I aboriginal met Bruce ancient in aboriginal or mid-2008, beneath than a year afterwards Xconomy had formed. It was about the time of our barrage in Seattle, and Xconomy already had its architect set on San Diego. We were on the coursing for the best tech-business journalists in the region, and at the top of a actual abbreviate account was Bruce. He’d spent the aftermost 18 years at the San Diego Union-Tribune, area he was allotment of the aggregation that won a 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Civic Reporting for apprehension bribes paid to Republican U.S. Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham. At the U-T, he had additionally accounting about tech, activity sciences, energy, and adventure capital—pillars of what we cover.
Bruce was a advised guy, and no way was he activity to jump from a aloft bi-weekly to an cipher online advertisement afterwards a lot of thought. And added thought. And added thought. Afterwards months of conversations, I had appealing abundant accustomed up achievement that this guy would anytime get off the fence. But we apparent about forth the way that one of our lath associates at the time, Fast Company co-founder Bill Taylor, not alone knew Bruce, but had abutting ties to one of Bruce’s key references. As I appropriately appear to the lath that August afterwards Bruce afraid us and accepted, “Bill did the adamantine advertise for us and helped accompany him home!” Bruce started with Xconomy the abutting month, and we launched Xconomy San Diego on October 6, 2008, with him as the founding editor.
I accept consistently marveled at how this old-school book journalist, a brand that isn’t absolutely able at change, fabricated the bound to this online startup with about no clue record. We were in the bosom of planning a affair this abatement to bless the 10th ceremony of our San Diego launch. It is doubtful how we could accept gotten this far afterwards Bruce, who is allotment of the bolt of the bounded addition scene—writing belief and planning and administering contest from clandestine dinners to accessible half-day forums, like the Big Data Meets Big Biology accident he hosted this April. He alike helped avant-garde several of the accident formats we use at Xconomy. One of his account was to put altered black dots on people’s badges depending on whether they were from activity sciences or tech, an investor, etc. He again told attendees, ‘Go out and accommodated bodies with altered black dots than you!’ He absolutely affiliated the dots.
—Bob Buderi, Founder and Editor in Chief
The Priest Ranch winery sits on the capital annoyance of Yountville, in the affection of Napa Valley. They say the acreage was accustomed in the 1860s by a Gold Rush prospector. I couldn’t accept known, but this would be the ambience for my aftermost and best abundant babble with Bruce.
It was June 15, and we had aloof able our anniversary Napa Summit event. Bruce and I had an hour afore our aggregation dinner, and we had a lot of claimed actuality to bolt up on. A tasting flight of four wines would appear while we talked: a Grenache Blanc, a Brut Rosé, a begrimed Cabernet Sauvignon, and a compact Petite Sirah. I don’t bethink the wines that well, but I will never balloon what we talked about.
Bruce and I both abutting Xconomy in 2008. We formed calm carefully for a decade. In the aboriginal years, I was on the West Coast and got to appointment him in San Diego; our wives and families hit it off over dinners and backyard ping-pong. Amid added curiosities, Bruce showed us his accumulating of hand-carved and hand-painted trout (some of which you can see here). In acknowledgment to my naïve inquiries, he said, “The catechism isn’t ‘Why fish?’, it’s ‘Why trout?’” (I never got the answer, but several trout calendars followed in the mail.)
In contempo years, we mostly talked over the buzz and e-mail. I do bethink a admirable banquet sitting at the bar at the old Hungry Mother restaurant in Cambridge. Over bourbon and a southern-style bend (not trout), Bruce relayed belief of his kids—Ben the algebraic whiz, Caitlin the soccer star—and ancestors campaign to attractive places like Rocky Mountain Civic Park, Bryce Canyon, Zion. That night, he did commodity no one abroad could—gave me achievement about actuality a new ancestor while still apropos acutely to its challenges and despair.
We affirmed over music, too. Bruce and I would accelerate anniversary added songs—his usually accustomed on CD, while I’d accelerate him links. He alien me to new ones by Fleet Foxes, Modest Mouse, Au Revoir Simone; I alternate the favor with Earlimart, Pedro the Lion, Midlake.
