GigaOM: Four Years & Counting

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Photo by Matt Mullenweg.

The GigaOM Network, the company behind this blog, is four years old today (the blog itself is considerably older). In the time since we set up shop in a neighborhood cafe, the world we write about has changed. From nowhere came the iPhone and then Android phones, to upend the entire mobile ecosystem. The atomization of content, relentless commoditization and the broadband sprawl opened up new opportunities for entrepreneurs big and small. Super angels are taking on the venture-capital establishment and new startups are rising faster than mushrooms following a monsoon.

Four years ago, there was no Gilt Group, no Groupon and no Foursquare. Twitter was still spelled Twttr. And the big tech magazines still carried considerable weight. Four years later, things are different. Yahoo and Microsoft aren’t as fearsome as they once seemed. Google is a gargantuan company. And as fearsome as it seems, it is being pushed into a box by a company run by 26-year-old: Facebook.

The whiplash-inducing speed of change is what we love the most about the technology business. The media that covered the tech industry is going through a change itself. The emergence of blogs and Twitter have helped reduce the gap between readers and those the media writes about. It was inevitable that news (or information) would eventually route itself around the institutions in the middle. It is no different than the airline industry or what happened to stock brokers. And like those industries, we need to find a way to provide value for our readers. Or as Slim Charles, an enforcer for Avon Barksdale on The Wire said: “The game is the same, just more fierce.”

Thankfully, we started with a simple premise: the world will always be looking for context. Add to that our three core areas of focus — innovation, strategy and money — and you can see we have stayed pretty true to that belief. We are bigger, have more on our team and we have seem some of our friends leave for new pastures. Nevertheless, the past year has been a great one for the company.

* We celebrated the first birthday of our GigaOM Pro service, which has over 6000 subscribers and many enterprise customers.

* We launched a complete redesign of the GigaOM Network.

* We introduced our GigaOM iPhone app. (Download it now from the iTunes store.)

* All of our events – Structure, Mobilize, Green:Net and NewTeeVee Live are now annual affairs in addition to our very successful GigaOM Bunker Sessions.

But that doesn’t mean our work is done. The technology industry changes with the blink of an eye and perhaps that is why I always think of our anniversaries as an opportunity to start afresh. And why not? Tomorrow’s world is about new ideas, new opportunities and new innovations. Before I go, I want to thank you, all our dear readers and friends who have encouraged us to go on. And same goes for our team, who have worked hard with dedication, love and passion. To our investors — thanks, guys, for continuing to believe!

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