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It’s a new year (although it’s well underway) and I’m excited to talk about the new phase at Gigaom. In the interest of not burying the lead, here is the TL;DR version:
- We have raised $8 million in new funds from Shea Ventures (which led the current round) and our existing investors, True Ventures, Alloy Ventures and Reed Elsevier Ventures.
- I am joining True Ventures as a partner, and therefore hanging up my reporter’s notebook.
- I will no longer be a day-to-day employee at Gigaom, but will spend most of my time in a supporting role as a board member, occasional columnist and a regular fixture at our events.
And now for the long version:
In 2008, our company decided that we would not pray at the altar of pageviews and advertising metrics that do nothing but devalue our readers’ time and attention. Instead, we opted to take the road less traveled — subscription revenues.
Now in 2014, we have built a new, dynamic research platform that counts some of world’s largest companies as its customers. It is a business that is growing at an astounding rate, which is why we have added new capital to our coffers and plan to keep growing our research business.
The growing success of our research business gives us the luxury to have an editorial operation with a singular focus: providing value to our readers and respecting the attention they accord us. Together with events, our editorial operation is a free-standing business and one I am very proud to have helped create.
The company, however, has evolved well beyond a mere blog to what it is today — a group of more than 70 really smart people — thanks to the efforts of Paul Walborsky, who has been our chief executive since 2008. Together with other members of our management team, we have built a company that embodies and echoes our five core founding values.
- Give respect: the respect we want.
- Take less, give more.
- Others don’t have to lose for us to win.
- Better, not more.
- Keep it simple, keep it honest.
On a personal basis, I have decided that it is time for me to no longer be involved in day-to-day operations. I’m looking forward to a long-needed break after more than 25 years at the daily grind of writing the first draft of history.
While I will continue to write, it will be at a more measured frequency. I will be at most of our events. (I hope to see you all at Structure Data, March 19th and 20th in New York City.) I am looking forward to co-hosting Roadmap, our experience and design conference, with Katie Fehrenbacher in November 2014 and we will soon announce further details.
I will remain on the board of directors at Gigaom and will spend all my energies as an assistant to Paul and the rest of our stellar team. I am so proud that what started as a solo WordPress blog seven years ago has blossomed into a modern media company.
Our editorial operations are in good hands. Tom Krazit, our executive editor, is a man of many talents and has the youthful vigor to help nurture and grow a media entity for a 24-hour life cycle. Krazit, along with my editorial colleagues, including my longtime friends Katie Fehrenbacher and Stacey Higginbotham, are great stewards of what we have all built together. It’s an editorial approach that is built on simple principles: We love technology, we write with passion and we vow to treat our readers’ time and intelligence with respect by giving them the most complete picture of our modern technology world.
What we have done, and will continue to do, is different and difficult. Our writers and editors will continue to produce the most impactful events and provide the best coverage and commentary in the world of technology, bar none.
“Now it is time for the next chapter,” wrote Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees shortstop and my 2nd favorite Yankee (behind Bernie Williams), sharing his intention to retire at the end of 2014. “I have new dreams and aspirations and new challenges. And I want the ability to move at my own pace, see the world and finally have a summer vacation.”
I relate to Jeter’s desire to find life outside of work. Living a 24-hour news life has come at a personal cost. I still wake in middle of the night to check the stream to see if something is breaking, worrying whether I missed some news.
It is a unique type of addiction that only a few can understand, and it is time for me to opt out of this non-stop news life. After five years as a “venture partner,” I am joining True Ventures as a partner, and thus bringing an end to my life as a professional journalist.
Thank you for reading, and if you so wish, you can also keep up with me on Twitter @om and Facebook. I also have a personal blog in case you like the Yankees, have a fondness for electronic/global music and like to obsess about shoes. Don’t worry, I will continue to write; just at a pace that is more befitting my new lifestyle and about things that have nothing to with deadlines, pitches or news.
In closing, I quote the famous Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, who once said, ”Writing, to me, is the meaning of life. My life became something special because of writing.”