Goldberg was born in Chicago, Illinois, on October 2, 1967 and grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His mother, Paula Goldberg, is co-founder and executive Director of the Pacer Center, and his Father, Melvin Bert "Mel" Goldberg (1942–1998), was associate dean and professor at the william Mitchell College of Law. He interned at the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper while in high school. He graduated from Blake School in Minneapolis in 1985, and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1989, majoring in history and government. Goldberg was an enthusiastic Minnesota Vikings fan throughout his life.
Goldberg worked for Bain & Company for two years after graduating from college. He had planned to attend law school but instead joined Capitol Records, where he served as Director of marketing strategy and new Business development. He founded LAUNCH Media in 1994, and led it through its acquisition by Yahoo Inc. in 2001. He quit Yahoo in 2007 and joined Benchmark Capital. He then joined SurveyMonkey in 2009.
Professional poker player Phil Helmuth, who was a friend, donated his historic 14th World Series of Poker bracelet to Goldberg's family.
A memorial Service for Goldberg was held at Stanford Memorial Auditorium on the Stanford University campus on May 5, 2015. The 90-minute Service was attended by many members of what Fortune described as "the elite of Silicon Valley," as well as U2 frontman Bono, who performed his song "One," and actor Ben Affleck, who had worked with Goldberg when Goldberg served on the Board of Directors of a company he co-founded called Live Planet and on a philanthropy project for The Eastern Congo Initiative by helping Affleck raise funds for the non profit.