12.28.2003 (Sunday), 11:21 PM

Phil Goldman

just one more thing...

Soon after the Snoop Dogg incident, the cellie rang and I was told that Phil Goldman had passed away. Actually, if you want to talk about record time to sober, this would have been it.

Phil was one of the founders of WebTV Networks where I started working soon after they had formed. Of the three founders (Bruce Leak and Steve Perlman being the other two guys...), Phil was the easiest to talk to. He really had the gift of persuasion in that way too and was the guy who really sold me on joining WebTV when I was interviewing...

After I left WebTV/Microsoft in 2000 (MS bought WebTV in 1997), I had only heard this and that about what Phil was up to. The MS deal made him a wealthy man and I heard that he was just biding his time until inspiration struck him. It eventually did and he formed a company called Mailblocks. Several of my colleagues and a handful of friends work there today...

I had many friends at WebTV who were pretty tight with him for a long while. I talked with a few tonight just to see how they were dealing with the news. Most expressed disbelief but the reality was setting in. Everyone I talked to went to the memorial service today - Fadden said that it was like a gigantic WebTV reunion. I had not seen Phil in well over three years. Now I wish I had.

I paused a whole bunch of times today to think about Phil's passing at such an early age. Given the vitality that I know he had, it makes me wonder about that vitality that he had left behind and that I could only strive to match that in my own life.

Posted by wjc