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Nothing Ventured

I'm sharing this experience specifically for the benefit of a friend who told me over <abbr title="Instant Messenging">IM</abbr> yesterday that he needed more guts.
A number of years ago while I was in college at <a href="http://arizona.edu/">Arizona</a>, I received an email from a certain Om Malik. He identified himself as a writer for Red Herring magazine, which I have heard of but never read. He wanted me to help him design a website. It sounded like a blog.
I was in the middle of my undergraduate education. I was on a scholarship which required me to maintain relatively good grades. I had already put some time in creating websites for the Singapore Student Association, the Management Information System Graduate Assocation and the Mentoring for International Students Association. I wasn't sure if I could help Om out.
I did the Singaporean thing – the thing my mother would have asked me to do, which is to concentrate on my studies. I declined Om's proposal.
I've regretted that decision almost everyday.Om Malik's website <a href="http://gigaom.com/">GigaOm</a> has become one of the most popular websites among techies. His vision, which I had so casually dismissed as his wanting to start a blog, has met with excellent execution and produced a site with compelling content, giving the rest of us the inside scoop on what goes on in Silicon Valley. He garners more visitors than established blog brands like <a href="http://kottke.org/">Kottke</a> and <a href="http://dooce.com/">Dooce</a>. A <strong>lot</strong> more visitors.
The GigaOm brand now runs a network of sites including <a href="http://webworkerdaily.com/">Web Worker Daily</a>, <a href="http://newteevee.com/">New Tee Vee</a>, <a href="http://foundread.com/">Found + Read</a> and <a href="http://earth2tech.com/">Earth2Tech</a>. Om has, of today, launched <a href="http://revision3.com/gigaom/">The GigaOm Show</a>.
I normally try not to dwell on what could have beens, but I cannot help but wonder: what if I had been a little less Singaporean (uber-conservative) and a little more adventurous? I'm not saying that I'd be Om – he's an absolute genius at buildling content spaces – but the chance to have worked with Om would have taught me so much.

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