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A terrible tragedy: Dan Haubert of Ticketstumbler (fallentimes) has passed away (ticketstumbler.com)
626 points by rantfoil on Oct 3, 2009 | hide | past | favorite | 133 comments

Tom here. I am exhausted so pardon the informality and lack of feeling. Questions, etc. please contact me. Paul has a note that he's going to be posting on the YC blog at some point; try to keep discussion to one post, for my sanity. I will be keeping an eye on stuff and answering questions where possible.

tom@ts also gtalk

I'm glad you took it upon yourself to write a poignant note; I couldn't have done him justice. The picture damn near made me tear up.

Thank you.

Wow, sorry to hear. Can't really think of what to say.

Ok, now I can think of something to say. Compared to Dan and Tom, I'm kinda old. And yet, I went out to a hockey game and a baseball game, and beers with the two of them, and Dan made me feel comfortable, and I felt that he was my friend. I've just moved to Boston, and was looking forward to going out with them again, and drinking too much, and laughing, something I don't do enough of these days. It really sucks. I, personally, will miss him. And hope that Tom can keep going with ticketstumbler on his own, and have lots of good things in his future. And at least I'll be able to have beers with him. Everyone should use ticketstumbler for their next purchase, just as a vote of confidence for Tom, or a memorial for Dan, or both. I'm going to do that tonight.

Dan was always great at making everybody feel like his friend -- the crazy part is that he was pretty much always sincere about it!

He was definitely the reason we met you in the first place (hell, he's the reason I know a lot of people) and I'm sorry you're now stuck with the short end of the stick, as far as TS founders go :(

Don't kick yourself while you're down, Tom... I know Dan was certainly more on the business side of it and this could mean that things may not continue as planned but there may be good things you can do with what you do have left. Even if that means starting or doing something else (I hope not because of all that's been invested thus far) but by no means are you the shorter end of some stick, dude.

You are a talented mother fucker, is what you are.

Yeah, definitely not the short end of the stick (other than height) ;-)

A blogger wrote about a competitor of TS and I mentioned in the comments that the blogger totally missed TS. Dan reached out to me via e-mail to say thanks for the note. From that quick e-mail, we developed a great friendship.

Dan was another "business guy" with a finance background who jumped into a startup because he was angry, physically angry, about a problem he saw and wanted to make it better. He was the first real kindred spirit I've found on my startup journey. He was more than a mentor, he was an inspiration.

I leaned on him a lot, probably more than was fair, but Dan was always there to help me out, think things through, or just offer a pick-me-up when I was down about user numbers, distraught about my inability to help my startup because I couldn't code, or whatever else was on my mind. He introduced me to new ideas and new techniques, but most importantly, he introduced me to a world of new friends. Because of him, I have a place to crash and people to hang with when I visit San Francisco.

Dan paid it forward and did it because he liked to help people. He will be missed.

I had a similar experience with him. He emailed me after seeing something I wrote on HN. We stayed in touch and he was very supportive.

I feel terrible about this.

I first met Dan at the little breakfast YC held for our newly-admitted class, right after interviews in May of 2008. I was so impressed with the strength of Dan's ideas, his natural charisma, and how much of a hustler he was. I still tell friends the stories I heard from him that day about how he worked the system in ways that I don't think even Dan would feel comfortable with me saying here. Dan worked all the angles, especially the ones that you and I would never even consider. He took crazy risks, often came out on top, and had a shit-eating grin the whole way. Dan was awesome. Throughout the summer, Dan and I would talk regularly about our companies, strategies, and how it was going. He had the rare mix of smart, incisive questions, and an easygoing manner that made everyone relax and smile. Jessica would always scold Dan and Tom for drinking too much beer in front of the speakers, and Dan would always charm his way out. Everyone was in stitches for his demo day presentations too. I remember hearing PG brag about feeling like he could just leave the TicketStumblers alone and they'd come up with something awesome without his help.

Dan was an amazing guy, and I only saw a tiny fraction of his light. The world needs more Dans.

I wish I'd known him.

We shared a few lunches in Cambridge, as well as more than a few emails about business-guy strategery. There are so many impressive YC startup founders, but Dan had a remarkable x-factor that one sees in successful entrepreneurs without any of the arrogance, avarice, or powerhunger that so often accompanies this talent.

