Monday, January 4, 2016

Making Your Mark Before You Go

Make your mark - david milberg
2015 dealt its share of loss in the business world. Many up and coming young entrepreneurs and business moguls left us far too soon … but that doesn’t mean they failed to leave their mark. Check out what these innovators did with their short time on this earth.

Rachel Jacobs (39)

The CEO of ApprenNet, a growing tech outfit in Philadelphia, Jacobs was one of eight people killed when an Amtrack train derailed on a route from DC to NYC. Jacobs was also known for “Detroit Nation” a group seeking to unite Detroit natives around the world and encouraging them to do their part to revitalize their hometown. Jacobs died May 12.

James Howard (29)

Howard managed Google’s brand marketing in Britain. Renowned for leading Google Creative Lab’s development of a virtual tour of the famous Abbey Road Studios in London, Howard was attending the Cannes Lion advertising festival for the purpose of accepting a design award for the Abbey Road project when he was hit by a car. He died in France on June 21.

Dan Fredinburg (33)

As privacy director of the Google X Team, Fredinburg was responsible for innovation programs including Google Glass and driverless cars. Just prior to his passing, Fredinburg founded the Google Adventure Team, a group tasked with mapping exotic locations for Google’s Street View tool. While scaling Everest with some fellow Google employees last spring, Fredinburg was caught in an avalanche caused by the massive Nepal earthquake. Fredinburg suffered a head injury in the event and died on April 24.

Ian Murdock (42)

A pivotal and pioneering figure in the open source movement, Murdock (the “ian” in Debian) was often described as a groundbreaker. The innovator created tools such as apt-get, an installation system helping to streamline open source packages. His position of CTO at Linux gave him both position and perspective as a brand and industry leader in open source programming and design. After leaving Linux, Murdock worked at software company, Docker. Rumors are swirling as to the cause of death, but we would rather focus on the incredible body of work and Murdock’s leadership as a young entrepreneur in a young and rapidly expanding industry. Debian was almost universal, running, as one reporter put it: everything from embedded devices to the space station. Murdock was unilaterally considered a good man as well as a tech wiz, focusing his career on making it possible for anyone to access incredible technology. Murdock died December 28.

What will you do in 2016 to make your mark? 

David Milberg is an investment banker from NYC.

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