The able brace of years were momentous and difficult. Bruce went through cancer, divorce, ancestors issues, and a aloft new relationship. That he was able to accumulate up his assignment is a attestation to his courage and professionalism. We talked about all those things at the winery, and he aggregate some revelations from his life. Of course, he asked about mine, too.
Bruce able me a lot about journalism—how to accent information, accord with difficult sources, acquisition an angle, cut to the essence—but what I’ll booty abroad best is about life. Be generous. Be grateful. Try to be optimistic. Talk, absolutely talk, to your kids, your spouse, your family. Don’t accomplish assumptions in your relationships. Acquaint what’s important, now.
I anticipation our wine affair was appropriate at the time. Now I apprehend what a allowance it was. Afterwards our dinner, the Xconomy aggregation fabricated an ice chrism run to Gott’s in St. Helena. Bruce wasn’t afflicted by his milkshake, but he was never one to complain. He was with a aggregation who admired and admired him—Richard and Lynn, Ashley, Jacquie, and me—chatting about aggregate from bearing gaps to dessert-making to travel. He was activity to Las Vegas in a few days, and again off to backpack the civic parks he admired so abundant in Utah.
When we said goodbye in the car that night, I gave him a connected hug. It will never be enough.
—Greg Huang, Deputy Editor
So sad to apprehend this. I was able to accommodated Bruce a brace weeks ago in Napa and afore I could alike acquaint myself, he saw my name brand and hugged me saying, “I feel like I aloof charge to accord you a big hug”. It was a advantage to assignment on so abounding contest with him over the able two years.
–Jacquie Ogonowsky, Contest & Marketing Coordinator
I’m so sad to apprehend this news, I admired Bruce. Every accident we formed on calm he went aloft and above on—he’d alarm me to go over new account or acquaint me about the apostle he aloof recruited. Aloof a few weeks ago at Napa I had the amusement of assuredly affair him in actuality and he was aloof as amazing as I imagined. We affirmed over his aureate retriever and I abstruse added about his children. He laughed aback I was arch us in the amiss administration to get ice cream, and he assuredly told us what the “V” in “bvb” stood for, although he didn’t like the name Victor that much. Although I alone knew him for a abbreviate time, he fabricated a abiding impression.
–Ashley Gentile, Contest & Marketing Coordinator
I’m aloof above sad at this able deal. Bruce was the actuality who patiently offered bags of astute admonition aback I started at Xconomy, and we managed to accept a brace of connected catch-up conversations anniversary year. I’m so beholden we aloof had addition of those chats a few weeks ago. We alone spent time calm in actuality once, in Boston, and what I bethink best is the way he talked about his wife and kids with such accessible joy and pride. I’m so animated he spent his final canicule in admirable places and amid fun people. Blow in paradise, my friend.
—Sarah Schmid Stevenson, Editor, Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor
It was a amusement accepting to see Bruce in Napa recently. While we were aggravating to array out a accidental banquet Friday night he managed to appear up with a abundant atom at a accidental abode with a absorbing rooftop accouter and acceptable Mexican food. The end of that table with his smile and belief is area I’ll accumulate him for a while—I can pretend his buzz is accidentally still on aphasiac while we’re cat-and-mouse for him to bell in on a appointment call, and apprehensive if he’s still there.
We will absence you Bruce.
—Richard Freierman, Business Manager
Bruce admired actuality alive outdoors—which was accessible in San Diego—and admired running. I abutting him in several half-marathons and consistently looked advanced to the beers afterward. Bruce was additionally a able woodcarver and focused on abstraction and hand-painting fish, including abounding a life-like apricot or trout, which he would affectation in the active allowance or out in the yard. He admired dogs. He was a big reader, and I still accept a abstruseness atypical that I adopted from him—too backward to acknowledgment it now, alas. But best of all Bruce admired journalism. He admired accomplishing it, talking about it, and aggravating to amount out its future. He was appreciative of the Pulitzer-winning assignment he’d been allotment of in San Diego, and he kept in blow with the banishment of bi-weekly journalists he’d served with. It was a advantage to assignment alongside him as one of Xconomy’s West Coast editors.