We only knew each other through a shared investor [YC], yet I very much wanted to see him succeed, and believed would - something most people must have felt upon meeting him.

We were all looking forward to watching him have a long and fruitful career.

As PG said, the world is indeed much poorer without him. Dan's family & friends are in my thoughts.

Ah man. Once I logged into YC and saw the black banner, I thought another CS idol I never knew had passed away, but to find out it was one of our very own was terribly shocking.

My friendship, if you can even call it that, with Dan wasn't as nearly as tight as others here, but when I decided to finally take an idea of mine seriously into startup territory, I came to Dan for a lot of advice. I was kinda new to the whole thing, and even with such a newbie, Dan always took the time to answer every question, explain every concept, letting me know about problems I will come across, and how to deal with them. It always shocked me how much time he took to help me out. I had only met him through the #startups channel, so we were virtual strangers.

From my minimal interactions with Dan, he seemed like a genuine dude. The phrase 'a real stand up guy' comes to mind as well. He just gave off that vibe and it seems that tons of others here picked up on that vibe as well. The best thing to do is to take a page out of Dan's book in how to treat others, and be selfless, and spread that. I know I'll try.

We didn't know each other too well, Dan, but cheers to you, man. And my prayers go out to your friends, family, and Tom.

Tom, Dan seems like just an impossibly awesome guy.

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=392341 http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=338357

I'm so sorry for the loss. Dan, I hope it was an adventure. Peace be with you.

I recall reading the anecdote at the first link. Without looking I wouldn't have remembered it was from Dan, or even that it was about Ticketstumbler, but I would have recalled the story.

That would happen over and over if I (we) were to sift through Dan's comments. He was such a selfless YC'er - we've gleaned so much from his activity here - but time tends to muddy the origin of ideas. It's like we know what we've learned, but we don't always recall where we learned it. I think it's for that reason I'm reluctant to read through his old stuff; I know I would discover Dan as the origin of so many thought-provoking entries we've been so fortunate to count on across his time here.

His was a tremendous contribution. The impact of this loss is equally so.

To his loved ones and family, to Tom, to my fellow news.yc'rs, I'm sorry.

He most certainly was; thank you! He was always the one person who couldn't be phased. I still don't know how it came to this.

Heh, I went to those comments and found that, no surprisingly, I had already up voted them.

I'd certainly add to the prevailing sentiment.

My boyfriend is a YC founder. After the class of S08 met for the first time, I anxiously awaited his phone call to see how it went. When he called, what was the first thing I heard about...pg...no...Dan Haubert. I heard how he had crazy courage. Then I met him and discovered his gentle heart. Dan, you will be greatly missed.

Dan was my friend. And as far as I know, I was the last YC guy to visit Dan and Tom in Boston. And it breaks my heart. It just breaks it in a million pieces for a million reasons.

Dan was generous, and kind, and smart in the way that we all hope to be. He was the kind of person that would stand in front of a group of powerful venture capitalists and say "we don't need your money." He was a true inspiration.

We lost one of us and we lost one of our best. Please, please take the time to reach out to everyone you know who feels lonely or alone and let them know you care. God knows I wish I had. I wish I had realized.

And if you knew Dan, please take some time to say "fuck you" to the powers that be. He'd smile.

We will miss you dearly.

I started reading HN years ago and I always saw a user by the name of fallentimes posting really insightful comments. Through his threads, I found out a lot about he thought through startups, biz, PR...you name it. I learned a lot from him.

We exchanged IMs and emails about little things like TS' press in the FT and how it came about or help with my HN password. I was planning on going to Boston to see my girlfriend's sister and was hoping to meet him in person.

My heart and condolences go out to his friends and family. Tom, be strong - you have all our support and best wishes.

Fuck. I never had the chance to meet Dan, but he gave us extensive feedback on our w2009 app. Of all the YC folks who responded to my cold emails asking for feedback, Dan went the furthest in terms of writing several rounds of very lengthy and thoughtful critiques of our application, giving me his cell phone number for any questions, even putting in a good word with PG for us.

In our correspondence back and forth, he always struck me as an incredibly intelligent, humble, and generous guy who would do anything to help others succeed. He closed one of his last emails to me with this:

Be sure to keep me in the loop. Few things are more gratifying than seeing casual acquaintances & friends make money doing what they love. As always, I'm just one person - do what your gut tells you.

