You’re gone too early. We still had so many more times to spend together.
And it was the first word I muttered when I heard the news tonight.
I remember when we met years ago. I think Michael Kantor introduced us. You were pitching me an online business selling other people’s baby food. I told you what a dumb idea it was.
You came back. You had a new plan. You had renegotiated your way out of that agreement. Now you wanted to merge with a broader-based business and sell all products. You got to keep the name of the new company – ecomom. You were so proud of that name and what it stood for. You wanted good in the world.
And in turn the world wanted good for you. But the world made you fight for it. And I did, too.
I told you to go away again, you crazy, wiry, non-stop pitching fool.
What? You back again? Who let you in here? Oh, you want to tell me about how your business is now scaling? You have repeat orders and high gross margins? Go away, I say! It’s mom stuff. We didn’t do so well in that category in the past.
Review your deck? Ok, Jody. You sure do push the envelope. But I kinda like your chutzpah. Sure, bro. Come on in. But … could you button up the shirt a couple more notches when you come to my office? I think you might have scared a few folks last time. Ha, just kidding. No, seriously. Just one more button.
Wow. Your deck looks great. Are those growth numbers real? Impressive. No. No I can’t meet for breakfast. I don’t think we can fund in that category, Jody.
Ok. I’ll have the egg-white burrito. I have to eat something healthy around you or I’ll feel guilty. Is it true that you have 3% body fat? I know, I know. I shouldn’t eat the carbs. But this is Lemon Moon – at least we know it’s healthy.
Fine. Fine. I’ll write you an angel check, then. As long as you promise to stop pitching me! Yes, Jody. I really believe in you. I always did. But when I got home and I told my wife that I had just committed $25,000 that she should just consider it a mitzvah. I didn’t so much want to see a baby products company make money as I wanted to see you succeed. You had some magic dust.
Ok, Jody. We have to have a heart-to-heart. You gotta stop pitching Sand Hill Road VCs. Look at their entrepreneurs – they are 28, computer programmers and they went to Harvard or Stanford. Now go look in a mirror. You have “weird hair.” Yes. weird hair. My cousin calls it JewFro. And you have it. And in stead of hiding it you wear it Kramer style just to scare people. I think you like looking at them looking at you. Don’t you? Focus on raising money from outsiders. From people eschewed by the typical system. Raise money from underdogs like you.
You told me that was some of the most honest and best advice you had ever gotten. That most people were too scared to say that to you. And raise money you did. Millions of it.
Ok. I have to admit something to you. With your persona I always expected to ask you tough financial questions about your business and expect you to say, “let me check with my CFO.” You didn’t. You always had the most precise mastery of your numbers. The way no CEO from Harvard does.
You were a smart chip-on-your-shoulder-that-weighed-a-ton mother fucker. And proud of it. And so was I.
You were always so generous with giving back. You spent so much time with first-time startups from Launchpad LA. You helped so many figure out how to approach angels. And how to think about being an entrepreneur.
You were so excited when you got to help me. I told you that I wanted to go to The Lobby and you told me you’d make it happen.
No, Jody. Please don’t email David Hornik. I don’t want to bug him. I’m a VC – he doesn’t need more of me at The Lobby.
Thank you. That was very kind. Ok, fine – just promise me you won’t make him feel compelled. Just an intro. Let me hang out. I can always go The Lobby another year.
Ok. David invited me. Thank you, Jody. I appreciate what you did for me. I didn’t ask you to. I never do. I kind of begged you not to. But you never accepted no for an answer. And I know that you enjoyed helping other people and returning favors more than you enjoyed looking after yourself.
And it’s kind of the motto that I would always imagine coming from Jody Sherman, “Regret Nothing.”
And we finally met Kerri. She was so lovely. You bragged about her to me so many times. How smart she was – studying to be a doctor. How gorgeous she was. How did a putz like you end up with a beauty like that? Hey? We loved meeting her. And she loved you.
I remember reading about Paige Craig’s skiing accident. Lots of broken bones. And I saw that you posted a note that said something like, “Dude. Holler if you need anything at all and I’m on the next flight.” And I remember thinking to myself at the time that I knew you really meant it. For most people that would be just words.
You lived your commitments.
And now you’re gone. And it’s too early. And I have a tear in my eye. And I’m not a crier. You weren’t supposed to leave us this early, Jody. Damn you.
I had a laugh reading a message on Facebook. It was written by somebody who knew your true spirit. Somebody who knew what you’d be thinking looking down at us all. For one, you’d be thinking, “Suster, stop being such a wussy.”
[Jody] showed me his latest tattoo. I was incredulous. What kind of jackass puts “i am awesome” across the back of his wrist? Before I could speak, as I was raising my eyes to his, he looked at me and answered the question with his trademark gigantic smile before I could ask it.
“Because I am.”
Your trademark gigantic smile. How precious. You are awesome, Jody.
And only you had the juevos to pull off that tattoo.
Life isn’t perfect. And I’m sure you had demons. And a past. And your struggles with the future. And with living up to expectations you set with those around you. And whatever information I absorb about you in the future – and I referenced you way back when so I know your life wasn’t perfect – I know that the true core of Jody Sherman was a kind, caring, giving, emotional, flawed, smart, ambitious, competitive person.
We all saw that in you, Jody. Your imperfections. And we loved you anyways. I wish you knew that.
Ok. Ok. Shut up, man. I’ll stop tearing up.
But please, rest in peace, Jody. I’ll miss you.
And thanks for leaving us your afterlife photo. It’s how I’ll remember you.