The Finovate Team was saddened to hear of the passing of Brandon Dewitt, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of MX. He was 38.
In a letter to company employees, MX CEO Ryan Caldwell, who co-founded the firm with Dewitt in 2010, wrote of his colleague’s “brilliance, boundless positivity, wonderful wit, and ability to be joyous and grateful, regardless of what challenges he faced.”
Diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in 2016, Dewitt was a staple of MX’s participation at Finovate events, including leading the company’s most recent Best of Show winning demo at FinovateFall in 2019. But it may have been his presentation at Finovate’s developers’ conference, FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016, that left the most indelible impression on so many of us. After a discussion of the company’s latest innovation, Dewitt retold the story of his battle with cancer, the way his teammates at MX rallied in support, and why he wanted to discuss this topic with our Finovate/FinDEVr audience.
What I want to say to every developer that’s here today, every entrepreneur that’s here to today, every builder that’s here today is about the seemingly impossible, certainly improbable, but necessary. I want you to know that we wake up every single day and say ‘but necessary.’ We know as an organization what our task is: to be ‘but necessary’. And I want to challenge every developer out there in saying, ‘are you working on something that is necessary?’
You may be thinking, ‘man he went from talking software to talking cancer and scared it me’ …” Dewitt conceded. “But if you look at the leading causes of death of humans, in the top ten is suicide … And if you look at the leading causes of suicide, one of the leading causes of suicide is financial stress. The World Health Organization considers financial stress one of the most significant problems facing mankind.
So what we’re doing here today and what you wake up and do on a daily basis, can be part of the solution to a very, very solvable problem. And so I want to challenge you not only as organizations, not only as builders, but as humans. Are you waking up every single day and doing something that is necessary? And if you’re not, there’s tons of organizations that are out in that hallway that have a booth set up that are doing something that is necessary, that is finding a way to change the world that is necessary for the future of humanity, and I would encourage you to check them out.
Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Brandon Dewitt’s fiancé, Kara, as well as his family, friends, and his teammates at MX.