The Silicon Valley community is slowly coming to terms with the sudden death of Blake Krikorian, 48, co-founder of Sling Media. There is an old Yiddish proverb, "Men tracht und Gott lacht." Loosely translated this means "Men Plan and God laughs." I’ve also heard an English version, “Man proposes, God Disposes” and the German, "Der Mensch denkt - Gott lenkt.” The phrase speaks for itself; while we sit and plan out details of our lives, we never know what the universe has in store for us, nor what monkey wrench will be inevitably thrown into the mix, to make our planning for naught. It’s a common universal theme.
Died while surfing.
Whatever the origin, these phrases have continued to run through my mind for the past 24 hours, ever since I opened Recode and read Kara Swisher’s obituary of Krikorian. Forty-eight years old. At the top of his game. Taken while surfing in San Francisco. A mega-watt smile, with a perpetual twinkle in his eye. The word unfair comes to mind.
Of course I know that life is often unfair, but sometimes the reminder can be hard to swallow. As human beings, our mind wanders, and it's natural to take comfort in philosophy at times of tragedy. This was a man that by all accounts lived every day to the fullest and probably packed more life into his 48 years than most pack into 80. At least I hope he did. Because tomorrow it could be you or me.
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Lover of life.
Benjamin Franklin, a lover of life like Krikorian, said that we are guaranteed nothing in this life except death and taxes. But he was granted 84 years, unlike Krikorian who was given the reverse, a mere 48.
While few of us could reach the heights of a Benjamin Franklin -- a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat -- we can certainly take lessons from his, and Krikorian's years here on earth. To live every day to the fullest because tomorrow is not guaranteed. If you love what you do, as Krikorian clearly did, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Rest in peace Blake Krikorian.