Alan’s sudden death has shocked everyone and leaves a huge void in so many lives.
I’ve known Alan for more than two decades. When I was a young reporter for the San Antonio Light, Alan was the PR guy for Datapoint, a large computer company in San Antonio. I wrote a lot of stories about Datapoint and I spent a lot of time talking to Alan. We had mutual respect for each other.Later, when I worked at the San Antonio Express-News, Alan and I worked on more stories together. I left the paper in 2009 and a few years later launched SiliconHillsNews.com and we kind of became co-workers. Alan and I were both early members of Geekdom. We would see each other at various events and talk in the hallway and break room. And I often used Alan’s office when he was out on the road. He left it unlocked and he told me to use it whenever I wanted. He went out of his way to be helpful to everyone. Alan also attended the Startup Grind events I put on every month whenever he was in town. He always encouraged me and was a huge fan and supporter of my work at SiliconHillsNews.com. He even took out an ad in our first print magazine. I was a huge fan of his work. He often talked about how he had invented the job he wanted. It didn’t exist, he told me. He created it. I had done the same thing. We talked about how the PR business and the news business had changed. But the need for great storytellers remained. He was a great storyteller and PR guy. Alan and I sometimes disagreed about the convergence of the PR, content creation, social media and news businesses. But I told him I admired his work. And I did. I also know Alan loved San Antonio and Israel and he always talked about his daughter, Lauren and son, Aaron.
Alan was a good person. He will be missed by many. And Startup Nation in Israel and the startup scene in San Antonio will miss him greatly. He always had a smile on his face and an encouraging word for everyone he met.
In 2013, Alan wrote a post for Silicon Hills News about then Gov. Rick Perry visiting the tech industry in Israel. Here’s Alan, in his own words, talking about his beloved Startup Nation.
“People come to Israel from all over the world to create and do new things. While you can say it’s technology in the literal sense, I think what’s going on there is something that borders on being spiritual and even possibly religious, depending on what you believe in.
You know, the code from the various religions, beliefs sets and the rising consciousness of our planet that are now being written into the Internet of things.
I believe that a new type of scripture is being written – one that is part of a gigantic interconnected network and massive data sets. And much of that scripture is being written, or rather, coded in Israel.
If you take into account that Israel is the home of major R&D centers like Apple, Intel, GE, Cisco, Google, HP, TI, IBM, Microsoft, eBay and recently, Facebook, much of what drives the future of the global innovation comes from this very blessed region of the world.”
Alan also loved the Beatles. And he was a huge advocate for South by Southwest Interactive in Austin. And in 2013 he wrote this article for Silicon Hills News about both of those passions.
But more recently, Alan wrote most of his posts on Medium. He was an early adopter of different technology platforms online and social media. And even when he was half way around the world, he kept in touch by posting pictures to Instagram and Facebook and responding to the posts of his friends. Alan’s photos, often taken with his iPhone, were mesmerizing. He often took pictures of everyday people and objects and they often looked like professional works of art. He had an eye for capturing the joy of daily life. He will be missed by so many.
— Hugh Forrest (@Hugh_W_Forrest) June 19, 2016
— Graham Weston (@gweston) June 19, 2016
Alan Weinkrantz: A Jewish heart as big as Texas https://t.co/iYBGtOptFX
— Mark Tirpak (@tirpakma) June 19, 2016
— Nan Palmero, MBA (@nan) June 19, 2016
— Social Media Club (@socialmediaclub) June 20, 2016
— gapingvoid (@gapingvoid) June 20, 2016
— Donna J. Tuttle (@DonnaJTuttle) June 19, 2016
@alanweinkrantz: Rest in peace my dear friend. I'll miss having breakfast with you at Nichas during your trips back home in San Antonio.
— Jennifer Navarrete (@epodcaster) June 19, 2016
— Jeff Keni Pulver (@jeffpulver) June 19, 2016
Lorenzo Gomez, CEO of Geekdom, set up the Alan Weinkrantz Memorial Fund to help Alan’s family with funeral arrangments.