Farewell Marc

(hat tip, Aaron for the picture … much better than the ones I have of Marc)

At about 3pm on Sunday, Sue lost her husband, Becca and Jason a father, the Orchant family a beloved son and brother, Oliver his best friend, and the rest of the tech world a well-respected analyst of the times and prostignator of the future. Or “story-teller”, as he loved to have on his business card, when the corporate host was able to deal with his big ideas and big heart.

I don’t recall the first time I heard about Marc Orchant, but the first email I have from him is in response to a blog post he made about one of my blog posts. That was September 2005, and since then we’ve talked and emailed a bit, have worked for the same firm for a while, have shared an appreciation for the movie Batman Begins, and met twice. The first time we met I also got to meet Sue, and with Eric Mack the four of us shared a meal together in California. The second time was in Boston, and along with Chris Brogan, the three of us had dinner on Sunday night.

Marc played an influential role in my professional work, through encouragement and challenge mainly. He was a key player in the book I’m writing at the moment. And in my last conversation with him, on the Wednesday before his heart attack, he laid down his challenge for the book. I had just read to him the piece in the introduction where I expressed my thanks to him–and I’m glad I did because now I’ll have change it–and he painted such an audacious desired outcome from the book that I still can’t believe he said it. With his untimely passing, I will treasure that vision, and will write it in the revised introduction. And, equally, I must redouble my efforts to live up to what he said, in honour of the type of person that he was.

Marc had a deep love for his family, and relished telling me about what Sue, Becca and Jason were up to. Not in way, mind you, that broke confidences, but rather in a “I’m so proud of them” manner. Jason, in my last call with your dad, he said that he was so looking forward to seeing you play the lead role in the upcoming production; he admitted some surprise that you had gone for it, but spoke with tremendous delight that you had done so.

So, now, begins “life after Marc”, without the man in New Mexico that was unfailing in his encouragement, without the news updates and links to things that interested him, without being able to read his take on the “iPhone v2” or the “Kindle v2”, without his book-length treatment of “Work is Broken” … without many things. Life will be the poorer for his departure.

There are deeper, more private conclusions that I draw from Marc’s life and my interactions with him, about opportunities taken and opportunities now gone forever, and I hope that I can walk a better man thanks to Marc’s influence in life and in death.

Thank you Marc … You were a good man. I am surprised really that I got to call you a friend, but am grateful for who you were and what you stood for. I will miss you.

See Oliver’s blog about the Marc Orchant trust that he is setting up … thanks Oliver.

Categories: Miscellaneous