Joe Hruska, founder and CEO of RescueTime, passed away July 4th 2017

We are sad to report the passing of Joe Hruska, founder and CEO of RescueTime, after a long battle with cancer. Almost 10 years ago, the idea for RescueTime was incubated and taken to Y Combinator with Tony Wright and Brian Fioca. Robby Macdonell and Mark Wolgemuth were involved in various ways from the beginning before joining full time. We all got to know Joe well (and some were friends long prior), and learned to appreciate Joe’s calm, confident, and considerate approach to business building and team building. Working with Joe is being included in a family. We all gained perspective and skills with his leadership, and grew as friends while at it.

We who got to know Joe observed that he believed that work served life, and RescueTime as a collection of ideas and as model of operation does its best to reflect that; the idea that work should enrich and enable life, both at home and the office. He had the hope that RescueTime could help people structure their days to feel better about their accomplishments, and free more time for the core aspects of being human: loved ones and family, life experience, and the spirit to create.

Joe took principles of building to help, and helping to build, outside the business to peers and friends as well. He had an interest in supporting new ideas and innovative technology, including things related to space, virtual reality, and the application of technology to daily life. He encouraged and supported people to take risks on projects that inspired them.

Joe battled a difficult neuroendrocine cancer for an extended period of time. Throughout the struggle, he maintained an unbelievable will and positive energy that kept us all looking up and forward. He carefully mentored and managed RescueTime through the process of making sure we were all set up for success individually, as a team, and as a company.

RescueTime is thankful for all the support it has received over the years from our board and friends and community, and particularly for advice and assistance offered as Joe navigated this time with us. A special thanks to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for providing exceptional care for the Hruskas.

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29 comments

  1. So sorry to hear this. Yours is a great product that has helped me do exactly what Joe set out to do. Deepest sympathies to all of you.

  2. It’s so hard when someone so creative and inspirational passes. But what a legacy to leave, and that’s something to treasure. Rescuetime has made a real difference to me and countless others, so even though I’m on the other side of the world and have never met Joe, I share in your sorrow at the loss of your colleague and friend.

    1. Thanks for the kind words. ❤️ It means a lot to all of us to know that his vision resonated so far and wide.

    1. Thanks so much. I’m so glad that we’ve been able to join you on your path to spending your days more meaningfully. That means a lot. ❤️

  3. This is heart-breaking news. RescueTime is an amazing product, which I can only believe was a reflection of Mr. Hruska. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the entire RT team.

  4. I’m so very sorry to hear this. I hope he got great satisfaction out of knowing his creation would live on and help so many people make the most of their days. My condolences to his friends and family.

    1. Thanks Shelley. The far reaching impact of RescueTime was indeed something Joe took great pride in. When we first started it, we thought it was going to be a geeky little side project that only a few people would care about. To see it benefit so many over the years has been an amazing feeling.

  5. So sad to hear this 🙁
    RIP.
    I use your product for a seven or eight years now so it is almost personal loss

  6. Very sorry to hear this. RIP Joe and condolences to Joe’s family and friends, Tony, Brian, Robby, Mark, and the rest of the RT family. As a fellow YC founder, RT has helped me live a much happier, balanced life the last few years and is truly a testament to Joe’s belief that work serves life.

  7. Happy RT user and off-and-on customer since near the beginning. Very sorry to learn of this. I don’t think many people can say they’ve helped as many people as he did. Thank you for writing this thoughtful announcement.

  8. When I was a college student and didn’t know anything about YC or startups I heard about RescueTime… I was confused about how RT made money so I submitted a question via the regular contact form.

    I still remember being surprised that I got an answer at all, and who was it from other than joe@rescuetime.com.

    His email answered my question and was kind, and he even ended the email saying thank you for the question.

    That was the first time I ever really heard personally from Silicon Valley. Thanks Joe.

  9. Wow. My heart goes out to your team. RescueTime is a wonderful creation, and I have no doubt Joe’s legacy will go on for the work he’s done towards productivity and living a fulfilled life ❤️

  10. I’m sorry to hear this. RescueTime helped me respect more my time after realizing how much of ir I was wasting everyday. Deleted fb and ig this week and not missing a bit of them. Thanks Joe and thanks to all the RT team for helping us to achieve our dreams. RIP.

  11. My thoughts and good wishes go out to all of team RescueTime, really sorry to hear of your loss. I hope together one day we can beat Cancer.

    1. Sad to hear the news. RIP Joe Hruska! You will be remembered for what you have built, for what a person you are and nothing ever can replace that. My thoughts and prayers to the family and to the team. I hope one day the killer disease gets conquered. A change of lifestyle is a must for averting the unknowns!

  12. This is really sad – I didn’t know much about Joe before, but having used RescueTime a lot, I somehow feel connected to him and his mission to help manage our time better. I owe a lot of clarity to him and offer my sincere condolences to his family and friends.

  13. The startup world is always difficult and your team have made such great advances. We trust that you can continue to build and give us products so that we, as your customers, can still benefit from your expertise. I’m sure that Joe would want greater and better products from you and we look forward to this. RIP

  14. So very sorry for your loss. He sounds like a very special person to care about you and the company so much by making sure you are set up to continue to succeed.

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