Goodbye Martin

I saw this tweet today and my heart sank

Terrible news from @HLMorgan @martin killed in plane crash at Santa Monica airport yesterday.

Martin Schaedel was someone I met on the internet and got to know a bit over the past few years. He was a funny and mysterious guy. I am not sure he really lived anywhere. He was a VC or an entrepreneur or something else. He was always scheming and working on something.

As Jared Kushner, who Martin introduced me to, said in an email to me this afternoon:

He had great energy, a thirst for adventure and some of the best networking skills I’ve ever seen.

Everytime I met with Martin he would introduce me to at least five people I had to know. That's how he was.

It seems that his thirst for adventure did him in as he died in a plane crash at Santa Monica Airport yesterday. His twitter feed suggests that they were doing some stunts.

I looked all over the Internet for a picture of Martin. He took photos of people everywhere he went but there are no photos of him that I could find. That's typical of the mystery that always seemed to surround him.  [update – finally found one, not great, will keep looking] [update#2 – michiel sent me a photo of martin which I added above]

His blog is called Hello Martin but today, unfortunately, we have to say Goodbye Martin.

Update: Twitter says goodbye to one of its own. This is worth reading particularly if you knew him.

UpdateNextDay: Martin spent the morning of his last day strategizing with the team from GumGum. This photo is from that session and perfectly captures the Martin I knew. Thanks to the GumGum team for sending it to me. And this is the best post I've seen on Martin from a really good friend.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. fredwilson

    Send me your favorite and I’ll add it to this post

    1. Michiel de Boer

      Just sent you a typical picture of Martin during one of the many great brainstorm sessions we had.

  2. PKafka

    I took a picture of Martin this month. We were having lunch at Pastis, and he was telling me about his plans to buy Playboy, which he had eventually scrapped. His new plan was to buy up distressed Web assets for pennies on the dollar and resell them.I took the shot with his BlackBerry Bold, which he was really happy with. My plan was to send it to my email address so I could post it. But he deleted it before it left his phone.As you said, Martin took photos all the time. It’s frustrating that for whatever reason I can’t get them all on Flickr anymore. But the ones that are there paint a pretty good picture of his life – he loved meeting people, and he loved traveling. You can find them here:

  3. fredwilson

    i didn’t know him that well to be honest, but that’s how he was. we tried to get together when he was in town last week but I couldn’t make it happen. damn.

  4. Kylie Sachs

    Martin was quite a guy, and my life was more fun with him in it. I met him through work and then we became friends – for Martin, there was little if any difference between work friends and other friends. Only two weeks ago he came to our house for dinner, and to meet our daughter. He told me with great pride about how he had once taken care of a 9 month old for 3 days, and if we ever needed help, we should feel free to call him. After he left dinner, my husband and I agreed that indeed, he would definitely be on our call list if we needed help. He was fun, highly intelligent, free spirited and way too young to die. He mentioned you all the time, Fred! He talked as if he was part of your family.

    1. Facebook User

      Martin was an incredible person, generous, kind and a joy to be around. He was fascinated by people, always trying to “figure them out,” understand why they tick – bringing good people together was a hobby of his.I will miss him very much- I’m glad to have had a chance to speak to him recently, and let him know I trusted him as a friend.-He introduced Kylie and I – I will always remember his hilarious introduction email : )

  5. Michiel de Boer

    Martin was truly one of a kind. And yes, there was a strong mystery factor involved. In fact, for a while I developed the theory that he wasn’t born, but had been unzipped or executed, like a piece of software. Always online, connected, traveling, or at least involved in some outrageous adventure. I had the privilege to take a whole bunch of pictures while he was at it. Let me know if you need any.

    1. scott crawford

      What an absolutely wonderful description. Sounds like a fascinating force and influence. Thank you for sharing. Pass it on.

  6. Alberto Escarlate

    Fred, actually the picture you linked to I took when he was a guest speaker in my class at Parsons. His presentation was somewhat autobiographical but still he remained to keep that mysterious aura you mention.Going through it now just broke my heart. @Peter, for some reason most of his portraits were removed from Flickr.