—Wade Roush, above Chief Correspondent and San Francisco Editor
I accept abounding addicted memories of Bruce.
Being from San Diego, I consistently had fun talking about “local” affairs with Bruce, abnormally re the clearing he fabricated as an award-winning biographer from the San Diego Union bi-weekly to Xconomy. The Union has consistently been angelic to SD people, so aback Bob and Bruce formed out a way for him to accompany Xconomy in 2008, it gave us huge believability in aboriginal days.
What a abundant guy, what a abundant writer, raconteur, and host — abilities that fabricated Xconomy San Diego a jewel in the crown. His passing, 10 years afterwards its founding, is a brand in our history — I am acutely afflicted by his loss, and will absence him.
Best to his family—and abiding acknowledgment to Bruce for all he did!
—William A. Ghormley, Senior Vice President
Once, in the aboriginal canicule aback we were alive adamantine to authorize the Xconomy San Diego bureau, Bruce arrive my wife and I over to his abode for dinner. His son, a jailbait at the time, was camped out in his bedroom. Bruce absolved over, agape on the door, and alien us. He asked his son to appearance us what he was doing. He was arena ‘World of Warcraft’ with accompany about the country. Bruce, somewhat abashed by the acceptance of this game, looked at me and asked “Do you apperceive what this is all about?” Me: “Nope.” We aggregate a laugh. We were able-bodied abreast in some of the latest tech and biotech innovations, but both clueless about what was accepted with teens.
—Luke Timmerman, above Civic Biotech Editor
Bruce admired people. He was balmy and genuine—and this artlessness drew bodies to him. I acquainted it in our buzz calls and email exchanges—he had the allowance of authoritative anybody feel important and absorbing and included. It was allotment of what fabricated him such an amazing announcer and an amazing connector. Aback planning contest in San Diego, I never afraid about bushing seats because added bodies cared about Bruce as abundant as he cared about them, and I consistently knew they would appearance up for him.
At the aforementioned time, he was a ablaze journalist. His autograph fabricated me laugh, fabricated me think, fabricated me appetite to apprentice more.
And, on a added claimed note, I bethink aback his babe was the columnist for Accommodated the Xconomists. He was so captivated to be alive with her at the event. You could feel his action over the buzz and in his emails—his pride in his babe and in her abilities artlessly caked out of him.
—Thea Bissell, above Marketing and Contest Manager
I didn’t apperceive Bruce able-bodied enough, but I empiric a bit about who he was through our assignment together. He was accommodating on our account calls, and listened attentively to anniversary editor as we discussed our adventure ideas, so that he could potentially action perspective. He sometimes would abruptness me with e-mails—a antecedent that would fit for a adventure abstraction I had mentioned, or a new way to anticipate about the story. He would alarm aback alteration an commodity so we could babble for a few account about it—even about aloof the aboriginal detail, or to analyze a point. It was commodity that abashed me at first. We could aloof handle it over e-mail, right?
I came to accept why he fabricated it a point to ability out to his colleagues and breach the bashful boredom of a home office.
I can’t say that any of this poignantly defines Bruce or his nature. I accept apprehend what his accompany and ancestors wrote about accident him, and see through their adventures the adulation and acuteness that fabricated him who he was. From my acquaintance with Bruce, I do apperceive that his address and curiosity, his alertness to acquaint with others and claiming them, fabricated me feel cared for and motivated.
I am beholden that is commodity I can backpack advanced in my assignment and in the blow of my life.
—David Holley, Civic Correspondent
I aboriginal had the amusement of affair Bruce eight years ago while alive on a “test” activity as allotment of my account for a job at Xconomy. He was affectionate and analytical and acceptable with his time and knowledge. I thankfully got the job, Bruce connected to abundantly allotment his decades of beat experience, and I occasionally helped him acquisition his way about our online publishing system. A few months ago (and several career stops later), I reconnected with Bruce about an accident he was planning. He was as anxious and artistic as ever, and while I didn’t apperceive at the time it would be our aftermost time speaking, I’m beholden to accept had this aftermost acquaintance with an old aide and friend.
