Friday, March 24, 2006

MIX06 - Bill's Q&A with Tim O'Reilly video

A day after returning from the conference, I'm still churning things over and writing posts, don't worry more to follow. But while doing some research, I found this great clip from the end of Bill's KeyNote where he had Tim O'Reilly, CEO of O'Reilly books, come up and ask questions.

It's really funny how being there and watching the video are two very different experiences. The comments on the web site see Bill as this hero, but what they don't show in the video is the very first twenty or thirty seconds where Tim came out and completely ZINGED Bill for why Tim was invited.

In short, he came out and expressed he had no idea why Bill had invited him and it put Bill on the defensive. Everyone in the room saw Tim as this non-Microsoft guy who could fearlessly push Bill around a bit and get him going (I'm totally buying O'Reilly books from here in). Once edited, the video makes Bill look the opposite, like he's on top of the questions -- but while I was there, it seemed as though he was reacting.

What I really identified with is the segment that occurs about 17 minutes in, where the software industry is changing with new business models that are unlike previous competitors. Tim implies that Apple's success is because they're the first of a new generation of software applications: the iPod has this amazing experience where the device, the software, and the Internet are married together into an epiphony experience, versus, buying a device and then having the user cobble the experience together after the fact. Bill replies by saying, "we support more devices." Sure, Bill's answers are great, and they make sense from a guy who's business model is to sell software units in his prehistoric business model: wouldn't it be nice if you had a phone that automatically configured your experience across all devices?

But to me, and many others at the conference, Bill didn't get the question.