Although I saw the end coming and thought myself prepared, I was devastated by Warren’s death in May 2014. I owe him so very much; he was my co-author, business partner, colleague, neighbor, and most of all my friend.
I met Warren in the early 1990s, and our lives have been entwined since then. We lived 4 houses apart. We worked together at Stanford, left together to start our consultancy InfoDynamics, with Stuart Ozer. We did WebTV together, and though our professional paths diverged for a few years, for the last decade we worked closely as InfoD/Kimball Group. All along the way I looked to Warren, first as my mentor and later as a work partner, co-teacher, and co-author. Even in those periods when we couldn’t find an engagement to work on together, he was always a valuable sounding board and design partner.
Warren seldom chose the easy path. I remember a hiking/camping trip where he packed in a bottle of tequila and a huge bag of limes, which he halved with a penknife and squeezed between his palms (while the tequila chilled in the stream). It took forever! Why didn’t he squeeze them at home? Or buy lime juice? Or pack a reamer? He just shrugged. The margaritas were awesome, by the way. Our writing projects were similar. He’d choose a path and trudge down that road, no matter how painful, no matter how time consuming, no matter how often I suggested an alternative direction. I might get exasperated, but I could never come close to getting angry at him.
Warren was just the most genuinely nice person I know. I can’t recall him saying anything mean or unkind about anyone. He was masterful at summing people up and gently manipulating them to do what he wanted them to do, usually without them realizing what he was doing. Character-building, he called it. It was a pleasure to watch.
Warren found his life partner in Elizabeth, and it was great to watch the two of them grow together over the years. Of course that bond was the pillar that supported him during the last awful year.
I learned so much from him. He is one of the key figures in my adult life, and I’m indescribably saddened by losing him. Warren, I love you and will always miss you.