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GigaOM Acquires jkOnTheRun

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In the life of every company, there comes a time when it is faced with the choice of how to extend its reach: Either build a new product or service, or acquire the one that’s already established itself as the best in its class. Larger companies face that question every day, but it is rare for a nano company like ours to have to make such a decision.

I am pleased to announce that Giga Omni Media, the company behind GigaOM, has acquired jkOnTheRun, a blog started by James Kendrick and Kevin Tofel that focuses on the wonderful world of mobile gadgets, including mobile phones and cloud client computers. James and Kevin will join GigaOM, but will continue to work from their respective homes of Houston and Telford, Pa., and jkOnTheRun will become the sixth blog in the GigaOM Network. (James & Kevin write about the deal on jkOnTheRun. Also, coverage on The Houston Chronicle & Techcrunch.)

“Acquiring,” while technically the right word, is a relatively soulless one. I prefer to think of this deal more philosophically. As I see it, we have proudly added two new members to our growing family.

Why jkOnTheRun?

jkOnTheRun is one of the rare blogs that covers the world of mobile gadgets with razor-sharp wit and insight. More importantly, it has a genuinely consumer-centric point of view. I first got to know the blog as a reader and have long considered it good enough to rank among my 10 favorites. (WebWorkerDaily editor Judi Sohn is also a fan.)

Strategically, it’s a publication that rounds out our existing areas of coverage. For instance, GigaOM tracks the world of web infrastructure pretty closely, but very rarely do we write about cloud client machines. And with the exception of the iPhone and some occasional mobile reviews, we don’t provide much gadget coverage, either. I think as we start to cover the world of cloud computing more closely we will no longer be able to afford to ignore the client side of the equation.

What happens to jkOnTheRun?

Absolutely nothing! Sure there are going to be some cosmetic changes, including cleaning up the web site to make room for sponsors and advertisers, but if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

James and Kevin will continue to write their posts, record their podcasts and shoot their videos. The jkOnTheRun feed will be integrated into that of our network and will be syndicated along with our other blogs. We hope some of our readers become part of their community, and hopefully some of jkOnTheRun’s readers will find something in our network that they like as well.

In summary

Getting back to my introduction: We were faced with the choice of either building out a blog that helped us track the mobile revolution more carefully (but with a consumer perspective) or buying one. It would have taken us a long time to build one — buying jkOnTheRun was a far better option.

I think in many ways that is the blueprint of our strategy going forward: When we find blogs that allow us to dig deeper, to complement and extend our areas of coverage, we will acquire them. If we can’t find ones we like, we will build them. But all that is in the future. Today, please join me in welcoming James and Kevin!

60 Responses to “GigaOM Acquires jkOnTheRun”

  1. Om, it is quite in line with the ‘expansion’ concept. (Al Ries, the author of ‘Focus’ might not agree with it, but Al, the world has millions of evidences of this).

    I run a small hosting company, but have already acquired smaller ones. So I guess it is definitely understandable that your next area of focus (ie. mobile technology) gave you an opportunity to get James and Kevin on board.

    Good luck this expanded team at GigaOM.

  2. Marshall is correct. Not only is JKOTR a great site, but Kevin and James are two genuinely nice people that are great to work with. Seems like a win-win situation to me! Just wondering why Om is dragging his feet in acquiring ZNF… ;)

  3. Om,

    Your strategy is working. I read JK every day but it is my first time here! From what I have seen so far James and Kevin will slip easily to the GigaOM family. Congrats

  4. What an awesome opportunity to expand our audience and work with one of the best teams out there. More important to me than the actual news of this deal is what the *readers* think. So far, I’ve been overwhelmed with the supportive comments, Tweets and e-mails. Without the readers a blog is just a bunch of words to stare at. With the readers, there’s opportunity for discussion, learning and enjoyment. That’s what blogging is all about in my book and I’m thrilled to be continuing it under the GigaOM banner.

  5. Great pickup Om. Kevin and James are great and jkontherun is one of the best mobile tech blogs out there. You’ll find no other place with a passion for mobile tech like they have….

  6. @Marshall and @Steve Thanks for the nice words. We were taken in by their charm and elegant prose as well. It is a good thing for us to bring new voices and new energy into the fold.