This is so senseless, and I'm having trouble understanding it. PG said it best: the world is a poorer place without him.

Rest in peace, Dan.

I last talked to Dan ten days ago. Can't believe he's gone. His feedback was instrumental to us getting into YC - it was exactly the kick in the ass we needed. If we succeed, a share of that success will belong to him. I think lots of other people could say the same.

My condolences to Tom, Dan's friends, and family.

This 100+ comments thread filled with anecdotes of ways that fallentimes helped this or that person or was remarkable in this or that way, says more plainly and eloquently than any single post, that this is a tragic loss not only on an individual level, but also for the community.

I spoke to Dan numerous times on #startups. I am shocked and saddened to hear this news. My deepest condolences to Tom and to Dan's family and friends.

A tragic loss. Dan was smart, dedicated, funny, and always a pleasure to talk to.

Please: If you ever find yourself despairing, reach out to your friends, co-founders, parents, investors, someone. They are much more likely to understand than you may think.

Oh my gosh. This is just awful and I'm literally at a loss for words.

We've had several tragic deaths amongst the YC community both recently and over the past few years, but Dan's is definitely the first to viscerally choke me up. I didn't know him personally, but I've read so many of his posts here that I feel like I did.

Please accept my condolences during this difficult time.

what is it with all these young kids dying? wasn't there a post like only a few days ago about a guy losing his cofounder to a car accident.

how did he die, if you don't mind me asking?


Depression is an incredibly insidious disease folks, especially because sufferers normally keep it hidden from others.

Some days you can feel completely fine, have amazing connections with people, love your work, be a completely present and loving parent and spouse. And on really bad days, it feels like the sky has completely collapsed on you and that the only logical thing to do is make the world a better place by leaving it. It may sound silly if you don't suffer, especially when you recognize much of it is brain chemistry, but it is very real to the person experiencing it.

If you know someone who suffers from depression and has communicated to you that they have suicidal thoughts from time-to-time, I strongly recommend that you let them know that you are there for them at any moment when things feel really dark. They can call, text you, get you on the computer, whatever. Things can go downhill extremely rapidly, so if you ever get a 9-1-1 from a sufferer, react immediately. Get to them in person if it's possible or get someone who lives close to get to them, don't stop communicating with them until you do.

And don't try to fix the problem, telling them it's all in their mind. Again, it's all very real. Let them talk, just allow them to express themselves in whatever way it comes from them, it might be sadness, anger, rage, pain. Let them know they are safe to communicate anything with you, even the dark thoughts. I hope none of you have to go through this, but if you do, you might be saving the life of a friend, spouse, child, parent, aunt, uncle, someone many people love dearly.

You keep it hidden because for every 1 person who takes your advice and helps you out there are 5 who will write you off as a serious person for the rest of your life.

Edit: I'm not saying this is right/wrong, but there are real consequences to outing oneself as a depressive.


"You keep it hidden because for every 1 person who takes your advice and helps you out there are 5 who will write you off as a serious person for the rest of your life.

Edit: I'm not saying this is right/wrong, but there are real consequences to outing oneself as a depressive."

What are the consequences? After dealing with OCD and social anxiety issues from 18 to 28, I finally started to open up and talk about these oddities that conflicted me to others. What I learned is most people I talk to all dealt with something similar. These were just random people I met at work, friends and family members. I wish I talked about what conflicted me before I was 28, I would have been able to enjoy that 10 year span of my life more.

What I am saying is don't think you are alone, think you are crazy the one dealing with ocd, social anxieties, depression - the majority has been there and when you learn/realize that we are the same a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders. In other words talk talk talk about your problems, oddities (obessesive thoughts or actions), social anxieties and depressive thoughts until you are blue in the face. If people are going to look down on you for being a depressive screw them, they are hiding behind their own wall of B.S. - no one is perfect and everyone has dealt with something from the above in various degrees before!

My condolences to Dan's family and friends.

This is very sad. Deepest condolences to his family and friends. Really makes the poll that was done only a few days ago more brutally shocking: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=849650

Sometimes it's really difficult to ask for help. Building a support network is one of those paradoxical things... if you don't have one already it makes it even more difficult to build one. And for some people (as it appears in the case of Dan), the saddest thing is that it may not even matter making it worse for those left behind.

