Goodbye Martin Schaedel

A few minutes ago, Jon Callaghan, general partner with True Ventures and an investor in our company emailed me to let me know that Martin Schaedel, a long time friend of ours had died in a plane crash in Santa Monica, California. The news was reported in Los Angeles Times blog. My prayers and thoughts go to Martin’s family, back in Sweden, in this time of trial.

I am overcome with a sense of extreme sadness, wondering why the good have to die young. Martin and I had become good friends, over the years, often exchanging emails and swapping stories about this crazy business we called technology. Born in Sweden, 23-year-old Schaedel was citizen of the world having lived in New York, London and other cities. He was full of life and ideas.

An unconventional thinker, Martin and I first met, thanks to Morten Lund, an early investor in Skype. I have stayed in touch with both over the years. We didn’t meet in person as much, though occasionally we would meet in a bar and Martin would show up with a bevy of leggy blondes. With a zany sense of style and 100-miles-a-minute style, Martin was one of few maverick thinkers of our Internet economy.

He was always online – his blog today lies silent, reminding me of the dreamer that he was. His Twitter feed has no updates; echoing the the finality of Martin’s last status update about his pilot lesson at the Santa Monica Airport.

Martin lived his life to the extreme, pushing the limits of life itself. His thought process and sometimes-crazy ideas would show up as emails written late at night. Some of these emails would originate from Shanghai, Bombay, Stockholm, London or New York. Disjointed as his words might have read, they encapsulated ideas that pushed the limits and were unconventional. Martin recently emailed to let me know that he was back in Sweden and working on plans to do some buyouts of Web 1.0 companies that had fallen on hard times.

Martin wasn’t all work. He was all heart, however. Often he would email me to find out about my recovery, encouraging me to stay strong and recover. His words were like tonic, giving me strength to stay strong and banish any negative thoughts. His last email had subject line: Brother Check and he talked about his grand visit to South East Asia, looking for secondary shares of Facebook and most importantly extolling me to get together with him soon. “Hope I’ll see you in 09!!”

Goodbye old friend!

What others who knew Martin had to say about him:

* Danny Sullivan
* Morten Lund
* Fred Wilson
* AllThingsD

Photo courtesy of Morten Lund.