All of this doesn’t feel right, not at all.
Bruce Jacobs’ passing, all too soon at the age of 60 and certainly all too suddenly, shocked everyone at the Consumer Technology Publishing Group, as well as his many friends and family.
I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with Bruce, but I genuinely enjoyed each opportunity to do so.
The first time we met, before I was working for this particular magazine, he frantically approached me at a Mitsubishi line show in California, camera in hand, all silver hair and tanned face and megawatt, mischievous smile. “Are you Joe?” he asked. “Do me a favor; come and take a picture of me and my friend Max.” That would be Max Wasinger, a senior
executive with Mits and an old pal of Bruce’s.
Bruce had a lot of old pals in the industry, and even though we were from different generations, I was hoping we’d have time to become old pals, too. But back then, I was just trying to figure out what was up with this charismatic but brusque guy that just joined our organization.
Later that night, Bruce asked me what I was doing after the reception. I said I was probably going to do some work and get some sleep. Bruce said, “You shouldn’t work too hard. Life’s too short to work too hard.” Of course it is, but it was refreshing to hear someone in a position of power in this crazy industry talk about smelling the roses. Bruce truly lived those words, and I doubt he wasted too much valuable time in this life.
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Bruce’s reputation preceded him; he was a tough dude, very opinionated, and afraid of no one. My guess when I became editor-in-chief of this magazine was that we were going to clash repeatedly and that I’d eventually be roadkill, run over by the Unstoppable Silver Train that is Bruce Jacobs.