We’re reinventing, too

We were investing in the future when we launched Safari back in 2001. Today, that future is here.

By John Fomook
June 29, 2017
Hikers on path Hikers on path (source: O'Reilly)

There’s been a lot written about the need for businesses to re-invent themselves. We’ve done our share of that writing. And it’s true: markets and competition are changing faster than ever, and a business that isn’t constantly trying new approaches and engaging with new ideas is bound to fail. That’s clear even among the largest, most stable corporations: a few years ago, a study predicted that 40% of today’s Fortune 500 companies won’t exist in a decade.

This week, O’Reilly Media stopped retailing books directly on our ecommerce store. You might say “what!?” Or you might say “what’s the big deal?” Before I explain our business strategy here, there are two important things to note:

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  1. We are absolutely continuing to publish the top-quality books that are important to the communities we serve.
  2. We still sell them through Amazon or your favorite retailer.

So why the change? It’s clear that we’re in the midst of a fundamental shift in how people get and use their content. Subscription services like Spotify and Netflix are the new norm, as people opt for paying for digital access rather than purchasing physical units one by one. We’ve already seen this in our own business—the growth of membership on Safari far exceeds the individual units previously purchased on oreilly.com. That’s one reason for the change.

In addition to giving our customers the choice and convenience they expect, O’Reilly is now uniquely positioned to provide rich learning experiences across our online platform and conferences. When we launched Safari back in 2001, we knew we were investing in the future, and today, that future is here.

Since 2014, when O’Reilly became sole owner of Safari, we have refocused our business around its digital potential, and every day we continue to build Safari into the comprehensive and personalized platform that serves millions of learners with different goals, preferences, and learning styles. We see that the future has never looked brighter and we look forward to our next chapter in helping individuals and organizations learn how to embrace what’s next.

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