Om Joins True Full-Time!
In 1999, I was interviewed by Forbes for a story about the company I co-founded with David Perry called Chemdex. I still remember the discussion the reporter and I had while sitting on a couch in the Chemdex startup space in Palo Alto. The reporter was tough, but I liked him; his name was Om Malik. That reporter later went on to become one of the leading thinkers in tech journalism, and he built a reputation as a tough, honest, incredibly insightful person with a gifted pen.
Six years later, my partners and I started True Ventures with the ambitious goal of making the world a better place for entrepreneurs. We thought Founders were the most powerful force in the U.S. economy and with that as our platform, we set out to create a new kind of venture capital firm.
Most of us on True’s founding team had a relationship with Om Malik in one way or another. He had started an incredibly popular technology blog and we all regularly read his work. And in early 2006, we learned that he had an idea for a new kind of media company—he was considering branching out on his own, in the digital-only realm, and he wanted to start something called GigaOM. Shortly after we closed True Ventures Fund I, we asked Om to come to our original San Francisco office in The Presidio. We wrote him a check for $25,000 with the note: “Use this to make your dreams come true.” This wasn’t a formal investment offer, but it was our vote of confidence in Om and his decision to become an entrepreneur. The spirit of the check was important to us; it was the kind of partner we wanted to be to all Founders, and Om was our very first one. Om still has that original check, which he has never cashed.
Later that same week, we met with Om for a formal “pitch meeting” and he laid out his vision for GigaOM. If any of you know Om, you know his pitch was persuasive and inspiring. We committed to fund his Series A round on the spot, and GigaOM was born—it was True Ventures’ first “de novo” investment. GigaOM moved into the office right next door to True at Pier 38, and Om quickly became part of the family.
In September 2008, Om became a Venture Partner at True. His partnership gave our portfolio companies the unmatched opportunity of gaining access to the smartest thinker in technology, and gave us the privilege of working with a respected friend. Om is a hugely important part of our team and has worked diligently on the success of so many companies, including Socialcast (acquired by VMware), WordPress, Lexity, Academia.edu, Storehouse and MessageMe.
Om is known for his prescient thoughts about the tech industry, his deep understanding of markets and trends, and his fast friendships with most of the other thought leaders in our industry. He is the most loyal and thoughtful friend an entrepreneur could ever ask for, including all of us at True. Few people in Silicon Valley are as respected, and as someone who has known Om for a long time, I can say with absolute authority that few people are as kind.
That is why it is an incredible honor to announce today that Om Malik will join True as a full-time partner. He has detailed his decision on GigaOM, and we are unbelievably blessed to have him dedicate the majority of his time to True. Om personifies this firm’s love affair with technology, and we are so looking forward to having him, his big ideas and his big heart around a lot more.