What's Your Legacy?

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Back in December, the blogging world was struck dumb when Marc Orchant passed away suddenly due to a heart attack. I don’t want to rehash all the details as you can find them elsewhere. Sufficed to say, many tears were shed over his passing.

Time heals all wounds, right? No, not quite.

Today, GigaOm announced the “acquisition” of mobile gadget site jkOnTheRun. To me, an interesting subplot was the post that James Kendrick from jkOnTheRun wrote mourning the fact that Marc was not present to enjoy the excitement of the acquisition. This in turn spurred this FriendFeed conversation.

  • Steve Rubel shared an item on Google Reader – I miss Marc Orchant
  • Aaron Brazell, Andrew Baron, Jason Calacanis, James Hull, paul mooney, Peter Dawson, David Risley, Dave Martin, matt hollingsworth and Dan Liebke liked this
  • I miss Marc too and his writings – Steve Rubel
  • me three. – Robert Scoble
  • Same here. – James Hull
  • Today is dedicated to Marc. He helped get me my first paid blogging gig and now our blog is part of Om’s network. Thanks Marc. – Kevin C. Tofel
  • me 2 – Peter Dawson
  • He would have been proud – James Tenniswood
  • @Kevin he is smiling today. – Steve Rubel
  • Steve, I think you’re right. I hope he knows the profound influence he had on so many people. I’m humbled to call him a friend. – Kevin C. Tofel
  • I miss him too! I was talking about him at dinner tonight. Gnomedex is coming up and I was thinking how great it was to see him last year at the event. I was so lucky to spend time with him. – Betsy Weber
  • Now you know why Marc has a big thumbs-up wherever he might be. :) – James Kendrick
  • yeah…. me too. i think about him when Gnomedex, CES and DEMO conferences roll around. He was a true gentleman and a scholar. still have him on my skype….. every now and then i think of sending him a note. – Jason Calacanis
  • Me too. :( Gnomedex was the last time I ever saw Marc. – Aaron Brazell
  • Aaron: you were the last person he tweeted as well… as I’m sure you know. – Jason Calacanis
  • I remember, Jason… :( – Aaron Brazell
  • I had the good fortune to work with Marc’s daughter Rebecca at PR Newswire. Rebecca and I set at adjacent desks and she was very helpful to me. I never had the good fortune to meet Marc but truly enjoyed working with Rebecca. It’s nice to know that this man who resided in the place I now live is so well remembered. – James
  • Me too. Marc was always a ray of light, always uplifting. Made you feel good about the human race. – Cameron Reilly

Of course, I was the last person Marc ever tweeted when I was in the midst of trying to quit smoking.
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To this day, I think about Marc and this conversation brought everything flooding back. I more than occasionally wonder how Sue, his wife, is doing and have often thought about looking her up and giving her a call. But, then I think it still might be too soon. I don’t know.

What struck me about this friendfeed conversation is the word “legacy”. Marc had a legacy and it has carried over past his death. Legacy is the effect you have on people when you are gone. Legacy is the weight of your presence when you are not present.

Marc’s legacy lives on as he has positively changed so many lives and those lives remember.

Right now, the conversation in the technology blogging sphere is about relevance. It is hitting a moment where survival of the fittest is kicking into gear. Currently, everyone is fighting over the Techmeme scraps dropped from the plates of a few. Who can get the most pageviews? Who can track into top positions? It’s all very short sighted.

Value is created when you are able to positively affect the lives of those around you. Maybe talking about Seagate drives is not quite as sexy as adopting children in Africa, but it changes the way that a technology manager invests money.

Discussing African American history with a historian, as we will do on Saturday evening has the potential to affect real lives. Talking about how to be like Julia Allison does not.

Legacy is the mark you leave on a society when you are blessed to no longer be a part of it. Marc left his legacy. I hope to leave mine. What are you doing to leave a mark?

Marc Orchant, a Hero to Many

All this week, since I heard about the massive coronary that my friend, Marc Orchant, suffered last Sunday morning, I’ve been following the progress reports that Oliver Starr has been posting for the entire blogosphere.

Unfortunately, the news tonight is not good. Marc has passed on from this earth leaving many of us on this earth grieving. Marc was a husband to one, a father to two, a friend and hero to many. He was a beautiful man, always looking to help anyone else he could in any way he could. Anyone who knew him would vouch for this.

On Twitter, his last message was to me – encouraging me, in a way that Marc seemed to always emulate. It does not matter why he was encouraging me. It was just his way. I will miss him.