  7. Michael Eyal Sharon

    Martin was probably one of the most enigmatic, vibrant, completely off-the-wall characters I’ve ever met. I barely knew him.I was introduced to him over Skype and spent the first few months idly chatting to him, until he showed up at our offices in the flesh. After that, he moved to New York in the summertime and I spent some more time with him drinking at bars, riding bikes and chatting about whichever crazy-but-it-just-might-work business model he was obsessed with at the time. One night, we hung out at Kenka in the East Village and I snapped a shot of him, which I subsequently posted to Flickr. (…He immediately demanded that I remove the tag of his name, since he was trying to ensure that no trace of him could be found on the internet, which I grudgingly agreed to. I’ve added it back, now that this is one of the more recognizable images of him left.

  8. lawrence coburn

    That is so brutal. Martin was way too young, way too clever for this to happen. Damn it all.

  9. Chris J. Guerra

    What a great guy. I was fortunate enough to meet & stay w/ Martin in the Hamptons & spend some time together in NYC. Some great memories. R.I.P. Your legend has only begun.

  10. Wil

    Very sad. My heart goes out to his family. As a pilot myself who has flown in and out of KSMO several times, it strikes a bit close to home.I actually heard about this crash yesterday through @malki on Twitter. Small world.

  11. Jason Rapp

    I didn’t know him well either, but I saw him the morning of the crash in Santa Monica. Of course, he was brimming with ideas about businesses to buy from the very small to the very large. (Balmer should have given Martin a try to broker YHOO :))Like with you, Fred, whenever we met he told me about the 10 people I should meet. And whenever he left town, three people would tell me they saw him. While I was never quite sure what to expect whenever we met, I always tried to make time… He had a winning way about him and a brightness of spirit.

  12. srini

    martin lived without fear the way life should be lived. worrying is waste of time. long live martin shaedel.

  13. Graeme…Here’s a picture of Martin, proving that he attended the Victoria’s Secret after event party in Miami. He always used to come out with tall tails – and i never believed him unless there was proof….Plenty proof of his most recent adventure on Flickr(… – when we was off to Thailand, Cambodia and god knows where else. “Oh i got a good deal on an airfare”. That was it and he was off.Ah to have lived half the life that Martin led.Everytime he would connect his laptop up to the office network and login into Skype he would saturate the network because he had so many contacts. I think that if you had asked Martin for a meeting with a Martian, not only would he have already met one, but would be able to put you in contact with its boss’s boss and the VC that funded them.What a shame that he’s gone so young. Just last week, when we were skiing he told me that over Xmas he had finally come to terms with the fact that living the lifestyle he had – was ok. That he was glad to have met so many wonderful people, visited places most people only dream about, and generally was having unashamed fun.Cheerio Martin – miss you already…

  14. Net Jacobsson

    So sad to hear these news. I was in L.A when I saw Martins Twitt on how excited he was taking flying lessons. Martin & I grew up in the same little town in Sweden (Lund), and worked together on a number of projects. It is true that he always lived life on the edge but that who he was. He could ping me on Skype with all kinds of questions at anytime from anywhere. Will miss this energetic young guy – he had so much more to give.My thoughts are with his parents.

  15. OurielOhayon

    Martin was a really great buddy, believe it or not we never met. But i had a lot of interactions with him. We nearly worked together on a project that never saw the light and i had tremendous respect for this young brilliant mind. My last contact was a few week ago. I am still under shock. It is weird to loose someon you feel close to but actually never met

  16. GlennKelman

    Fred, I just love the writing in this post: it is funny and generous and sad. Your description of Martin reminds me of another entrepreneur who meets an untimely death, Chuck Ramkissoon in Joseph O’Neill’s recently published Netherland. Flamboyant, charimatic, potentially criminal (he is unlike Martin in this respect), irrepressibly creative, Chuck is an immigrant who finds his place in NY’s out boroughs. His motto is “Think Fantastic.”I don’t know if you read any fiction, but the book is the best tribute to New York City — the whole city — that I’ve read in years. He writes about darkness that was “spoon-deep” about newly washed cabs that “shine like grapefruit” &, most touchingly, about a sense of loss after 9.11: “my family, that was the spine of my days, had crumbled. I was lost in invertebrate time.”Anyway, I think you’d like it.

    1. fredwilson

      I’ll get it today. I need some new books. Thanks!!

  17. Gotham Gal

    martin lived more in his short 23 years than most people will ever live in a long lifetime. one of the most unique individuals i have ever met.

  18. Ari

    The second photograph was passed along to us. The contributor of the photograph is Mads Nohr Clausen (sorry Mads for the confusion).

