[qi:033] Every start-up is like a tender sapling, that after tender loving care by the founder, needs a constant gardner (or two) before it can put roots, and become a tree that survives the vagaries of nature, and test of time. And for my little company, that time is now. And
After 12 sleepless months of guiding GigaOM and our network of websites along with Liz, Katie, Carleen and Joey, it became clear that we would need some help before we set off on the second mile of this marathon called start-up life.
I sat down in a quiet cafe, took a piece of paper, and wrote down what we did right, and what we did wrong in the first 12 months. It didn’t take very long to realize, that we needed a solid business and operations expert, who could put structure in place for measured and sustainable growth. And that is when Paul Walborsky called me.
I have known Paul for over a decade; we were introduced by my best friend, Deepak Talwar who runs an art gallery in New York. D, as we like to call him, was Paul’s room mate in business school, and at the time was leaving the investment banking world to co-found WorldStreet Corp., a CRM company for the financial services industry.
I ended up writing about WorldStreet for Forbes.com and got to know Paul well during the reporting process. By then he had moved to Boston to focus on WorldStreet, which was acquired by Thomson Financial in 2002. Life happened and we lost touch.
Till recently, when he moved to California to start another company, Grupo Arca, Inc., a leading membership club for Hispanics in the U.S, growing the company to over 40,000 members and $3 million in revenue. He later joined Hercules Technology Growth Capital as Managing Director of the Technology Practice. Being in the Bay Area we reconnected and often met for coffee and heated debates about technology.
As I started searching for a chief operating officer, it dawned upon me that the person ideally suited for this job was right under my nose. Analytical, even keeled, quiet and understated with a keen business mind, Paul was the ideal candidate to partner up with, as we grow this company forward. My investors and advisors met with him, and concurred. All that remained was to convince him. Fast forward to now: dear readers, let me present to you, Paul, my new COO.
Paul will focus on non-editorial parts of our company working with Mike Sly, VP of Sales and Joey Wan, Manager of Business Operations. I will be spending most of my time reporting, writing, and helping other editorial staff, as we grow the network, both in depth and reach.
In order to do that, we have Carolyn Pritchard joining the team. Carolyn joins us from MarketWatch.com, a division of Dow Jones, where she was a health-care reporter, and flash desk editor. She, like most of us has grown up with pressure of deadlines as a constant companion. She joins us as Managing Editor of the GigaOM Network.
In simple words, she is going to keep us running, giving stories a look over, helping with deadlines, edits and of course being a constant cheer provider. One of the reasons she impressed me was her can-do and positive attitude. While Carolyn is going to captain the editorial ship during the day, she also (will) make sure that I don’t make grammatical boo-boos (as I often do, to the chagrin of many of my readers) and be a great sounding board going forward.
The journey ahead is hard, but with new friends and old cohorts, it is going to be fun. I am excited. Hopefully you will join me in welcoming Paul and Carolyn to our little world.
Oh, one more thing – I am going to go to sleep early today: thanks to their presence, my inbox is all clear for now!