There are people (who keep this stuff confidential) to talk to though. You have to pay them and it can be difficult to find one that just doesn't want to blame the past instead of helping you move forward. But these people do exist and are helpful. I suggest finding someone who knows something about cognitive behavioral therapy.

I agree with a sibling comment here that it is vital to talk through these things. If you can't trust your friends, first find someone else to talk to and then find some new friends.

Depression is an incredibly insidious disease folks, especially because sufferers normally keep it hidden from others.

Depressed people don't merely keep it hidden from others; they often develop a coping mechanism of keeping their depression hidden from themselves too.

If you know someone who suffers from depression and has communicated to you that they have suicidal thoughts from time-to-time

The last part of this is the most important part. If someone is depressed and have recognized it then it's very important to provide whatever help you can. But it's also important to not intrude prior to that point; otherwise you risk forcing them to confront their depression before they're ready to do so (not to mention alienating them).

That's a very fine line to ride there.

Yes it is. Nobody ever promised that being a good friend would always be easy.

I second that. The only two people I have known who died by their own hand were both incredibly radiant, ebullient individuals. Nobody saw it coming either time. For some, the higher the highs, the lower the lows, it seems.

Amen. All good advice.

One of the truly insidious things about depression is that the sufferer often knows that it's just brain chemistry, that it's just "all in their head". That doesn't help.

Depression is not a sign of personal weakness, misguided thinking, or flawed character. It's a medical condition, like diabetes or glaucoma. There shouldn't be any moral judgement attached.

There's still a hell of a lot that we don't know about depression. However, there are treatments that help. If you suffer from depression, one of the best things you can do is to find a psychiatrist (an honest-to-god M.D.) that you can trust and work with.

And if you know someone that suffers from depression, bprater is absolutely correct. 100%. Offering someone that kind of support may be more important than you know.

Thanks for those words. I don't know at what point a person actually goes through with suicidal thoughts. I suspect they don't either. If you even suspect someone has them, pay attention, be a friend even if you do not know them well and let them know you will not let them out of your sight until they are over this period in their lives.

A "Dan" in my life took this path a little over a year ago... She was a an extremely well respected physician, teacher, and friend.

Tom, I wish I could tell you the answers will come with time, but if your experience is anything like mine... Well, I'm still waiting...

My sincerest condolences to Dan's friends and family, you'll certainly be in my thoughts and prayers.


Most of all, don't beat yourself up about this - there was nothing you could have done to have stopped it, and he did what he wanted to do for his own reasons.

I'm sorry for your loss.

When people don't mention the reason for a death in an announcement, I've always thought: "Why? Why keep it a secret? They're gone now anyway." I think I've just realized why.

I can't say anything else other than that I'm sorry for all of your losses and I hope you do his dream proud.

Was there a note or some type of reason? Dan seemed perfectly normal in his conversation.

There doesn't have to be a reason. Sometimes it might just work like an aneurysm. Nothing detectably wrong. It's nobody's fault and there's no narrative for it. The wrong set of things happens inside of you, you were fine, and then you're not.

I've been through this; never as close as Tom to Dan, but close; and that's what helped me make sense of it. Sometimes it's just a sudden illness, and sudden illnesses are tragic but they happen.

No. Nobody suspected anything including me, family, friends, and his girlfriend

Yeah, there's a lot of questions and wonder about how someone like Dan, who just... seemed fine and happy (perhaps on the outside), could bring himself to make such a terrible and extreme choice.

It's a puzzle that, despite my only knowing him personally to a limited degree, that I may never understand.

Wouldn't you think that if people hide simple emotions like anger or irritation, that they would hide something far more insidious and serious?

The kind of person that is involved in a startup is typically smart enough to be able to hide the symptoms of depression. These are people who are used to achieving great things and so hiding vulnerabilities is something they get very good at.

My thoughts and condolences go out to you and the people affected by this tragedy.

Has the police ruled out any possibility of foul play?

Their investigation of the scene pretty much ruled it out. Autopsy results take 4-10 weeks.

I apologize in advance if this question is intrusive but is there any possibility it could have been an accident?

