Last Friday a friend from my grad school program came over for coffee. She’s planning to do some blogging, so I was sharing some aspects of how I set up my blog. While I was doing the online tour, I suddenly decided to share information about a particular software product that a business contact of mine had launched. This business contact’s name was Steven Bender.
It has been uncanny, but I’ve been thinking of Steven Bender a lot lately, and for about a year now. (This was the same period of time I was buried with culling, sorting, packing, and moving.) I first “met” Steven back in mid 2000, when I was trying to do a Power Point presentation and the files were so huge after photos were added that they could not be transmitted. This was just before I jumped on the DSL bandwagon, and even if I was on Broadband, the recipients probably were not. Reducing the size of my Power Point presentation was necessary. Steven answered my questions that I had posted on a Microsoft user forum.
Because I had started doing SEO work during the summer of 2001 after interning at an Internet Company, it was a given that I looked at websites to see if they were architecturally optimized for indexing by the search engines. I emailed him off the forum and made some suggestions that could help him out, after all, he had just helped me out. We began to talk and found that we had some things in common, including Beta Gamma Sigma, the MBA School Honor Society. At the time, he was considering launching a product that would reduce the size of PPT files, but to help me out, he directed me to a competitor who already had launched their product (and one which I have used ever since).
We were talking about how our Internet Marketing organization could help him out, and I must confess, I loved talking to the man. He was brilliant, fascinating, engaging, interesting, a quick study, mature, creative and at the same time, very able to assess both what his organization would need and its mission statement and overall business strategy. I loved talking to Steven Bender because he was truly an Entrepreneur and a Go-Getter, and a good human being. I could only wonder what a wonderful woman his wife must be, and what an outstanding couple they must have made.
Unfortunately 9-11 happened, so he decided to resurrect a patent of his and focus his energy into what was his iMagic Software company, so we never did work together. Later Friday evening, I started to think about the last time I had heard from Steven. The last time I heard from him was just before he left Face Book, and he shot me a message with this link to his Google Profile for Steven Bender. I remember being very busy at the time and sending him a short message back, and meaning to email him again later, something that never happened.
I was rather surprised that his business website had so much less content than before, so out of curiosity I ran a search in Google to see what else he must be up to when I came across his obituary in the Santa Ynez Valley Journal. Although I was truly saddened to find out he left us, I was not surprised that the service was to celebrate his life. From just the limited dealings I had with him on the phone and on email, and the links he’d send me from time to time prior to his accident, he was clearly one of those few people who lived life large and who left a trail of good tidings and memories.
Thank you Steven, for sending me your You Tube Videos. I’m sorry it took me this long to tell you more than a short “I like it.” You really were a man for all ages. I’m sorry we never met in person. Good mentors are invaluable.