‘Irreversible’

The video below, or click here, is one of the most moving I’ve ever seen. Watch it now, and I will save my comments below for afterwards.

I first met Andy Palmer about 15 years ago. We used to meet for periodic breakfasts and lunches. I had asked my friend Tony Frazier for the name of one of the most compelling entrepreneurs he knew. Tony mentioned Andy. I asked for an intro.

When Andy was thinking of his next thing, I introduced him to Mike Stonebraker, with whom I had worked on StreamBase (sold to Tibco). Vertica was born. It was a great outcome, rumored to be around $400MM.

We’ve also worked together on other companies, such as Goby (sold to Telenav), VoltDB and Paradigm4, as well as some seed-level ideas that weren’t ready in the end.

But, that’s the business stuff. It’s the personal traits of Andy that are as compelling, and, for me, even more important.

Here’s one example. After Vertica exited, I congratulated him and the wealth he had received. “Well,” he said, “it’s not my money.”

Here’s a second example. He and his spouse, Amy, decided to adopt.

Over the years, I met Amy and heard about their children: Morgan, Jonah and Annie. I also learned that they decided to adopt a child, Gerry. I learned over a dinner with Andy and Amy that they felt they had more love to give, that they were interested in a child who might not otherwise be adopted: an African American male about to “age out” of foster care.

I over the years heard about how the whole family embraced Gerry, how they all worked together. I remember Andy saying things like: “Unconditional love. All children deserve it. All children need it.”

Yesterday, I read about how Annie Palmer made a video about her brother. So, watch that video. Share it. It’s a great testament to the power of unconditional love.

Gerry, I don’t know you, but I already am one of your biggest fans. You are a tremendous gift to the world.

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