Silicon Valley entrepreneur Blake Krikorian has died at the age of 48, Recode reports.
Krikorian is best known for founding Sling Media with his brother, Jason. He also worked with Microsoft and Amazon, and was involved with several startups.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Suffered a Heart Attack While Surfing Near San Francisco
Krikorian suffered a heart attack while surfing near San Francisco, Recode reports.
No other details about his death have been released.
2. He Was Married & Had 2 Daughters
Krikorian was married and had two daughters.
His wife, Cathy, is involved in several Silicon Valley charity organizations.
3. Krikorian & His Brother Created the Slingbox in 2004 & Later Sold Their Company for $380 Million
Krikorian and his brother, Jason, developed Slingblade and founded their company, Sling Media, in 2004. In an interview with UCLA Magazine, he explained the product and its origin:
I loved the Giants, and [my brother, Jason, and I] were working together, summer 2002, and we wanted to watch our team play and we were just frustrated there wasn’t any way to watch when we were on the road or sitting in the office. We went online and found some services that promised offers, but there were numerous blackouts. Stuff is coming in on our TV back home, and now we are spending time in front of other displays like our laptop and our phones; everything is connected via the Internet. There’s got to be a way that we can connect back to our satellite receiver back home. Why do we have to be sitting on our couch? Why can’t we be in the backyard on our laptop or watching on our cell phone? It shouldn’t matter. Everything is connected.
People love television programming, which has never gone away, but they are spending more time in front of all these other displays and they’re spending more time outside of the home. So the notion of place-shifting, the ability to watch and control your familiar family room TV experience but do so on any display that I have or walk up to, and do it in any location I have an Internet connection, is a very logical evolution. It is marrying people’s familiar experiences with their digital lifestyle.
You take this little box and you put it in your home and plug your TV signal into it — that could be basic cable, it could be TiVo, it could be DirecTV. It doesn’t matter. And once you’ve done that, you leave the device — you never touch it again — and you load a piece of software onto your phone or your PC called the SlingPlayer and “Voila!,” you are watching and controlling your familiar experience, right down to on the screen on a Mac or PC you will see a rendering of your remote control.
The brothers eventually sold the company for $380 million to EchoStar.
4. He Grew Up in the Bay Area & Played Water Polo at UCLA
Krikorian grew up in the Bay Area, according to a 2008 interview he did with UCLA Magazine. He played water polo at UCLA, graduating from the California university in 1990.
His brother, Adam, also played water polo at UCLA and went on to become the head coach of the school’s women’s team. He is now the head coach of the U.S. women’s national water polo team, and is with the team in Brazil for the upcoming Olympics.
5. Krikorian Was a ‘Beloved’ Member of the Silicon Valley Community
Krikorian was a “beloved” member of the Silicon Valley community, according to Recode’s Kara Swisher.
Swisher wrote in her post about his death, “Most importantly, Krikorian made deep friendships all over the sector and was a tireless supporter in those relationships.”
She pointed out that Krikorian helped his friend and former business partner Jason Hirschorn recover from emergency heart surgery last year.