One of Tim O'Reilly's favorite quotes goes, "The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think" (said by Edwin Schlossberg).
Tim's detected a pattern of success across his long and accomplished career, and it is the ability to detect and annunciate patterns that haven't yet been named. He frames and contextualizes big ideas and, across his writing, publishing, and event hosting, helps people tie together related threads and see, in a new way, that which was already right in front of them.
Tim's first successful attempt at framing the dialogue was with open source software. Richard Stallman and others were talking about it, but they were talking very narrowly about Linux and the GNU project and ignoring Apache and DNS and the web, which by that point was in the public domain. The framing and context was a political one, but O'Reilly was able to create a context (and a conference) to help the actors see what they had in common.