For Andrew Horn's 27th birthday, his girlfriend Miki Agrawal sent an email to 20 of his closest friends and family members asking them to send her a one-minute video of themselves talking about why they loved Horn. And from that experience, Tribute.co was born, a company that may change how eulogies are delivered.
Having your friends talk about how you influenced their lives -- and being able to hear it while you are still among the living -- is a natural extension of the trend that has people writing their own obituaries. The obit written by a South Carolina woman before her death was an Internet sensation. And actor James Rebhorn, who last year died of cancer at age 65, left behind an obituary he penned himself for his church's website. From there it spread all over the Internet and was such a popular read that it got some wondering whether self-written obituaries weren't the way of the future.
Horn recalls that Agrawal threw a surprise party for him and played the video she had made. "By the third person talking about how I had impacted their lives, I was crying," Horn told The Huffington Post. "It was the most meaningful gift I ever received."
And that's what Tribute.co is selling: meaningful gifts. The company has simplified and automated the process and offers a package where they do the heavy lifting for you. You just supply the emails for the people you hope will participate and the company does the rest: contacts them, sends reminders, uploads and then assembles the tributes into a short video.
Tribute.co is running a launch special for the next two weeks where you can test the app for free. Tribute videos are "a celebration of life," Horn said. "They are appropriate for any occasion when you are looking for the most meaningful gift on Earth." "Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, Mother's Day/Father's Day, graduations ..." he said. And yes, funerals too.