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I woke up to an email today from Aaron Schwartz, founder of Modify. I don’t know Aaron other than our email exchanges but he thanked me for Venture Deals which he said has been very helpful to him. His note went on to say:
A close friend of mine, and one of my best friend’s co-founders just passed away after a 15-month battle with non-smoker’s lung cancer. I thought the below article was incredibly revealing about how meaningful a partner and leader can be for a start-up. If you think it would be useful to other entrepreneurs, I hope you’ll take a moment and share it.
I went on to read Farewell Hansoo, We’ll Miss You, a beautiful tribute by Bhavin Parikh, the CEO and co-founder of Magoosh. At the end, I had tears in my eyes. Hansoo is 35 and just died of cancer, which was discovered a year ago. I have several friends fighting cancer right now and had one die last year and this story really touched me – of the intimacy of the relationship between co-founders, the beauty of spirit of Hansoo, and how rapidly loved ones and partners can be taken from us.
I just made a donation to the The Hansoo Lee Fellowship to support entrepreneurs. The fellowship will provide a stipend and mentorship to help Berkeley-Haas MBA students pursue their venture full-time for their summer internship, as Hansoo did. MBA students will receive a summer stipend of $5 – $10K, Mentorship from Haas alums focused on entrepreneurship, and office space.
An hour ago I received a phone call from one of my closest friends who has been a hugely influential mentor of mine that his wife had passed away. She was a close friend also and they’ve had an enormous impact on my life. She’s been ill for a while so this isn’t a surprise and when I saw her about a month ago I knew her time was coming. But it’s still incredibly hard to process, especially knowing how close they were as a couple.
I had a longer post queued up today but it’ll have to wait for tomorrow. For now, I’m going to just let my emotions be whatever they are, feel love for my close friend, send him as much good karma as I can, and remind myself to live every moment of life as though it could end tomorrow.