Posted in Technology

Om Malik on what Business 2.0’s owners forgot: passion

Om Malik, founder of GigaOm (a blog that should be on your news reader), talks about his days at Business 2.0 which is in danger of being shut down by parent company, Time Inc.:

It still doesn’t take away from the fact that I did some of my best work for Business 2.0, working hard, not because those Time Warner options were going to make me rich, but because I believed in the magazine. What a fool as I was – in the end it was a business, managed and remotely from a glass cocooned Manhattan tower – where they don’t know a thing about passionate readers, or communities or the fact that their world is no longer theirs. I hope, I never forget this lesson, as I build my little company.

I built Muniwireless from the ground up, starting it out as a blog and turning it into a media company with the help of partners. I did not start blogging about citywide Wi-Fi to make money. At the time I started it, I wanted to solve a problem: how to aggregate all the information about muni Wi-Fi projects in one place so that cities, vendors, service providers and journalists could easily find it. That’s it. It was a passion and still is. I am opinionated because I want ubiquitous wireless broadband that’s fast, cheap and good. For everyone not just people who can afford $80 per month subscriptions.

Large media companies seem to be controlled by machines crunching numbers. It’s never about the audience, never about a passion to bring something valuable to people. It’s about those numbers. Never mind if they print garbage including stories about celebrities, as long as they can run endless numbers of ads around them. If their publications fail, good riddance.

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Author:

Author of "The Secret of Angat", a novel set in the Philippines during World War II. Founder, MuniWireless.com; Founder (Mapplr.com - travel) and Shopplr.com (beauty, style).

2 thoughts on “Om Malik on what Business 2.0’s owners forgot: passion

  1. Weird case this is indeed. In an economy in which magazines seem to be struggling to keep the numbers of their circulation up, Business 2.0 seems to be successful in doing just that. So the attraction to its readers is still there. Usually advertisers follow their audience and not the other way around. Can it be, that in this case it is a forebode of things to come? Will Business 2.0’s circulation drop in the near future?

    I’m not sure if tech is really back in the way it was almost a decade ago. Sure, people are rediscovering what the impact of the internet and everything associated with it is. But do we still see it as tech? I don’t think so. It has become a tool that we use to achieve different goals. It is much more about the application then it is about the technology itself. And that totally makes sense, every technology evolves from a luxury, to a commodity and finally into a necessity. And with that comes a shift from technology, to hardware, to application.

    Now, I have to admit that I am not a regular reader of Business 2.0, but I have a similar feeling about Wired Magazine. I have been subscribed to that magazine for years. In the beginning I was amazed by all the cool stuff that they came up with, but these days…they can hardly surprise me anymore, because they are caught up in mere descriptions of technology that has already arrived. So they try to lure me with stuff about space age technology and the likes. Whereas they seem to be looking at technology that is (still?) very distant from me, I am much more interested in the impact and application of the stuff that’s close to me.

    I think what I am trying to say is this: we’ve arrived in the age that Wired (and maybe Business 2.0) was/is writing about. So now what? Change! Rethink what your value to your readers should be now! I think there’s some similarity with Muniwireless. What happens when we arrive in an age when ubiquitous wireless broadband is fast cheap and good for everyone?

    Like

  2. First AOL being parceled out like scrap. Now B2.0 on the ropes. Are you surprised?

    TW is a company that is in major transition. What people fail to realize is the time-delayed death injection that it got when AOL became the surviving entity at the time of the merger. Now, the whole thing is crumbling, and its become a numbers game, not a company.

    Like

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