Sometimes the line can be blurry. Accidental suicides do happen. Especially since there was no note.

Unfortunately, the way I found him pretty much rules that out. I'm foregoing description to be kind to family and friends, but it wasn't something you accidently do. A couple minor things he did directly beforehand which would seem completely innocuous to everybody but me also gives me confidence in the conclusion.

A few years ago a very close friend of mine killed himself. Reading this today has brought up a lot of old feelings, and one new one; I feel like I really need to reach out and tell you that what you're going through and what you're about to go through will be very difficult, but you will come out the other side.

Suicide is one of those things that I don't think we can ever reconcile in our minds. I've never resolved the questions raised up by my friend's death, but I promise that you do learn to find a quiet place for the feelings that I'd imagine have you mentally turning in dizzy circles right now.

My thoughts are with you. If you'd like to talk please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Take care, Emmanuel.

Suicide is one of those things that I don't think we can ever reconcile in our minds. ... You do learn to find a quiet place for the feelings

I second this. A close friend killed herself 15 years ago, and I still think of her, probably at least once a month, and mourn her, and wonder what her life would be like if she were still alive. But that remembrance comes from a quiet place, certainly much quieter than in the months surrounding the event. It doesn't stop, but it does change.

My condolences to all affected by this loss.

the way I found him

I didn't realize until seeing this that you were the person who found him. Please don't be afraid to seek counselling if you have flashbacks / nightmares / difficulty sleeping / etc -- post-traumatic stress disorder is very commonly experienced by those who find suicide victims.

Maybe its just me, but there seems to be a stigma regarding the act of seeking counseling. However, people should seek counseling just as often as they would a general practitioner as the mind needs just as much care to stay healthy as does the body. In any case, it's immensely gratifying to have someone who you know will not feel burdened by your issues and can offer you guidance through a very troublesome period of life.

That sounds pretty traumatic and I am incredibly impressed that you have the wherewithal to handle the community relations part after that.

That said it is probably a good idea to really get to the bottom of your feelings about it once you get a little breathing room. I mean don't try to 'just push through' and bury yourself in work in order to suppress grief.

My God. I'm not going to parrot the "seek counselling" line because I don't think that is necessary.

What I would ask you to do though is to keep talking about it, as much as you can with people you trust. It'll help your healing. Whatever you do, share your feelings with someone.

There's almost no possibility it was accidental. I know it's impossible to stomach and the mind has the find a pattern or assign a reason when facts seem to "not add up".

Everyone wants to ask these questions, so I don't fault you for asking.

Leaving a suicide note is supposedly a lot less common than our popular belief (from movies or books that depict fictional suicide situations) tell us...

Suicidal people usually do not exhibit much abnormal behavior for strangers to get the idea. There is little strangers can do, anyway. Even professionals can only help when the person genuinely wants to be helped. This is sad, but this is life.

That's really sad news. If you can, posting any warning signs you can recognize after the fact might help other people identify when one of their co-founders might be at risk.

Creativity saved me. Please, be creative, always. :| I'm really sorry.

In a bout of major depression, creativity is just lost. The feeling that I will never get it back was a main source feeding suicidal thinking. Luckily, I sought treatment, and an analyst told me that this is normal, that it's part of the illness, and that basically nobody can be creative while being clinically depressed (yes, I was in a clinic at that time). That helped, at least a little.

I'm fighting, and I'm slowly getting it back. But it's hard.

In the greater context of start-ups and the pressures associated with that, it's not just 'young kids dying', it is 'young kids working on start-ups dying'. I realize that some people are of a mindset where 'failure is not an option', and this in and of itself brings some risks with it.

No clue what the factors are in this particular case beyond what's in this thread but I've seen people literally break because of the strain a start-up put on their lives.

Working past what your body can normally do and taking on mental burdens past what you could cope with under normal circumstances (huge responsibilities) is not going to be without its consequences.

Again no idea how much of that was a factor here, but I really think that those that get into the game should be very much aware of the pressure and should be able to somehow get rid of that and always remember that even though your start-up is important it is never more important than you and your health.

Don't push it too far.

I'm not sure it's fair to point to a trend from a sample set of one. The other guy was killed in a car crash; it'd be pretty hard to peg that to being part of a startup.

