Why O’Reilly Closed Tools of Change

It was the right time to close the popular Tools of Change digital publishing conference, said O’Reilly Media CEO Tim O’Reilly, speaking at the Digital Book World 2014 conference in New York.

O’Reilly Media shocked the book publishing world last year when it closed the conference after a seven-year run, partially because it was never clear why.

“We wanted to get people to pay attention to ebooks” and now people do, said O’Reilly, “so we said, ‘now we’re done.'”

Some members of the Tools of Change community were upset by the closure. The conference had a large and loyal following. This is not the first time that O’Reilly closed a successful conference business when it had accomplished its long-term mission.

“We did the same things to our Web 2.0 events, even though they were very big,” said O’Reilly.

Sitting on the stage at Digital Book World, the largest competitor to Tools of Change over the last five years, O’Reilly was gracious in giving credit to Digital Book World for carrying the banner for digital publishing conferences.

“Digital Book World is here, so there’s a place for the community to gather,” said O’Reilly.

David Nussbaum, CEO of F+W Media, which owns and operates Digital Book World, gave O’Reilly credit for truly serving the community and helping transition the conversation to Digital Book World.

“Tim and his organization was gracious about transitioning his community to DBW,” he said.

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