Remembering Matthew Dornquast

I first met Matthew when he was CTO at Fallon. It must have been 1997. I don’t remember how we got introduced to each other. We both went to the University of Minnesota in Computer Science but Matthew was a few years ahead of me and we didn’t overlap there. I do remember meeting Matthew though. We were building BigCharts and Matthew and I immediately connected on our shared passion for technology and specifically the Internet and the rapidly evolving web. Matthew was very smart, passionate, focused. I remember him talking about moving on and doing something new, the thing that eventually became Code42. Not before I tried to persuade him to join our ragtag band at BigCharts. But it was very clear that he wanted to pursue something on his own.

We stayed in touch over the years and would regularly meetup to chat technology, the Internet, startups, etc. He returned my favor of gently trying to bring him into BigCharts when we had lunch downtown and he gauged my interest in joining them as they started to build out CrashPlan. I was an early user of the peer-to-peer version of CrashPlan and used it to for a neighbor and I to be each others offsite backup. As always, Matthew was passionate, excited, driven and always focused on the technology.

Matthew and I would regularly connect around our shared passions and joint focus on doing everything we could to make the Twin Cities technology community stronger. Matthew was always a dedicated supporter of Minnebar and Minnedemo. He cared deeply about the technology community around him, and always showed up to support and grow the talent around him. I will forever miss that about him.

Matthew and I never did get to do a project together. I have an incredible amount of respect for what he built. Through the consulting business of Code42 they bootstrapped a product that became the largest Series A investment in Minnesota history. In the middle Matthew made several bets in early stage companies by building the technology in return for some equity.

Unfortunately it has been a few years since we connected. After Matthew moved on from Code42 and moved to New York we didn’t have those serendipitous moments to connect. But by his tweets you can see that his passion for technology was present through all of his life. It is sad to see a mind as bright as his go so early in life.

Thank you Matthew for all you did for the technology community, and for building so many things that continue to provide value today. You will be missed.

Jamie Thingelstad @jthingelstad

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