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Sleepless In San Francisco


Om Malik couldn't sleep well Friday night. Despite what you would think, it wasn't writers block or some deal-gone-bad situation that was keeping him up, tossing and turning. You see, Om Malik, who is one of six Senior Writers at Business 2.0 magazine and author of the book Broadbandits, just watched his favorite baseball team - the often hated New York Yankees - give up a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning to the rivaled Boston Red Sox, who came within 2.5 games of the AL East with the win. And don't even think of calling this guy a bandwagon fan.

"I have loved the Yankees ever since I fell in love with baseball in the 90's, when they weren't winning," boasts Om.

My phone call to Om today (Saturday, September 18) interrupted an afternoon nap for him (perhaps sleep comes easier after a 14-4 Yankee romping of the Red Sox) and in which we got to chat about blogging, technology, venture capitalism, guilty pleasures, and why in the world I lived in Lubbock, TX. Here are some highlights of that conversation.

BJ: At what stage should companies begin seeking venture capital?

Om: Once you have a proven concept/technology and a strong revenue stream. This way, if you have a hard time finding capital, you can keep going without it.

BJ: What's the main lesson that we should have learned from the tech bubble that we seem to have ignored?

Om: People are still coming up with features and not creating markets. That was one of the big mistakes in the tech bubble. Companies were too busy coming up with a better mouse trap when they should have been looking to create new markets. Google is a great example of a company that created a new market. When you create a market, you create a long, sustainable business.

BJ: What's the most common mistake made in start-up companies?

Om: Not checking egos. It seems to be a rare and difficult thing to do these days. But in tech-based companies, some of the tech guys don't always make the best CEOs.

BJ: In your days working on the VC side, what was one of the main hurdles you faced?

Om: Balancing ambition and business was one of the hardest parts. Sometimes you have to put a value on a business that has been built by the founder's ambitions and it's tough to have to put a number on that. And I guess I liked writing more than I realized.

BJ: What are the top 3 business books you've read?

Om: The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
Money Ball by Michael Lewis
Autumn of the Moguls by Michael Wolff

BJ: Anything else you'd like to add?

Om: For an entrepreneur, if you have an idea and you believe in it, you should pursue it and you shouldn't care what other people think. Then again, don't be stupid about it either. But too many people put too much weight on what other people think about their idea or business plan.

As stated above, Om Malik is a Senior Writer for Business 2.0 and author of Broadbandits: Inside the $750 billion telecom heist. He was also on the founding team of Forbes.com, is a former Senior Writer for Red Herring, and a former investment manager at Hambrecht & Quist Asia Pacific. His writings have also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Brandweek, and Crains' New York Business.

Om currently spends his days answering emails, reading blogs, writing for Business 2.0 and indulging in his self-proclaimed "guilty pleasure" of watching Baseball Tonight on ESPN. So I suppose that for the sake of his ability to get rest, we should all be routing the Yankees on.

Visit Om's blog. You can view more specifics about his background here.

September 20, 2004 | Permalink


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You have a good blog happening, man. Some of your readers maybe interested in a site for startup junkies at www.startupjunkies.org . If you're a technology entrepreneur you will find it help in both spotting and seizing opportunities.


Posted by: Beef Jezos | Sep 28, 2004 10:00:52 PM

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