Om Malik, Partner at True Ventures


Cool Tools Show 167: Om Malik

Our guest this week is Om Malik. Om is a partner at early stage venture firm, True Ventures. Prior to becoming an investor, he started GigaOm, a technology blog and covered technology and its impact for over two decades. Om loves technology, its possibilities and writes about its impact on his blog, Om.co. He can be found @om on Twitter and Instagram.

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Show notes:

TWSBI Diamond 580 Fountain Pen ($55)
I use a fountain pen and a notebook to write most of my thoughts, notes from interviews, whenever I meet companies. The reason I do that, I find the process slows me down a little, makes me think, and I like the way the fountain pen’s nib makes the noise when it moves across paper. I feel a tactile connection with the words which are coming into my ears, into my brain, and then out into this piece of paper. The pen I use it’s a Taiwanese made pen, and it’s TWSBI Diamond 580 Fountain Pen. It is a piston filler, a piston filler is a way of filling ink into the fountain pen. The reason I use it is because it’s actually a really well-made fountain pen, it has a steel nib. So if you put too much pressure on it, it doesn’t bend as easily. More importantly, it’s a very well made high quality pen. I have used it for close to two and a half years and I’ve never had a problem with it. It is a demonstrator pen witness since it’s transparent so you can actually see the ink. So you know the ink sloshing around in the container makes the whole feeling more organic, that the pen becomes almost a living thing, and that’s what I love about it.

Muji Organic Cotton Mix-Pile Sneaker-in Socks ($5)
My other favorite tool is the Muji Organic Cotton Mix-Pile Sneaker-In Socks. These are sneaker socks made for wearing with sneakers, and I have tried many different versions of these socks which come up to your ankles. They are basically made for people who wear sneakers, however, I like to wear proper Italian made leather shoes but I don’t like wearing long socks. I want to show some of my ankle and I feel like I’m a little bit Italian — not really, but I just like the way they look and I just love the quality of Muji. I would say I have washed these socks about 50 times and they still are exactly the same the day I bought them. For a $5 pair of socks, I have never met any product that good which is like it’s 50 washes, even the best socks lose shape, they lose the shine, they become dull, they stretch. But these are just perfect, the elastic is great, the fabric has softened a little bit but there are still no holes in those socks. I just wonder how they have done it? There must be some magic there.

Dsptch Heavy Braided Camera Strap ($108)
Dispatch is a local San Francisco store, and I constantly kept changing cameras and I needed an easy way to find a camera strap which I could just replace like move from one camera and put on the other without having to mess about. The guys from Dispatch made this great system in which you basically buy a strap and number, depending on the number of cameras you have, you get ties for those cameras. The strap just plugs into that tie, and when you want to use a different camera, you take off the strap and put it on to the other camera which has the same camera tie. It’s just a braided nylon cordura kind of material. It’s very strong and the tie and the plug are also super well designed and extremely strong. I have a very heavy camera and that has never been an issue to use that, but it also is handmade, it’s made in San Francisco. It’s almost like a net kind of a braid and it’s just so beautiful and so elegant.

Corpus Natural Deodorant Sticks ($22)
I like this brand of deodorant sticks called Corpus. It’s a natural deodorant, it doesn’t have any artificial ingredients, and the reason I know about them, to be honest, is because the company was founded by the founder of another brand which I like called Baxter, Baxter of California makes men’s products. Shaving creams and beard oil and stuff like that, and he sold the company then he started this new company called Corpus, and I found them just way better than the Baxter products. The Baxter products have a slightly alcoholic feel to them and you can feel like there is something artificial about it. Whereas these ones just feel so much more natural, they’re like almost invisible, and the scent on the deodorant sticks is pretty low key and pretty muted and I just like it for that reason. Now I’ve been using it for about six months and no allergic reactions, none of that stuff and I just feel if we use less artificial things in our lives, the better we are. There’s no logical reason to use one deodorant stick versus the other except personal choice for me, this one just clicked with me. I will recommend that people should try their product because it’s such a high quality product.

Also mentioned:

I’m currently working on a book called Third Eye, which is a book about camera culture, and the idea is how iPhone and Instagram have normalized the idea of cameras everywhere. What is the social impact of cameras everywhere? I’m writing this book for Harper Business and it’s essentially the way I’m writing it. It’s narrative essays which delve into various aspects of the camera culture. Everything from the birth of the camera phone all the way to the Kardashians and into the future, what AR might look like because of this omnipresent third eye called the camera.

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