I posted about losing Abbi on Facebook, but haven’t talked about it here. Mostly because I’ve been processing it in the background, all this time.
I first met Abbi (Bottom left of the photo in the jacket) at 360|iDev San Jose, in 2009.
He was a fixture of the Mac community long before I met him, and up until the end. Ever the consummate entrepreneur, he was always looking for an angle. We argued a lot around this point, as I generally dislike what entrepreneurship has become in the valley. Abbi was Silicon Valley through and through.
He was the first to market with outlets with USB sockets in them but got beat out by bigger players. He built the first iPhone battery case, but well, Mophie.
No matter our disagreements, he was my friend. We didn’t get to hang out very often, he wasn’t a big traveler, so I only saw him when I went to San Jose/San Francisco for WWDC. I cherished our time every year. I’d have to drag him kicking and screaming from a loud party where no one could hear anyone else so we could eat a regular meal, and speak in normal volumes. One of our last hangs was during WWDC. He drug me to a party I didn’t want to go to on the promise we’d leave shortly after and grab a bite. We went to a pizza place that’s a staple in the area. We enjoyed pizza and a beer and talked about business.
Often I’ll be working on something and the thought, “Abbi would love this” or “This would drive Abbi nuts” will spring up. We loved sparing on ideas and business. Our approaches couldn’t have been more different.
most recently he and I were helping a friend with an app idea. We were essentially the idea pool. We had a weekly meeting where we threw out ideas, helped refine things, came up with next steps etc. It was fun, if not frustrating when Abbi and the rest of us butted heads on where this app idea could/should go.
Abbi was always the reacher. “Let’s take on Stripe! Let’s redefine what the cash register is!” etc. He never thought small, or even regular-sized. I loved him for that, even when shouting at him, LOL. He never settled. There was always something more he wanted.
Despite our differences, Abbi was invaluable, as a friend, and mentor. His thoughts helped shape mine. His friendship was unwavering.
When Winston passed, Abbi called me. He knew I was in pain, said he didn’t want to keep me, but to know he was there if I needed him, and his thoughts were with Nicole and me. I almost didn’t answer the call, because I hate phone calls. I’m so glad I answered.
Abbi passed in early November. He was, well, himself until the end. We were on a team call for the app idea. He nonchalantly said. “Sorry if it gets noisy. I’m in the hospital.” We pressed him for details, which he grudgingly shared before everyone else joined, then said. “Ok, let’s do this. This isn’t about me.”
That was Abbi. It was never about him. It was always about how he could help. Business ideas, rides to the airport, mac repairs, or discounts on repaired stuff. If he could, he would, for anyone.
Sadly, he never left the hospital. Complications, his age, and diet all lined up against him. We thought we’d see him pop onto slack any day with an “I’m better now. I had an idea about the app”
He never did.
I miss him still.