  19. WasatchGirl

    Sorry for the loss. He sounded like an interesting, enthusiastic guy. Wish I would have known him.

  20. mnicklas

    I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Martin at first. He was enigmatic, hyper-connected to the point of straining credulity but ultimately genuine, interested and real. He was introduced to me by a good friend and we had a “meeting” while walking from Grand Central to 34th & 10th last October. We agreed to stay in touch, he snapped my pic for his flickrstream and off he went. I can’t say i knew him well but i miss him already…RIP and safe cosmic travels.

  21. Brett Tabke

    I knew Martin pretty well. He was a long time member of WebmasterWorld and always came to our conferences. He always made a point of looking me up when he was in town. We left a compilation post here with many comments:http://www.webmasterworld.c…We miss him dearly.

    1. fredwilson

      Brett ­ thanks for that link to webmasterworld. It was a great read. This ismy favorite quote (from you):”Give up trying to figure it out man. He is what he says is and it allchecks out.”.

  22. Harry

    Fred, I lost a friend in that plane crash also, the pilot who was giving Martin a ride. Although the plane is capable of doing aerobatics or “stunts”, they played no part in the crash itself. The official cause will be determined by the NTSB and I dread the thought that it was something preventable. I can say with certainty that it was not stunts. This doesn’t make it any easier to bear the loss.

    1. fredwilson

      Harry ­ thanks for clarifying that. I was wondering. And I am sorry for yourloss too. A tragedy for many, it seems

  23. Adam Bruce

    Martin and I had Dinner on Monday, and his plane went down only a few miles from my house and office. This whole thing is so sudden it’s really knocked me for a loop, but I’ve added my own memories to everyone else on my blog.…I feel like I was just getting to know him, and perhaps by meeting all of you for the first time I finally am meeting Martin.-Adam

    1. fredwilson

      Adam, his last tweet was to you and when I saw it that¹s when I knew it wastrue. Crazy stuff finding out something on the net like that. But I thinkit¹s natural that happened with martin.

  24. Jon Callaghan

    I met Martin a few years ago through business and immediately liked him. His intelligence and wit impressed me immediately. We’d get together for coffee on Univ Ave when he was in town. I’d always find him so bright, witty, refreshingly fresh and optimistic. He would regularly ping me on skype from all over the world to tell me about a new deal or ask me about one that we’d recently worked on. He seemed constantly in touch and always on the move. It’s great to see from the other comments that this is who he was through and through, and that so many of us appreciated him in our work lives.We need more of Martin’s talent and light in this world, not less. This is a great loss and a sad day for us all.

  25. SimonOlson

    What a shock! Terrible news! Martin and I spoke over the phone and exchanged emails every couple of months or so, but we never met in person. We last exchanged emails on Wednesday when I sent him a copy of my start-up survival guide. He came to Brazil to look at some companies a few years ago and I set him up with a friend of mine in Sao Paulo. They spent a few days together and had a wonderful time. She is going to be really upset.

  26. Jeff Clavier

    Like so many, I was lucky enough to meet Martin through a common friend and kept in touch over the past few years, often via these impromptu IM conversations where he will ping you at any time during the day, or night, from different places of the world.I will always remember my first meeting with him, this 20-something who had retired at the age of 18 and was a true Internet citizen – since he did not have a permanent physical address. I was impressed by the kid’s smarts and ideas, and absolute lack of fear – nothing seemed impossible to him apparently.I want to believe that he lived fully the short time he spent in this world, and we can feel privileged to have interacted with him. My thoughts and prayers go to his family, and to Morten Lund, to whom he was like a son.Farewell Martin. As someone wrote, I am sure that you are already busy networking up there.

  27. Lynn-Lee

    I met him only one time. That was the 1st time he visited Saigon and also the last 🙁 ! Having a quick coffee with him at night, before he went to another country. How wonderful the time was! He was a very very nice guy. He told me a lot things about some places that he visited and gave me so many advices for my carreer. I just miss so many little things that he talked about at that night. The way he looked, the talked, he smiled, he joked and he walked, everything. So impressive for the 1st time meeting.When counting down to new year 2009, I also called him to say “happy new year”. And now I can’t believe when hearing this so sad story :(!He was the most successful person that I’ve ever met and talked to. He was also very attractive, a really fun guy and I loved his smile and his eyes :)!And now look at his picture again here, I feel so sad, so sad…Just want to say RIP, Martin!We love you!