Marcus Tandler | Mediadonis | Just another Online-Marketing Superhero

Only the Best die young

Today I want to share something with you, only very few people know about me…
The occasion, unfortunatly is a very sad one – exactly 3 years ago, a good friend of mine, a mentor and sure one of the brightest minds in internet history died in a horrible accident.

The person I´m talking about is Mario Jeckle (for my german readers, here´s the german version). Mario, at only 29 years of age, already was DaimlerChryslers representative at the W3C and OMG, being an essential part to the Advisory Committee, and the Technical Architecture Group of the W3C! Mario was elected to the Technical Architecture Group at the beginning of 2004 due to his achievements in the development of technical standards for XML and UML 2.0. A year before that he became professor the University of Applied Sciences in Furtwangen, teaching about XML and software engineering.

I vividly remember, when I met Mario for the first time. I was 13, and we were both in at a youth group of the Red Cross. We were actually fighting a lot, until we got to know each other better, both sharing the same passion for computers and programming. The funny thing, you won´t read anywere, is that Mario actually didn´t even go to a higher school (in the german school system, there are 3 kinds of high-schools, the so called “gymnasium” being the best – which got college at the end leading right to university). Mario went to Realschule (a “secondary modern school”), always struggling in school, and the teachers telling him, that he will never get far in life! But in fact he was only bored to death, having only two real hobbies – the red cross, where he became an ambulance man like me, and programming. And there he unfold to his real nature!
I think I´m safe to say, that I will never meet anyone smarter then him! I was a pretty smart-ass nerdy kid when I was young, but Mario totally outsmarted me :-) He was always three steps in front of me, figuring stuff out easily that I´m still struggling on today! But we came along great, working on some great things together until I had to join the army (it´s mandatory here in germany). Since I went to university in augsburg right after my time in the army, and quit at the red cross, we lost contact for almost 3 years. It was then, when I learned from him, that he finished up school, hustled through a second course of education to be allowed to go to college, which he did eventually, winning a national price in computer science in 1998 for his diploma thesis! From there on, everything went pretty fast for him, and unfortunatly we met only occasionally, when we both went home to our home city, and our parents, but always shared great thoughts and ideas.

He died wanting to help at a car accident, which happened on a german highway. While helping the injured driver of the car, another driver lost control and hit Mario (here´s an article in german about the accident). He died right away…

It´s been 3 years now, but I almost never talk about it – feels kinda good finally blogging it…
He was definetly a part in inspiring me to work with the internet – so without him, I may would have never become what I am today. But it´s still funny, that two friends, that are so alike, can go in the complete different direction. He worked for the internet, developing it further every day – and I´m just trying to use the stuff that´s out there today to earn money of it. He really had a vision, I just had an urge to earn more money…

I really miss this dude, and it´s unthinkable what his impact would have been in today´s world as we know it! And I´m definetly not the only one thinking that – just read what Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, wrote about Mario in memoriam!

I´m just leaving it with a quote for a german rockband -> Only the Best die young!

One Comment on "Only the Best die young"

  1. Marcus,

    Your post is incredibly sincere and heart felt. In all my travels and experiences traveling in the internet marketing world I have yet to meet more of a gentlemen than yourself. Looking forward to this summer in the States. Peace Marcus.


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