I am so sorry to hear about this, it's heartbreaking. I enjoyed fallentimes' timely and insightful comments here for quite some time. He really told it like it was. I distinctly remember that he was at the top of the best comments list for his take on the mint.com acquisition. I will miss him. My condolences to his family and friends.

Tom, don't be surprised by how much time you need for the fog to clear; everybody is different. Please use this community to share or ask for anything you need. I'm sure I'm not alone in offering whatever I can to help.

In the words of Jeremy Mims -- Dan really was the heart of our YC Summer 08 batch. He was always quick to smile, share a good laugh, and share sharp insights into all things startup.

We will miss him always.

Dan was one of those guys who would light up the room when he came in. He was always very positive and he genuinely cared about others. I definitely agree he was the heart of our YC Summer 08 batch and gave so many of us great advice.

Dan, you were a good friend and will be missed.

So true. One of my favorite memories of him was when we first met him and Tom in June of 2008, right when we had begun Y Combinator that summer.

Brad, one of my co-founders, and I had flown in from Chicago to start living there that summer and hadn't found a place to live yet so we crashed at Tom and Dan's pad for a night, sleeping on the couches. It was a nasty, hot summer night and they didn't have A/C. Not only did we stay up late drinking but Brad and I barely went to sleep.

Early in the morning before we had to leave, Dan was up (he was usually a morning guy) and made us this incredible breakfast for us. It was just about the nicest god damn thing we could have had that morning after such a shitty night's rest. Dan was in my book instantly as one of the nicest, coolest guys to have met and gotten to know that summer.

I just shared some photos from the summer with Dan on my blog. I am just so freaking shattered thinking about how that was just a year ago, and now this.


Dan had such a charm to him. He always had this mischievous twinkle in his eyes, and was so gregarious and affable. He was tall and the kind of guy in the room that everyone just gravitated towards, yet he wasn't the least bit intimidating. He was such a giving person, always lending a hand wherever he could.

I'll miss him so much.

Wow I still have not come to terms with this. I whole heartedly agree with Jeremy's comment. He was one of the first people I met in the YC Summer 08 batch and I could feel the excitement & passion oozing out of him. Always quick to help a person out in whatever capacity he could, encouraging and lively, he was truly a stand up guy and will be missed.

Tom, I am sorry for your loss. When Garry told me, I couldn't believe it, I immediately checked Dan's last login time on IM and it was just 4 days ago.

Dan was the kind of person who would be there to help when you needed it. Dan helped us get into YC, he took the time to review our application and even recommended us without us even knowing about it. Dan believed in us despite never have even met me personally--We may not be where we are without Dan.

PG is right, The world is a poorer place without him.

Tom, if there's anything I can help you with, anything I can do please do not hesitate to ask.

I'd been going through his comments here...


It's actually a great read. I didn't know him personally but as someone who knew him well enough to recognize his user name I'm saddened by this. The last thing the world needs is fewer smart people who honestly speak their minds.

I've been futilely reading his recent FriendFeed and Twitter updates for some inkling as to what could have triggered this tragic act.

http://friendfeed.com/danhau http://twitter.com/danhau

Not so much as a smidgen of a hint. His comments seemed consistent up until the last with no hint of despair. No wonder this caught people by surprise. It's flabbergasting.

My condolences to everyone close to Dan. Although I didn't know him personally, he seemed like a terrific guy.

What sad news.

One year ago, I met Dan when we were applying to Y-Combinator. We were contemplating entering YC, and reached out to Dan for advice. After a few conversations, we were convinced.

Part of our decision to join YC was because of the community, and this was in no small measure influenced by our experiences with Dan. Since then, we have kept in touch, sharing ideas and war stories.

Dan played a brief but influential role in the Airbnb story, and an even greater influence in my life as one of the warmest introductions to the startup community one could ever imagine.

You know.... I am crying now. Death seems to glaze at me every time I start wasting my life again. I know that this is stupid, but I just can't help it. I am terribly sorry. Really. The funny thing is that I don't even know this guy - but I really like him. Nietzsche said that suicide thoughts are a wonderful comfort - they help us get through a lot of bad nights... and you know, today - right now, actually - it feels good to be such a coward. It feels good to be incapable of taking my own life... no matter how stupid I am, no matter how fucked up everything and everyone is. I am really terribly sorry... I just don't know what to say.

