Thursday, May 12, 2011

Two Deaths: Coincidence

Two of my favorite bloggers Amitabh Bachchan and Fred Wilson are both today talking about the passing away of friends. Curious coincidence.

Amitabh Bachchan: DAY 1119: I have just been informed of the sudden passing away of my dear friend Kirit Trivedi in London ...... He had been unwell and I had just met him some days back when he was here on a short visit. And even though he was ailing, he never lost the opportunity of wanting to do something novel, exciting and different. Always positive and full of confidence under any circumstances, his very presence would lighten up the air around and fill you up with an energy that was unexplainable. ...... I met him first in the late 70’s on a private visit to Los Angeles, where he lived. ...... It was Kirit that felt the potential of projecting me on stage for stage shows. He pioneered those very first ones way back in 1981 and from then on followed an entire new experience and new ventures. Never one to get strapped down to undoable events, it was his entrepreneurial vision that brought scale dimension and the largeness of stage performances, years before any other could have even thought of it. ....... It was his ambitious zeal that got me on to Madison Square Gardens in New York, when the management there had rejected him for months, sarcastically taunting him that the venue was fit only for John F Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Mohammed Ali - past performers at this prestigious stadium. But Kirit was Kirit. He just did not admit defeat and finally won. A 12, 000 seater stadium was sold out a month before my performance and Kirit had filled in another 12, 000. On the floor, in the aisles, in the dressing areas … everywhere he sold tickets. ...... Kirit was unstoppable. He kept upping the ante every year. Giants Stadium, New Jersey 60,000 people packed in for my show. The most prestigious theaters all over the world were on his map and event after event he kept getting them and succeeding in making history. The West Indies, the Wembley Stadium, London, South Africa’s largest and most honored football stadium just prior to the abolishment of apartheid, and every possible venue were his domain and his inspiration to do bigger and better. Elephants, horses, sports cars, bikes on stage with me. Stage floor opening up and bringing in the largest stretch limousine on top for me to escape from the crowds after the show was over were all his inventions and ideas.

Fred Wilson: Gerardo Miguel Rosenkranz: My friend Jerry Rosenkranz passed away early wednesday morning. He was the best angel investor I have ever met..... I met Jerry in the spring of 1997. Flatiron Partners had just committed to lead a $3mm "series A round" in Starmedia, which went on to become the leading Internet portal in Latin America. ...... Jerry, Susan Segal (Chase Capital's Latin American investment head) and I went on to build a portfolio of about a dozen leading latin american Internet companies in the late 90s. That portfolio included companies like MercadoLibre,, Starmedia, Submarino, and a host of others. I don't write or talk much about that experience. It ended painfully and I've not ventured back to latin america (from an investing point of view) since 2001. ...... Jerry was raised in Mexico and graduated from Stanford. He was a geek. He loved technology and entrepreneurship. He also loved Mexico. I remember being with Jerry at some fancy event and walking into the kitchen and watching him speak in his native tongue to the mexican workers. They loved it and he loved it. A part of Jerry was Silicon Valley, where he had tremendous relationships and connections. A part of Jerry was Mexico and latin people and culture. And a part of Jerry was NYC, it's power, money, and emerging technology community. His ability to work in all three worlds was unique and hugely impactful. ...... There are a few people who have made me what I am and Jerry is one of them.

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