Oliver noted Marc’s love of music on his blog. I can attest to this, and Marc and I shared a lot of discussion about a mutually favorite band – Dave Matthews Band. So while Oliver left a Grateful Dead song, I leave a Dave Matthews song:

Where Are You Going?
Where are you going, with your long face pulling down?
Don’t hide away, like an ocean
That you can’t see but you can smell
And the sound of waves crash down

I am no superman.
I have no reasons for you
I am no hero, Aww that’s for sure
But I do know one thing:
Is where you are is where I belong.
I do know, where you go, is where I wanna be.

Where are you going? Where do you go?
Are you lookin’ for answers to questions under the stars?
Well if along the way you are growin weary, you can rest with me
Until a brighter day, you’re ok.

I am no superman.
I have no answers for you.
I am no hero, aww that’s for sure.
But I do know one thing:
Where you are is where I belong.
I do know, where you go, is where I wanna be

Where are you going? Where do you go?
Where do you go? Where are you goin? Where do you go?

I am no superman.
I have no answers for you
I am no hero, awww thats for sure.
But I do know one thing:
is where you are is where I belong
I do know, where you go, is where I wanna be.

Where are you goin’? Where do you go?

Tell me where are you going?
Where? Let’s go.

Update:
If there is any doubt the impact that Marc has had on so many, I show you this screenshot of Techmeme where his death is the top thing being blogged about, commented on and discussed in the technology blogsphere. This does not even come close to reflecting the sentiments being expressed elsewhere. I have cried all night. I’ll continue to mourn longer.

Marc Orchant Suffers Massive Heart Attack

This is a repost from the original Blognation post.


At some time between 7:30 and 8:10 AM on Sunday Morning December 2nd, 2007, Marc Orchant, my fellow author on this blog, as well as one of my closest friends sustained a massive heart attack while working in his home office. At this time Marc is in critical condition at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Critical Cardiac Care Unit, Bed 3. He is not expected to regain consciousness for the next 24 to 48 hours.

I was notified by Marc’s wife, Sue and asked to help notify Marc’s colleagues, friends and other business associates. Marc was scheduled to go to Seattle, WA as well as Ojai, CA this coming week. Obviously he will not be able to attend either event. Those of you that have association with either of Marc’s scheduled appearances at these locations, please notify those that require notice of this turn of events.

According to Sue Orchant, Marc was up early Sunday morning as is his normal custom. Sue told me that he was working in his office from about 7:30 AM until 8:10 when Sue says she heard a strange noise in Marc’s office. When she went to investigate she saw that Marc was not sitting in front of the computer like he normally does and was slumped over between his desk and a small couch that is in the room.

Initially, Sue said, she though he was leaning over doing something to their Golder Retriever but then she realized that he was not conscious. Fortunately, Sue has basic medical knowledge and after verifying that Marc was not choking and had a clear airway she began to perform CPR while their son, Jason, called paramedics.

The ambulance arrived in less than 10 minutes and technicians immediately took over performing CPR and administered treatment with a cardiac defibrillator. Marc was rushed into emergency open heart surgery where an angioplasty was performed to restore circulation in the blocked artery.

Sue went on to tell me that in spite of Marc’s apparent good health, he has severe occlusion in both his other arteries and they too will require treatment soon. That, however is a secondary concern as is the condition of Marc’s heart muscle. The primary concern and the question that cannot be answered until Marc regains consciousness is the nature or extent of any neurological damage as a result of insufficient oxygen reaching Marc’s brain.

While Marc still had what appeared to be normal color when Sue found him she is uncertain as to the exact time that Marc suffered the infarction. It is also unknown if Marc had stopped breathing or been without oxygen for any length of time prior to her discovery of the situation.

Currently Marc’s immediate family as well as his brothers and parents are in or on their way to Albuquerque to be with Marc. Sue has asked me to keep Marc’s colleagues and friends in the technology community updated as information becomes available. Please do not contact Sue for updates. I will publish any information that I have in multiple venues to keep people informed of any changes in Marc’s condition.

For those of you that wish to send flowers, cards, or other gifts, Marc is at:
Presbyterian Hospital
Cardiac Care Unit Bed #3
1100 Central Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

the hospital switchboard number is 505-841-1234.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Marc and his family in this difficult time. Marc is one of the finest human beings that I have ever had the good fortune to know and I pray that Marc makes a full and speedy recovery.