Hold on there. The world is not perfect and that is exactly the reason why we need people like you, who understand what it means to pass through hardship, to fight back for justice and for human dignity. Hardship will end and your experience will allow you to help other people to also fight back for their humanity. "What does not kill me, makes me stronger." - Nietzsche.

I know how you feel mate. Just hold on and share a nice moment with someone. Often, that's enough to bring back the zest for life.

Startups are intense evironments where tempers flare and principled differences of opinion lay, ready to be kicked up, like sleeping dragons on the floor. This being the case, I really feel for his co-founder. I can't imagine that there aren't words he wished he could take back or signs he thinks he should have seen.

I urge you not to blame yourself for any harsh words or deeds you may have let loose in the life of your company. Bruised egos in startups are like bruised thighs in pro football. They're just part of the game. So go easy on yourself. The rules of personal interaction in startups are different.

Furthermore, you can't make sense of suicide. It's an act that by definition doesn't make sense. I don't know you but I'm really sorry for you. I wish you and your company the best.

I'm amazed to see how just how many in the community had a personal interaction with Dan. I doubt that anyone else here has reached out to so many different people.

Dan friended me on Facebook one day. I later saw him comment in a thread about the lack of profile pictures here, saying that if you wanted to see what a poster here looked like, you could just add them on Facebook. Later, I had the privilege of learning the secrets of "ticket hustling" directly from Dan.

The world misses you, Dan.

I am stunned. While I don't know Dan as many of you do in person, I did read his comments. My condolences to his family.

I initially thought it was a mishap. The news that He took the exit door by himself is what chokes on my thoughts.

Why do the good guys do this to themselves? Why did he go away?

It doesn't make it any better but it's pretty remarkable what some chemicals swirling around in our brains can do to us as humans. A lot of good things, sure, but a lot of distressing, uncharacteristic stuff too.

So sorry to hear this tragedy. My condolences go out to all those involved. Another reminder of how fragile life is and how important it is for us to live our lives to the fullest in memory of those we have lost. We also need to help and show our sincere love and support for all those suffering from depression, anxiety, or anything for that matter. My hope is that Dan's time on earth spreads contagious loving memories which inspire all of us to live our lives with love, modesty, and empathy.

Now who is going to IM me to laugh about the groupthink here.

I spent most of yesterday reading this comment thread and other things about Dan. I only knew him the way one feels close to someone that one admires in a community like this. So I can't imagine what those of you who knew and loved Dan must be going through. My thoughts are with you.

It's striking how many of you tell the same story about Dan's generosity. He seems to have taken time to help and support everyone who came to him: meeting with them, encouraging them, staying in touch with them, cooking them breakfast... People like that are precious.

The combination of talent, mischievousness, and heart that everybody is describing is very compelling. Makes me think I would have liked him a lot.

I find this difficult to believe. He wrote me 4 weeks back, and the email is still in my inbox, starred, so that I could reply it when I had a bit of time.

Same here. Dan wrote me out of the blue a few weeks back with words of encouragement about some issues I'd posted about. We exchanged a few messages. Wish I'd written him more. This is very sad news.

A sad, sad day. Hard to imagine I won't be able to see the great Dan again. I'll miss him and his antics, jokes, big talk, and huge ambition and drive.

I didn't have the chance to talk with Dan, but the comments here make me feel like I missed out on a tremendous person.

Sorry for your loss, Tom.

I wish I have had to chance to meet him. I do recognize his username for insightful comments. Tom, I hope to know that people are adding on comments to show that they care. I wanted to add just another one even if it had no quip or insight. My condolences.

I'm just barely part of this community and even I recognised the HN name "fallentimes" and the quality of his posts (I now get why PG asks for HN names). I'll miss just these little comments. I truly cannot begin to comprehend how those who knew Dan more must miss him. My thoughts go out to those who knew him.

Tom, my condolences on your loss, to you and to Dan's family & friends.

I fondly remember Dan's comments, his thinking & approach to challenges, and how it was always an opportunity to get things done whatever the odds.

We will miss you, Dan.

I'm at a loss for words. Thinking back about Dan and the three months we spent together in YC, there were so many things this guy did right. Both as an entrepreneur and a human being, he was a role model for me. The world is truly a poorer place without him.