Rest In Peace, Bruce.
—Erin (Kutz) Glabets, above Associate Editor Xconomy Boston
Bruce joked that he and I were appointment “pod-mates” because we were so geographically abutting to anniversary other—almost the able breadth of California! We had our pod-mate chats by phone, mostly, rather than over the cube partitions. But we additionally got to see anniversary added at Xconomy events.
We had a abundant roundtrip by car to a Robo Madness, aback we apparent a alternate absorption in the columnist Norman Maclean, who wrote the acclaimed book “A River Runs Through It.” I begin Maclean, though, through his additional book, the beauteous Young Men and Fire. If you apprehend this review, you ability anticipate of Bruce. It’s a adventure about a tragedy, but additionally about a adulation of attributes and the able bodies who alive in it.
—Bernadette Tansey, San Francisco Editor
As the newest editor on the Xconomy team, I got to allege with Bruce alone a few times by phone. But best of those conversations were on the lengthier side, and at the end of one of them, he said to me, out of the dejected and actual earnestly: “Thank you for aggregate you’re accomplishing for Xconomy.” I was alone a few months into the new job, so this was aloof so nice to hear. Bruce absolutely fabricated you feel admired and allotment of the team…something that’s been echoed in abounding of the added tributes to Bruce from added aggregation members. I ambition I could accept met him in person.
—Corie Lok, Appropriate Projects Editor
When I met Bruce in 2008 he had about two decades added journalism acquaintance than me and, ya know, a Pulitzer Prize. In fact, at that point he had decidedly added acquaintance than anybody on the aggregation besides Bob. But with aught irony he confided afterwards via e-mail that he was “impressed… and a little abashed by how accomplished” we all were.
I admit in that barter the aide I would abound to apperceive and adulation over the afterward decade: self-effacing, absolutely supportive, and so, so kind. If he anytime noticed in the aboriginal canicule of Xconomy that we sometimes had no clue what we were accomplishing he kept it to himself. If he noticed that a aide had a triumph, big or small—and he consistently noticed—he fabricated abiding we paused to bless it. And from day one he advised me like the baton I was alone again acquirements to be.
Bruce was, like a hasty cardinal of tech journalists, adequately hopeless aback it came to absolutely application technology. His struggles with the aphasiac button on appointment calls were legendary, his disability to bright his browser accumulation aggressive Alex’s -to-be hit song “Shift Refresh”, and his “I bankrupt the website” account was, for a cardinal of years, unrivaled. But he still patiently—and, by some miracle, successfully—helped his colleagues ataxia through their own trials with our generally afflictive publishing system.
Those were the things I knew about. One of the best apricot genitalia of this has been audition from Xconomy association able and present all the added things Bruce did abaft the scenes to accumulate in blow with, support, and bless his extensive colleagues. It’s a assignment to me about how to body a aggregation and, really, how to alive a life. I will absence him profoundly.
—Rebecca Zacks, Cofounder, COO, Executive Editor
I got to assignment with Bruce for about three years and alike admitting we never met in person, his amore and bite for activity absolutely came through during buzz calls, in e-mails, and of advance in his advantage of high-tech affairs in San Diego.
I alone got to apprehend his opus, “The Toymaker,” afterwards acquirements of Bruce’s death. I ambition I were able to acclaim him on the 14-chapter series, which Harvard’s Nieman Storyboard calls a “well-paced, engaging, thoroughly appear contour of a man and his mission to body a bigger toy.” The piece, appear in 1997 by the San Diego Union-Tribune, area Bruce formed for about two decades, showed me that he was appropriately able at crafting detailed, magazine-style appearance as he was at autograph shorter, but about high-quality circadian account stories. Alike if you feel like you’re accustomed with a colleague’s autograph style, account through his aback archive ability action a abruptness or two.
I would appetite anyone who’s never apprehend “The Toymaker” to do so. The allotment gives readers a window into the anima of its subject, Paul Eichen, and what makes him tick. This is the mark of a crisp profile. But it additionally helped me feel a little bigger acquainted with Bruce, and the abundant things he accomplished.
—Jeff Buchanan, Wisconsin Editor
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