Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

I Don't Believe It - Om Malik Exits Journalism For Life As A VC

Posted by Tom Foremski - February 21, 2014

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Om Malik at the Crunchies in January 2014.

Om Malik, founder of tech news and market research site Gigaom says he is "hanging up my reporter's notebook" and is becoming a partner at True Ventures, the VC firm that has a big stake in Gigaom.

He also announced another $8m round of financing which brings a total of $23m --  a substantial amount of money that other, similar sites haven't managed. 

Foremski's Take:

I've known Om for many years, we almost went into business together at one point. What surprises me is that Om will give up his reporter's notebook. The guy has a newspaper man's blood in his veins, he's not dark-skinned because of his Indian birth -- that's printer's ink dyeing his skin!

Also, he hates being a VC. 

I'm surprised that his investors agreed to put more money into Gigaom without the Om. It's as if Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg walked away from Re/Code saying, "It'll be the same without us." There's no one at Gigaom that has the breadth and the respect that Om has built up in his 25 years.

I think Om is tired of the way the media industry has played out, especially blogging. Late last year, he marked his 12 years as a blogger by writing: "The concept of blogging as we knew it has lost some of its meaning and even a bit of meaningfulness." 

"Blogging" has turned into the same type of media that it once sought to displace. Yet Gigaom, Techcrunch, Venturebeat, etc are still referred to as "blogs."

There's not much that's different about today's Gigaom, which pursues a strategy similar to that of a trade publisher and a market research company. 

Om seems down about social media, too. He recently posted on Facebook: "Self congratulatory bullshit and constant marketing on Twitter/Facebook is now so extreme that now we need apps to be "authentic" #onlyinSV"

I hope Om managed to take some money off the table and is able to go away somewhere and find a new inspiration. But I don't believe for a minute that he's left his notebook hanging somewhere, empty. 

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