Daniel Phommathep, Rest in Peace

Dave Selinger, Redfin’s founding CTO and now the CEO of RichRelevance, contacted us today with news that one of the original developers of Redfin’s website, Daniel Phommathep, passed away this morning. Below is Dave’s soulful tribute to Daniel. May Daniel rest in peace.

Friends and Fans of Redfin,

This morning Daniel Phommathep, one of the great original sources of energy that brought Redfin from amorphous ideas and sketches to a reality, passed away after losing a two-month battle with cancer. At only 30 years old, his passing is a tremendous loss for the Redfin community and a tragedy for his entire family including his wife and three beautiful children.

Daniel was one of the ten software engineers who moonlighted to develop the original website during the summer of 2004. We each worked our day-jobs, grabbed a quick dinner and then banged away on laptops and servers in my Harbor Steps apartment late into the evening—frequently past 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. Daniel was a constant source of energy for the team and a motivator when we needed an “oomph” to push ourselves that extra mile (when even 3 Cokes, 2 Mountain Dew’s and a Redbull weren’t quite enough). We all worked for stock with no monetary compensation that whole summer because we believed so strongly in the vision of Redfin—we became a team and a family bound not only by our work, but by our passion. Through all of this, Daniel became one of my closest friends.

The Redfin site and experience that we’ve all come to know and love is in large part a tribute to the legacy of Daniel Phommathep. Today, let’s take a moment to honor Dan and his contributions to our lives, to say a prayer for his family, and to remember how utterly fragile our lives are and how precious each moment is in living.


  • http://www.zillow.com Spencer Rascoff

    Very sad. Sorry to hear it.

  • Jon

    What a great loss. Dan you will be missed!

  • Brenda Burke

    My thoughts and prayers are with Tissa and the children. May God hold you in the palm of His hands. Much love always.
    Brenda Burke

  • andreww

    As a fellow 30 year old dad, my heart goes out to his family. I cannot imagine the void left in their lives, my thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and children. How truly sad

  • David Eraker

    Daniel Phommathep was a brilliantly talented engineer who solved some of the most challenging early engineering problems at Redfin. Dan’s database work was critical to getting our first release out the door, and without his heavy lifting, the system would not have worked.

    In addition to raw intellectual horsepower, Dan brought a maniacal intensity to coding that few people can match. I recall one conversation w/ Dan about 2:30 in the morning on a Wednesday, where I mentioned that we should just delay our staging release and get to bed since it was late and he had to show up at work in a few hours. Dan said “no, screw it, I can get this done.” And he did.

    A man of action, who we trust is now in a better place.

    RIP buddy.

  • http://twitter.com/property1 Property1

    Sincerest of Condolences to all @ Team Redfin, you have a Fantastic Site which gets better yr on yr, which Daniel will always be testament to.


  • Trevor Smith

    Daniel and Tissa were 2 of the first people I helped to purchase a house as an agent at Redfin. I remember going to their inspection and commenting to Tissa about how fun and easy going Dan was. Tissa replied “everybody loves Dan.” Just the way she said it, I could tell it was a fact. I also remember them being concerned about the size of the living room, because they had friends over a lot. From my brief time with Dan and Tissa, it would seem that not many living rooms would have been big enough to hold all their friends.

    Many Blessings Tissa and Dan -

    Dan: You’re a testament to a life well lived.

  • Karl Hwang

    I remember meeting Daniel in some of my engineering classes and the introductory Computer Science class. We were both sophomores and not hardened by the realities of the world. Daniel was sincere, thoughtful, and always willing to help with a coding problem. I remember how much passion he had for Computer Science and shortly afterward he would change his major and follow his passion. I sadly lost touch with Daniel over the years, but happened to catch glimpses of him and the joy and happiness he had for life. He inspires me, and I have faith that he has made a tremendous impact on the lives of many. My thoughts and prayers to his family.

  • http://blog.redfin.com/blog/author/glenn%20kelman Glenn Kelman

    What a beautiful comment; thanks for leaving it Karl.