The Platform Revolution

Web 2.0
43 minutes, 20mb, recorded 2004-10-07
O'Reilly, Bosworth, Lunch, McKinley and Minor
The role of �developer� is shifting in today's web-based business climate. A developer is no longer a code shop building niche applications on top of an OS platform, but an entrepreneur building a business on top of web APIs. The leading developer and business evangelists discuss and debate the very definition of the words "platform" and �developer� in a Web 2.0 world.

This panel from Web 2.0 includes:

  • Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • Adam Bosworth, Vice President of Engineering, Google, Inc. K
  • Kevin Lynch, Executive Vice President & Chief Software Architect, Macromedia, Inc.
  • John McKinley, Chief Technology Officer & President, AOL Technologies
  • Halsey Minor, CEO, Chairman, & Founder, Grand Central Communications


IT Conversations' publication of this program is underwritten by your donations and:

Tim O'Reilly is founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc., thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. In addition to publishing pioneering books like Ed Krol's The Whole Internet User's Guide & Catalog (selected by the New York Public Library as one of the most significant books of the twentieth century), O'Reilly has also been a pioneer in the popularization of the Internet. O'Reilly's Global Network Navigator site (GNN, which was sold to America Online in September 1995) was the first Web portal and the first true commercial site on the World Wide Web. O'Reilly continues to pioneer new content developments on the Web via its O'Reilly Network affiliate, which also manages sites such as and O'Reilly's conference arm hosts the popular Perl Conference, the Open Source Software Convention, and the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference.

Tim O'Reilly has been an activist for internet standards and for Open Source software. He has led successful public relations campaigns on behalf of key internet technologies, helping to block Microsoft's 1996 limits on TCP/IP in NT Workstation, organizing the " summit" of key free software leaders where the term "Open Source" was first widely agreed upon, and, most recently, organizing a series of protests against frivolous software patents. He received Infoworld's Industry Achievement Award in 1998 for his advocacy on behalf of the Open Source community.

O'Reilly has served on the board of trustees for both the Internet Society and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, two organizations devoted to making sure that the Internet fulfills its promise. He is on the boards of CollabNet, Macromedia, the Open Source Applications Foundation, and the Nutch Organization. O'Reilly graduated from Harvard College in 1975 with a B.A. cum laude in Classics. His honors thesis explored the tension between mysticism and logic in Plato's dialogues. For more, visit the archive of O'Reilly's online articles, talks, and interviews.

Adam Bosworth joined Google recently as Vice President of Engineering. Bosworth comes to Google from BEA where he was Chief Architect & Senior VP of Advanced Development and responsible for driving the engineering efforts for BEA's Framework Division. Prior to joining BEA, Bosworth co-founded Crossgain, a software development firm recently acquired by BEA. Known as one of the pioneers of XML, Bosworth held various senior management positions at Microsoft, including General Manager of the WebData group, a team focused on defining and driving XML strategy. While at Microsoft, he was responsible for designing and delivering the Microsoft Access PC Database product and assembling and driving the team that developed Internet Explorer 4.0's HTML engine.

Kevin Lynch is the Chief Software Architect for Macromedia. Lynch has been instrumental in shaping the Macromedia product family since joining the company in 1996. As Chief Software Architect, Lynch is responsible for ensuring Macromedia tools, servers and players are practical, powerful, and enjoyable for its customers. Lynch's career has enabled him to participate in the emergence and rapid growth of the personal computer that began in the late 1970s, through the graphical user interface revolution in the 80s, to the convergence of content, applications, and communications on the profoundly networked systems of today. Lynch defined and led the initial development of Macromedia Dreamweaver, one of the company's core products leading the market among professional web developers.

Prior to joining Macromedia, Lynch pioneered a navigational user interface for handheld communicators at General Magic. He also designed the user interface and developed the first Macintosh release of FrameMaker for Frame Technology. Lynch studied interactive computer graphics at the University of Illinois, working with artists and engineers in the Electronic Visualization Laboratory. While he was in school, the first Macintosh was introduced, and Lynch began at his first startup as vice president of product development. He developed and shipped some of the first Macintosh applications, including a graphical adventure game in 1984, a 3D graphics package in 1985, and a desktop publishing application in 1987, which introduced user interface elements in common use today.

John McKinley is Chief Technology Officer of America Online, Inc. and President of AOL Technologies. In this position, he serves as AOL's chief technology strategist and directs the company's technological agenda as it moves aggressively in areas such as broadband, wireless, and premium services. In addition to technology strategy, McKinley oversees teams in charge of product engineering, network infrastructure, data centers, and internal business systems and computing. McKinley is one of the business world's most respected technology leaders with an intuitive understanding for how new and existing technologies can improve the daily lives of AOL members.

Before joining AOL in July 2003, McKinley was Executive Vice President and head of Global Technology and Services for Merrill Lynch & Co., where he was responsible for a technology and operations organization of 14,000 employees. He directed the planning and launch of the company's highly regarded online trading offerings, ML Direct and Merrill Lynch Online, which were awarded best-in-class ratings from SmartMoney Magazine and Gomez, an Internet quality measurement firm. He joined Merrill Lynch as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer in 1998. Before that, McKinley was Senior Vice President and Chief Technology and Information Officer for GE Capital Corp. where he managed a technology organization of 3,600 employees supporting GE's Six Sigma and e-commerce efforts. Before joining GE Capital in 1995, he spent 13 years with Ernst & Young LLP where he was named partner in 1992. McKinley is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Halsey Minor is the chief executive officer, chairman and founder of Grand Central Communications, the leading provider of Integration On Demand solutions. A veteran entrepreneur, Halsey Minor founded CNET Networks (NASDAQ:CNET) in 1992 and as Chairman and CEO built CNET into one of the world's leading new media companies, recognized around the globe as the trusted source of information related to computers and technology. In 1998, CNET Networks became one of a handful of profitable Internet companies and, in May 1999, was named to the NASDAQ 100. In February 2000, Minor delegated his daily responsibilities as CEO, and in November 2000 he became CNET's Chairman Emeritus. Minor's history of entrepreneurial ventures, savvy technology innovations and successful investments traces back to 1995, when he conceived of and developed a software technology called PRISM, which he sold to Vignette Corporation in 1996 in exchange for a 35 percent equity interest in the company. PRISM served as the foundation for Vignette's StoryServer, the industry's leading Web content application system. At the same time, he built and launched, which in 1998 was sold to online software retailer for $130 million. In 1997, he introduced, redefining the search engine space with a new business model. Under Minor's leadership through March 1999, Snap quickly joined CNET as one of the top 15 most visited web sites, according to Media Metrix. Minor was a founding investor in, which was recently acquired by Real Media (NASDAQ:TFSM), and

This is a presentation delivered at the Web 2.0 Conference held in San Francisco, CA, October 5-7, 2004. Our thanks go to MediaLive International and O'Reilly Media, the producers of Web 2.0, for permission to bring you this session, one of many from Web 2.0 here on IT Conversations.

This free podcast is from our Web 2.0 Conference series.