Tuesday, August 16, 2011

RIP Stuart Morrison

I was away last week and almost missed the news of Stuart Morrison's passing. Slaw's Simon Chester has outdone himself in crafting this summary of Stuart's life, both in character and profession.

I got to work with Stuart in 2007 during my first year of business with Stem. In hindsight, it was an eye opening experience, and one I couldn't have paid for. He was blunt about the fact he wanted to make money, and hyper-focused on the bottom line. I learned to appreciate his innate trust for his business instincts. Like so many businessmen, he seemed rely on both the intellectual elements of decisions, and then making a 'gut call'. And despite his frequent references to being a high school "drop out", few I've met doubted his intellectual nature. It was clearly there, along with being both shrewd and sly.

Simon Chester's reference to 'a bundle of paradoxes' also resonates -- he was so incredibly opinionated, and yet would listen to my perspective, assimilate and move on. I have no clue to this day if he dismissed every word I said, or why he was paying my mortgage. I nailed a few predictions for him, so I won't be entirely dismissive of the advice I gave; but it was always clear that our objective was to feed his perspective to make better decisions. And if he found a new revenue stream along the way, all the better.

In the end, I chalk up his support to his entrepreneurial spirit. An admirable quality. I still recall his last words to me. I'll share them for humour. And because it sounds like it came from a movie script: "Steve, I promise, you haven't heard the last from me." Well, it seems I have Stuart. :) But I am sorry for that.

RIP Mr. Morrison. And I will, as Simon C. suggests, raise a single malt to you very soon.

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