In selling to the Guardian Media Group, Rafat Ali's ContentNext has in six years gone from nothing to a reported $30 million (including an earn out based on future performance). The timeline probably doesn't seem so short to Rafat, but it's an admirable creation: A suite of media products and services built on the quality of its editorial, not software or apps or any hard-to-understand Web 2.0 or other promises. The promise of this media company is clear. I can remember early on in its life, when one top executive at ABCNEWS.com marveled at how PaidContent, the company's original blog, never missed a thing in the industry. That, basically, meant Rafat never did.
Rafat deserves the mentions, as does editor and "employee number one" Staci Kramer. I have done some work for them. My admiration is thus both as an observer, and on occasion from the inside. I consider myself fortunate to have gotten to work with them and others in the organization.