Tim O’Reilly has been at the cutting edge of the Internet since it went commercial. In fact, he helped take it there: In August 1993 he released the Global Network Navigator, a web page containing information, catalogs and a marketplace, which may have been the first site with advertising.
In 2004, he popularized the term “Web 2.0.” The idea was that, far from being just a vehicle for the dot-com bust, the web was a new kind of platform for software development, in which crunching data to manage crowds of developers and customers would be a critical skill. The idea, along with a hugely successful conference of the same name, signified the revival of Silicon Valley after the crash, presaging the dominance of companies like Google and Facebook.
Mr. O’Reilly, who also founded and runs the O’Reilly publishing and conference business, now says that the Internet of Things, or IoT, may be the most important online development yet. The term is something of a misnomer, he says, because it is really about giving people greater access to computer intelligence. His conference on the topic, called Solid, will meet for the second year this June.