I have spent the better part of this afternoon and evening trying to do anything other than think about the passing of my good friend Rajeev Motwani. But I have failed. The thought that Rajeev has left us is hard to fathom. Rajeev was part of the fabric of Silicon Valley. He was part of the fabric of Stanford. And he was part of the fabric of August Capital.
For a number of years now, Rajeev has attended our partners meetings every Monday afternoon. As a tenured professor, Rajeev could not join us as a partner of August Capital. But he enjoyed participating in the back and forth of the partnership discussions. He enjoyed debating the merits of every new innovation. And he was quick to share his point of view on each technology or company or entrepreneur. But he particularly enjoyed that when partner meeting talk turned to the mundane or administrative, he could give us a sly smile and quietly slip out the door.
Rajeev didn't have time for the mundane. He was too busy talking with everyone about everything. You would be hard pressed to find a more connected or more informed professor, technologist or investor than Rajeev Motwani. He worked tirelessly, meeting anyone and everyone who requested an audience with him. Students sought his advice on grad school. Entrepreneurs sought his advice on financing strategy. Investors sought his advice on technology trends. We all just wanted a little bit of Rajeev's time. And he always seemed to have that little more to give us.
For those of you who didn't know Rajeev, you might get the impression that he was your typical Silicon Valley insider -- loud, brash, full of bravado. He was anything but. Rajeev was soft spoken and gentle. He was self-confident but didn't feel the need to prove anything. He didn't speak to hear his own voice. And he didn't need to be the center of attention. Rajeev just wanted to be helpful. And he was. To so many of us.
Perhaps that is why so many of us thought of Rajeev as a friend. It is one thing to be friendly with someone in the business world. It is another thing altogether to consider them a friend. Rajeev genuinely liked people and people genuinely liked him. So it is no surprise to me that testimonials about people's friendships with Rajeev Motwani are popping up all over the Web (here are the words of friendship and admiration from Sergey Brin, Om Malik and Dave Morin, to point to just a few). I am sure that the testimonials will keep on coming in for days and weeks to come.
While I could certainly go on about Rajeev's intellect, his curiosity, his business acumen, let me just say one more thing about him and his character. Rajeev was a wonderful family man. I say that as the very highest form of praise. Rajeev loved his wife Asha (as do all of us who know her) and he adored his children. Rajeev's face lit up when he talked about his family. And he prioritized them above all else. No one will miss Rajeev more than his wife and kids and, while I can only feel some small piece of their pain, my love and support goes out to them during this tough time.
Rajeev Motwani, you are missed already. And you will be missed for years and years to come. You have left us far too soon.