Open sources?

Open sources? See update below. Chris Pirillo blogs that he’s been IM’d that “everyone has been laid off” at O’Reilly Books. (My bookshelves creak with their titles.) I have no idea what any of this is about, but as O’Reilly is one of the most blog-friendly and transparent companies around — truly, pioneers in the development of blogging and so much more — it will be interesting to see how open this will be discussed by the folks at

Update: At the speed of blogging, Tim O’Reilly himself responds to Chris:

UPDATE: Ignore everything that was written above (which I won’t delete, so that you might understand the following). Direct from Tim O’Reilly’s mouth:

I would have thought you’d ping me before putting something on your blog about massive layoffs at O’Reilly. The way things spread on the net, it could do a lot of damage before it gets corrected.

Where did you hear that? Would love to know how these rumors start.
Things are actually going pretty darn well at O’Reilly. We had a tough time back in 2001/2002 with the tech downturn, but we’ve been solidly profitable in 2003 and 2004, have been gaining significant market share in book publishing, as well as growing both our online and conference businesses. Layoffs are the furthest thing from our minds. We’ve got at least a dozen open reqs for hiring. We’ve just added about a dozen people, and are looking for more.

You did mention turnover in our HR department, and that’s true, but that was two voluntary departures.

I’m sorry if my early blogging of this added to the “spread of rumors,” however, my point in blogging “layoff news” (something I rarely if ever do unless it involves some pompous ass) was focused solely on watching O’Reilly’s response. He (and I say, “he,” as in this case the company’s name and “he” are the same) provides a casebook example of the way in which businesses should not be afraid of blogging, but use blogging as a means to engage in the conversation — especially those that are negative.

  • Tom

    Wow. I just ran an ad for them on my blog like a month ago. Sheesh.

  • rex

    My fondness of their books and your ad both added up to something not sounding right about this rumor. I’m glad to see it was just that, a rumor.

  • Tom Biro

    Glad to hear it isn’t the case. The one thing here that is going to get hammered home (thankfully, this was on a weekend) is that most journalists wouldn’t have run with this, as a “rumor.”

    Not that Pirillo is aspiring to be a full time journalist at this point, but you catch my drift.

  • Hudge

    Tom, I’m sure I heard Dan Rather talking about it.