In Memory of Steve Wildstrom

on November 25, 2015

When we started Tech.pinons in 2011, we searched for the best talent we could find to help us launch our analytical tech blog. One of the first people who came to mind was Steve Wildstrom who, for many years, was the tech writer at BusinessWeek and established himself as one of the great tech journalists in the world.

During our early days, he helped shape our design and editorial direction and, up until last year when he developed brain cancer, he was a weekly contributor to Tech.pinions. His writing style was informative, analytical, fluid and made even difficult subjects easy to understand for all who read his commentary.

As I write this, I am overwhelmed by the loss of this wonderful partner and friend who meant so much to me, our other partners, and many others. I had a relationship with Steve for 23 years and for me his loss is very personal. We served on various advisory boards, traveled together on occasion and were at countless Comdex’s, CES shows and dozens of other events over the years. His professionalism and commitment to his craft has had a great influence on me and the other partners at Tech.pinions. While he is no longer with us, his joyful spirit, warm smile, and the lessons he taught us will continue to guide our work. He will always be in our hearts at Tech.pinions.

Tim Bajarin
President, Creative Strategies
Co-founder Tech.pinions

I have asked our partners and some of his journalist friends who knew Steve well to share a brief comment about Steve.

“Before I had the honor of working alongside Steve for Tech.pinions, I was a huge fan of his work at BusinessWeek. For decades, I was a regular reader of his writings and learned a tremendous amount about the tech industry from his knowledge and experience. His ability to synthesize industry trends in conjunction with product knowledge enabled him to offer a perspective that was always fresh, useful and insightful.”

Bob O’Donnell
President and Chief Analyst
TECHnalysis Research, LLC

“Steve Wildstrom was one of the finest tech reviewers and journalists I have known. I worked with him, and competed against him, for decades, starting when we were both young labor reporters in Detroit — he was with the AP, I was at the WSJ. He was as smart and honest as they come and his weekly columns in BusinessWeek almost single-handedly gave that magazine its first real credibility in the tech world. I always learned something from his Business Week columns. After Business Week, he managed to actually raise his game at Techpinions. He was as smart and incisive as they came.”

He was a great person, father, husband and grandfather.

Although he had been battling a terrible brain cancer in recent years, I was still shocked when I learned of his death. Rest in peace, Steve.”

Walt Mossberg
Executive Editor and columnist of the Verge
and Editor at Large, Reviewer and Columnist, Recode.net

“I first met Steve as a colleague in the Washington, DC bureau of BusinessWeek. I was new to BW at the time while Steve had been there for years. This was prior to either of us becoming full-time tech columnists. But he was very welcoming. Through the years and after I left BW to join USA TODAY, I always enjoyed hanging out with Steve, which I typically got to do at conferences. Sure, we talked shop and about the people we had in common. But we also discussed politics and a range of other subjects. You got smarter just by being in Steve’s presence. He was a good guy and he will be greatly missed. RIP Steve.”

Edward Baig
Columnist, USA Today

“Steve was best known as a technology expert, but the better I got to know him, the more I realized he was endlessly erudite on an array of subjects: hard science, mathematics, history, and much more. Spending time with him was both an education and a pleasure.”

Harry McCracken
Technology Editor
Fast Company

“Over the course of more than two decades, I had a chance to be around Steve at countless events all over the world and always appreciated his insights and his friendship. Steve was not only one of the smartest journalists I knew, but also among the nicest. It was an honor to be his friend and colleague.”

Larry Magid
Chief Executive Officer at Connectsafely.org
Technology Analyst CBS News
Columnist, San Jose Mercury News

“Steve Wildstrom has been a towering (literally) presence on the Washington tech journalism scene for so long, it is hard to imagine this world without him. He consistently provided thoughtful insights about the developments that overwhelmed us. His valiant battle since he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma early last year has been remarkable – so consistent with his perseverance and dedication to his work and finding the right answer. He and Susan took on the complicated challenge of medical treatment and still managed to enjoy time with their families, especially their grandkids, whom he treasured and mentioned constantly.

Steve was a respected fixture of the tech scene, with his understanding of the policy issues that drive this city as well as his deep appreciation of the technology and business factors at the heart of this dynamic field. He was also a truly versatile thinker and, of course, a terrific writer – making sense of the complexity to a bewildered audience. Let’s not forget his dedication to children’s music education and his love of music. We’ll now live with the indelible memories of how much he and his work have affected all of us.

Gary Arlen
President
Arlen Communications LLC (research and consulting)

I remember when I first approached Steve about being a partner with us at Tech.pinions in June of 2011. I was so nervous — he was a legend in the industry and he probably had better things to do than help me start another tech-centric website. Surprisingly, he jumped at the opportunity and validated that what we were working on was unique and needed in the tech industry. Steve was the only reason I read BusinessWeek for nearly a decade until he left the outlet. His ability to help people understand technology in their terms was rare and inspirational. He embraced me even when I was young and starting out in this industry in the early 2000s and treated me as an equal rather than a novice. His voice and, more importantly, his friendship will be missed.

Ben Bajarin
Co-founder Tech.pinions

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