Its Time To Transition

178 Comments

What do you do, when all your life you have chased scoops, and then got scooped on your own news? You tip the hat to the person who beat you to your own story. As kids would call it, I got punked by Valleywag.

I wanted to wait till end of this month, to announce my decision to strike out on my own, and my role within Business 2.0 going forward. I wanted to call people I love and respect, and tell them individually. An archaic notion in this era of email, IM and broadband – but still! And then life happened. I will get to my future plans later in this post, but for a few minutes indulge me.

How do you leave a magazine, which has been part of your life for over three years? How do you put a full stop to a process that has helped you become a better writer, a better journalist, and a better person? How do you end relationships you have formed over that period? You don’t. And when my editor, Josh Quittner, made me an offer to write a column and be a contributing editor, it did not even take a second for me to say yes. I have often said, that ink not blood runs in my veins, and I love magazines.

So why leave? Two reasons!

Vincent, in response to a post on the site, had said, “Remember what they say folks: those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” I have written about start-ups for so long, and have always wanted to see if I had the chops to build something from scratch. With well wishes and support of my community, I hope I can.

The other reason is the fundamental change in the media consumption patterns. In the past, I worked for Forbes.com, arguably one of the more successful media properties on the web, and learnt some vital lessons about online media. From the mid-1990s to today, we have seen some stellar brands emerge such as News.com. They are living proof that large online media properties are a viable business.

And just as Internet spawned these brands, broadband is bringing about a fundamental change in the way people consume information. Blogs are a part of it, just like video sharing sites, or Digg.com or Newsvine. You have mash-ups and maps. You have open APIs to play around with. In other words, the entire ecosystem is going through a change. This change represents opportunity.

A few years ago, I wrote about the rise of the micropubs, and how that could help one or two person editorial teams to be successful building niche media properties. Paidcontent’s Rafat Ali has been a pioneer of micro-pubs, and then we have Mike Arrington and Techcrunch, celebrating its first anniversary today. (Congrats, Mike!)

Their success has given me strength to make the decision to go out and try something of my own. While I will be devoting more time to GigaOM’s content, I have some other ideas including developing web services that enhance the experience of my reader community. You will see these ideas unfold over a period of time, and hopefully you will enjoy them as much I would in creating them. Unlike those of you who are blessed with the smarts, I have to bring in outside help – smart engineers and code jocks. Thus, the need for some venture funding.

Perhaps, I am burying the lead (my B2 editors would say – there he goes again.) I have raised a tiny amount of money from True Ventures, a new very early stage fund based here in Silicon Valley. (The amount remains undisclosed.)

Tony Conrad, co-founder of Sphere.com and Toni Schneider, CEO of Automattic and a partner at True Ventures, introduced me to Jon Callaghan, general partner at True VP. I had met Toni when I wrote about his start-up, Oddpost a while ago. While reporting the story, I met Conrad, and we got to know each other well.

I had gone around and met with a lot of venture capitalists in the valley, who gave me some stellar feedback, and helped me craft a game plan. When I ran it by Tony and Toni, he suggested that perhaps it was time for me to meet with Phil Black and Jon Callaghan. They liked what I had to say, and decided to make their new fund’s first ever investment in GigaOM.

It is a big change for me, and hopefully all of you – my super-smart readers who have also become friends – will join me in this journey, and offer me advice, guidance and tips. It wouldn’t be fun otherwise.

178 Comments

moo

All the very best, Om. Hope GigaOm becomes the next CNET or even better. Also hope you will not start charging us $ for content. :)

Jacob Varghese

Good luck, OM.

Can’t wait to see what you’ve been cooking up.

Jacob.

DEC

GigaOM is the first site I load every morning (well, right after GMail). My new job has me focused on broadband and multimedia applications, and this is the best site for late-breaking, unbiased info. I can’t wait to see how much better it can get.

Best of luck!!

JB

You were/are my inside man for industry news ( I work in an interactive advertising firm for one of the big MSO’s) -Good Luck!

skibare

May I suggest a Good VOIP Biz Phone from me???????
Congrats Dude!!! Hope your moving to “”LIVE VIDEO Vlogging”’
Skibare

Brian H Fitzsimons

Best of Luck Om & Congratulations. Ive found GigaOM both informing and prime example of Internet journalisim done right. Im certainly looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us in the future !

Kind regards
Brian H Fitzsimons
Dublin, Ireland

Manoj Kumar

Hi Om,

I had been reading your articles for a while. I can’t wait to see a new venture from yours.

Hearty Wishes, dear friend!!! :)

Regards
Manoj

Willem

congratulations!! rock and roll
All the best and thanks for the inspirtion
willem

Jonathan Greene

OM – Just waking up to the news! Wow man congratulations!

Can’t wait to read/see where you are headed…

Best of luck!

Jason

Congratulations Om, obviously you’ve built something noteworthy at GigaOM (who DOESN’T read it?) and it’ll be interesting to see whether you can carve out a bigger part of the economics than you would’ve as a senior writer at a conventional publication.

I look forward to bigger and better things,

Jason

BiZwiKi.CN

Good Luck ! and I’m looking forward for your success in personal blogging field, then lead to a successful profit earning model for others.

Ebrahim

First Scoble, now you. Who’s next? ;-)

Can you please tell a bit about your startup? Congrats anyway!

14Dayz

Hurray, Om joins the fray!
I know you’ll rock hard, best of luck!
Share and Enjoy!

Cheers, Marko

Sam Churchill

Om:

Thanks for your example. Your words and generous spirit always spoke volumes. You’re the heart of the matter. You’re going to be missed. Best wishes in this exciting venture!

Siva

Om,

I have been an ardent reader of yours since long… Wishing you all the success in your entrepreneurial venture…

Siva.

Jay

superior lamb chops at pakwan?? phhlleeease :) Om, now that you are an entrepreneur you need to switch gears: watch the owner-chef @ lahore karahi (lv & of) take your order, cook far better lamp chops you ever had (not to mention the best tandoori fish this side of the indus) and make you a lifelong customer with his million watt smile.

good luck!!

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