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  • Published: 18 June 2018
  • ISBN: 9781847941862
  • Imprint: Random House Business
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $19.99

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us

Tim O’Reilly, ‘The Oracle of Silicon Valley’, explores how digital technology is restructuring every business, every job, and every sector of society

‘The man who can really make a whole industry happen.’ Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google

‘A punchy and provocative book . . . WTF? is an insightful and heartfelt plea, daring us to reimagine a better economy and society.’ Financial Times

Renowned as ‘the Oracle of Silicon Valley’, Tim O’Reilly has spent three decades exploring the world-transforming power of information technology. Now, the leading thinker of the internet age turns his eye to the future – and asks the questions that will frame the next stage of the digital revolution:

· Will increased automation destroy jobs or create new opportunities?
· What will the company of tomorrow look like?
· Is a world dominated by algorithms to be welcomed or feared?
· How can we ensure that technology serves people, rather than the other way around?
· How can we all become better at mapping future trends?

Tim O’Reilly’s insights create an authoritative, compelling and often surprising portrait of the world we will soon inhabit, highlighting both the many pitfalls and the enormous opportunities that lie ahead.

‘Tim O’Reilly has been at the cutting edge of the internet since it went commercial.’ New York Times
‘O’Reilly’s ability to quickly identify nascent trends is unparalleled.’ Wired

  • Published: 18 June 2018
  • ISBN: 9781847941862
  • Imprint: Random House Business
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O’Reilly is widely recognised as the leading thinker of Silicon Valley. As the founder and CEO of the publishing company O’Reilly Media, he has become famous for spotting technology with world-shaking potential – from launching the world’s first commercial website in 1993, via popularising terms like ‘Web 2.0’ and ‘OpenSource’ in the early 2000s, to advising the White House on its tech policies over the last decade. O’Reilly is also a partner of the venture capital firm O’Reilly AlphaTech, and sits on the boards of Maker Media, Code for America, PeerJ, Civis Analytics and PopVox. He lives in Oakland, California.

Praise for WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us

Tim O’Reilly has been at the cutting edge of the Internet since it went commercial.

New York Times

A punchy and provocative book . . . What’s The Future is an insightful and heartfelt plea, daring us to reimagine a better economy and society . . . A jaunty read with a compelling narrative of how technology interweaves with the real world.

Financial Times

O’Reilly’s ability to quickly identify nascent trends is unparalleled.


Silicon Valley’s leading intellectual.


One of the most influential pioneers and thinkers of the internet age.


Tech’s most valuable teacher.


The ultimate tech industry thought leader.

Scientific American

The man who can really can make a whole industry happen.

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google

If people want ideas about the future, they should look to O’Reilly to point them out.


For anyone who wants to know how to prepare for the future – and how we might shape that future in ways that broadly benefit society, not just technological or entrepreneurial elites – WTF? is an indispensable guide.

Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn

Tim O’Reilly’s creative insights and moral clarity have made him the trusted guide to waves of technology now sweeping the planet. If you want a better future, don’t just read this book, but make sure your friends do, too.

Erik Brynjolfsson, co-author of THE SECOND MACHINE AGE

Lots of people are worried about new technology and its impact on the economy. Will automation make humans obsolete? Will platform businesses become giant monopolies? Will the online economy kill the suburbs? How will tech affect inequality? These questions are hard to answer, but media entrepreneur Tim O’Reilly . . . [doesn’t] shy away from the task . . . [WTF?] contemplates how economic systems can be transformed to spread the benefits of new technology more equitably.

Books of the Year, Bloomberg

Defiantly optimistic . . . O’Reilly is inquisitive, sourcing ideas and thoughts from across history and disciplines, while the book is littered with quotes from literature, and by historical figures, entrepreneurs, economists, and friends in high places.


So many insights, so much history, so much of our future by the consummate insider who is as much a part of the story as the people and ideas he writes about – I was learning something on more or less every page.

Dr. James Manyika, Director, McKinsey Global Institute

Tim has been an astute observer of both the successes and the excesses of Silicon Valley. This provocative book distils the lessons he has learned about the power of technology to shape our economy and our lives.

Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google

If anyone knows how to leverage the power of social media, it’s Tim O’Reilly.

Fast Company

Draws on decades of experience covering tech to illustrate how increasingly intelligent machines are changing the way we work and how they could impact the way we address our most pressing social concerns.

Publishers Weekly

O’Reilly highlights the big (and sometimes unexpected) questions we really should be asking about the future of tech, how we shape it, regulate it, and ensure it has the values we want for business, government and society.

Best Books on Innovation, Nesta

If you’ve heard the term Open Source software or Web 2.0 then you’re familiar with the work of Tim O’Reilly, who’s had a big hand in framing each of those even bigger ideas, shaping the debate about the future of the present day enchantment with technology.

Anne McElvoy, BBC Radio 3, Free Thinking

O’Reilly has an uncanny knack for charting what’s ahead. In WTF?, he shows us know he does it. At a time of sweeping change, it is a bracing and an exhilarating read.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO, New America

Excellent . . . Tim knows this stuff as well as anyone, and there’s never been a more important moment to understand the issues raised in this book.


For more than two decades, Tim O’Reilly has been the conscience of the tech industry . . . His new book WTF? seizes on this singular moment in history, in which just about everything makes us say “WTF?”


One of the biggest names in technology.

BBC World Service, Click

O’Reilly’s vision is more Utopian than dystopian, even downright optimistic in a roundabout, creative-destruction sort of way. The positive outlook is refreshing and engaging.

Kirkus Reviews

No one is better at understanding the future than Tim O’Reilly. He has an intuitive feel and a deep knowledge of technology. This book makes sense of the astonishing transformations that are happening around us and is an indispensable guidebook to tomorrow.

Walter Isaacson

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