Wow... I've just spent the last ten minutes re-reading every email I ever exchanged with him. I can't believe this happened.

He was a fantastic guy and my heart truly goes out to everyone else that'll be missing him.

Dan was one of those amazing people that did more for us than we could ever hope to do for him. He gave more in his short time here than most of us could hope to give in a lifetime.

Hang in there Tom.

We emailed back and forth so much for awhile last summer on just a variety of things. He was a really bright person with a great perspective on life. This makes me hurt so much.


My condolences. I always appreciated his input and he was one of the usernames I seeked out when browsing comments pages.

As one of the many that never knew him but am now reading about him, I can only imagine the sense of loss that you feel now and will for the rest of your life. I'm very sorry. Dan seems like one in a million.

I am so sorry to hear about this. My sincere condolences to all of you who knew and worked with Dan.

I worked with Dan on making iPhone Application using TS webservice. Without any doubt, world wont be same without Dan - He was a great person ! My condolences to Tom, and Dan's friends and family

How incredibly sad. Condolences.

He will be sadly missed in #startups and obviously on hn.

Really sad. Dan was a smart and funny guy. He had a great way of looking at life and very confident.

The world will definitely be a poorer place without him.

This is nothing but a horrible happening. I've lost a friend the same way myself, and the entire situation stirs up painful memories.

My sincerest condolences to all of his family and friends.

This is horrible news. I didn't know Dan personally, but I recognize the name from his comments. He will be missed here.

My condolences to Tom, and Dan's friends and family.

It's a pain for all of us who knew him through HN and TS, and it's a greater pain for those who worked and mingled with him daily. You will be missed, Dan.

My condolences. He will be forever remembered for sharing his experiences and inspiring others.

This tragedies make me think that we should make sure to enjoy the life while working on our startups. Life sometimes is just too short.

I am sorry. My condolences to his family, his friends, and you. I hope you find strength and solace.

I am very sorry, both for your loss and for the fact that I never had a chance to know Dan.


Very sad to hear. My heartfelt condolences.

Indeed, the world is a poorer place without him.

Dan was by far the greatest guy in our summer batch. He was truly one of the most generous people I've ever met. He went out of his way to help us out on so many occasions. He never asked for a favor in return, nor did he even expect one. He just helped us because that was the kind of giving person he was. Rest in peace, Dan. You'll be missed.

oh wow i cant believe i am just reading about this now after traveling for work the past 2 weeks. dan was my first yc friend and welcomed me to the community as a young vc looking for cool companies. i am utterly in shock and entirely saddened to learn about this. thoughts go out to his family and other friends.

Tom, I am so, so sorry.

My heart goes out to Dan's friends, family, and to Tom.


I didn't know Dan, but I did "know" fallentimes. I thought he was one of the brighter users here on HN, and that's saying a lot given this crowd. I always found him interesting and intelligent, even if I disagreed.

A loss indeed. Tom, take care and add my condolences to the rest of the outpouring. I wish you and his family the best.

May he rest in peace. For the ones he left, my most sincere condolences.

Very sad. I wish the best for his family and friends.

After reading all these comments, I wish that I'd known Dan. It sounds like he was a pretty great guy.

My condolences go out his family and friends.

I didn't know Dan, but reading about how many lives he has touched is heartbreaking. How senseless. The deepest sympathy I can muster goes out to his family and friends. I'm sorry. I wish there was something I could do.

PG, can we keep this story on the home page for some time? I would hate to see this discussion pushed down.

I am so, so sorry. My thoughts are with you, yours and Dan's.

my thoughts go out to all his friends and family. nobody should be taken away so young.

Truly Tragic. I didn't know him. Rest in Peace, Dan.

Tom, I admire your strength on here during this terrible time. My condolences to you and to Dan's friends and family. A great loss.

Very sorry to hear this - my condolences

I met Dan at a house party last summer. He was a great guy. I only talked to him for a few minutes, but he and his cofounder ended up leaving Boston just a week or two later. I just got an email with the news from a mutual friend, and I'm at a loss of words.

My heartfelt condolences.

A solemn reminder to shower our friends and family with love while we still have the chance...I am so very sorry for the loss of your friend...my condolences.

This sucks.

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