings present technology information in a range of formats. Our website, oreilly.com, focuses on open and emerging technologies, covering important new technologies in the trademark O'Reilly style-independent, in-depth, and steeped in the experience of those on the "bleeding edge." Our O'Reilly Radar blog (radar.oreilly.com), written by a team of O'Reilly technologists, presents intelligence about emerging technology and highlights the original research conducted by the O'Reilly Research group.
When we set out to get our books online, we exploded the notion of "book," and built a web service that truly harnessed the power of the Web to bring users exactly the information they need. Our Safari Books Online is a web-based subscription service that offers a searchable reference library of computer books from O'Reilly, Addison-Wesley, Microsoft Press, and other leading publishers, at safaribooksonline.com. Safari Books Online is a joint venture with the Pearson Technology Group.
From the beginning, our editors, authors, and developers have been active members of the technical communities whose work we chronicle in our books and web sites. Over the years, we've extended our support of those communities beyond our publishing program through activism and conferences.
In April 1998, we hosted a meeting that became known as the Open Source Summit. This event brought together leaders of many of the significant open source communities, including Linux, Apache, Perl, Python, and Mozilla, who voted to adopt the newly-coined term "open source" to address ambiguities in the term "Free Software." The Summit garnered national publicity for open source, bringing it to the attention of the business world. In the years since, we've held summits on peer-to-peer technology, web services, geek volunteerism, and Ajax. The summits we've hosted have forged new ties between industry leaders, raised awareness of technology issues we think are interesting and important, and crystallized the critical issues around emerging technologies.
As part of our campaign to support the Perl community, we produced the first-ever conference on this "duct tape of the Internet" in 1997. A few years later, we added conferences on several other important open source technologies, and the Open Source Convention (OSCON) was born. We realized that the people who read our books also want to connect with and learn from each other, so we moved full bore into the conference business. As with our publishing program, our conferences focus on practical, in-depth information taught by those who've mastered (and in many cases, created) important technologies. In addition to OSCON, our current conference offerings include the Strata Conference, Tools of Change for Publishing (TOC), and Velocity: Web Operations and Performance.
When we develop information products and services, we look for the right vehicle for the particular information we're covering. In February 2005, we launched MAKE, the first magazine devoted to do-it-yourself (DIY) technology projects. An instant hit, it tapped into users' desire to tweak, hack, and customize their technology. We followed up with Maker Faire, which drew 65,000 DIY enthusiasts. We spun out MAKE into a separate company at the end of 2012.
At the core, we create products that we want to use. Whatever form it takes - book, conference, online - we want anything produced with the O'Reilly name to be useful, interesting, and truthful. And we believe that there are plenty of intelligent, discriminating people in the world who value those qualities as deeply as we do.