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Three Years & Counting…

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Happy Birthday to us — we are three years old!

It seems like only yesterday that I was sitting at the Starbucks near my old office with my friends Nitin Borwankar and Dave McClure, along with ace web designer Mike Rundle (via phone), plotting the design of a new GigaOM. I was making plans to leave the job I loved at Business 2.0 in order to turn my blog into a company. But while I wanted to launch this new company on Independence Day, July 4th, my plans leaked, and three years ago today, GigaOM went from being my blog to being my startup.

I had never founded a startup before, so I didn’t know what was in store for me. There was a lot of optimism, hope and excitement: I was and still am trying to figure out the future of media. And while the destination was (and still is) unknown, the promise I made to myself was that not only would I strive to build a company that would be my pride and joy, but I would be sure to enjoy myself along the way. And that is only possible if you surround yourself with a great team, made up not only of professionals, but of great people with great values. That principle has been the guiding force for our company. Since those early days, while much has changed, our ethos and vision remain the same.

We are a much bigger group. We are highly distributed. We have seen some friends leave and new friends join. We’ve survived some troubling times. Most importantly, we have grown both as a company and as a collective group — we have done it together, as a team. And I have learned the most important lesson that an entrepreneur can: Empower people, and in turn they will reward you with great things. So while letting go has been hard, it’s also been the best part of these past three years.

Back when I was in college, as a chemistry student, I came to appreciate the atom more than anything else in the world. Atoms, when bonded with other atoms, form molecules. Some of these bonds are magical and the molecules can, in turn, be magical things. Startups are essentially the same. Atoms are the individual people; the company is the molecule. And that’s what makes our journey into the future — some of it predictable and a little bit of it unknown — so enjoyable. Three years into the opportunity of a lifetime, I still have a spring in my step as I leave my apartment, for I can’t wait to be with each one of my team members.

But most importantly, I can’t wait to be with our community. This week, for the first time in a long time, I took a break from all the brouhaha of Silicon Valley to spend a couple of peaceful days in lovely Wyoming. The majestic beauty of the mountains, however, couldn’t stop me from thinking about you, our readers. There are many more of you today then there were three years ago. I don’t know all of you by name, but everything you say, I listen to, and every time you teach, I learn. And I know I speak for our entire team when I say — thank you, readers, for rewarding us with your time and attention.

As a business, we are executing our plan. GigaOM has grown to become a network of awesome blogs: WebWorkerDaily, NewTeeVee, OStatic, Earth2Tech, jkOnTheRun and TheAppleBlog. We now host four industry-leading events every year: Structure, NewTeeVeeLive, Mobilize and GreenNet. We recently launched a subscription-only research community, GigaOM Pro. We have syndication partnerships with The New York Times; CNNMoney and Fortune; BusinessWeek; and Salon. And we have some more new tricks up our sleeve, too.

As a long-time blogger, I have seen a lot of changes take place in the media marketplace — the emergence of Twitter, for example. Twitter is the ultimate expression of the continuous democratization of news. With it, both the distribution and discovery of content on the Internet have changed. But as I’ve written in the past, there is also a desperate need for context. It’s made me think and rethink the value of not just our blog but blogging in general. Over the past three years, we have evolved from a news-chasing entity into a technology insights company. From our blog posts to our research, we work hard (sometimes we stumble) to step away from providing commodity information to instead provide analysis and context to the relevant news of the day. The launch of GigaOM Pro is part of this evolution into an insights-based company. Over the next few months, you are going to see us make efforts to provide even deeper and at the same time, wider insights. So stay tuned.

Before I go, a big word of thanks to all the dear readers and friends who have encouraged us along on this breathtaking journey. I want to take a moment to thank my entire team for their hard work, dedication and love. To our investors — thanks, guys, for believing that a first-time entrepreneur can bring about change.

Now it’s time to get back to work.

41 Responses to “Three Years & Counting…”

  1. Pranay

    Way to go, Mr. Malik! I have been a regular visitor to your website for last couple of years, ever since I first learnt of it from Business 2.0. Your team and you have been doing a great job, and we will have lot’s more to see in days to come! God Bless!

  2. Congratulations. Thank you for the insights and analyses of tech news that you lay out in simple, straightforward texts that are easy to consume. I’ve learned a lot about the emergence of Web technologies and the influence of quality tech blogs, like GigaOm, to a tech community. I’ve enjoyed your content and oftentimes expressed my opinions. The most important thing that encourages me to keep coming back here is because you provide brief analyses of tech news that are different and unique that I cannot find anywhere else. Keep that kind of good work.

  3. Congratulations, Om. You have shown so many of us old cranky geezers how it should be done – and can be done.

    Please enjoy many more years of constructive work and take care of yourself in the process. Keep on rockin’ in the Free World.

  4. Straight from the heart. Nicely done and congrats on building something that is not only filled with useful info/data/stories, but, also something enjoyable. One of the few blogs that I visit on a daily basis because there is a high level of authority in a number of sectors you follow.

    Couple of suggestions:
    1) Once a month find a guest writer of the caliber of John Chambers from Cisco. I found that post to be awesome. I believe you may be only one of a couple of blogs that can pull that off (Chambers would never do that for TC).
    2) Once a month do a story on a particular emerging country that is making strides in either new innovative companies; who the local players are, are these vc backed (hopefully not) or friends and family, level of talent pool.
    3) Use more polls in your stories. I’ve found that a great majority of people that leave comments know the subject matter quite well (at least in sectors that I think I know a little bit). This would really bring additional light and color to your stories.

    Again, congrats to you and the team.


  5. When opened twitter account and started using tinytwitter on my BB, I was following u automatically. Initially it irritated me because I was still following u irrespective of my several unfollow attempts.
    Then I started reading your posts, and I now feel glad that I was forced to follow. I learn so much from your blogs. I thank you and wish you the best with your startup. Congratulations on 3 years and I am sure many more to come.

  6. Congrats “O”…

    Your stuff has only gotten better! And in my mind is that the irony of Twitter is that I probably read more of your team’s blog posts today because of Twitter than I did when you using Google Reader.

    Grabbing my attention in 140 characters most often leads to your posts.

    My best wishes for a great and prosperous future.


  7. First off, Happy Birthday GigaOm! To have taken the journey that you did not knowing what lay around the corner and to have endured in such challenging times and progressed is quite an accomplishment. This post was great as well and a toast to entrepreneurship!

  8. @Om & GigaOM team,

    Congrats on 3 veery successful years. I think you’ve created one of the best tech blogs for analysis and debate, and I think the sophistication of the GigaOM audience reflects your work. Good luck in making the next 3 or more even more successful.

  9. Satish Mummadi

    Happy Birthday GigaOM; Thanks for being a wonderful resource on technology. We really love reading the posts and comments too, this definitely is a source of intellectual bloggers and commenters.

    Keep up the Good Work.

    Boston, MA