In 2005, when I built the original cshipley.com web site, I wrote a brief essay describing my work style. Across the years, I've been stunned at the number of people who actually read and mentioned the story to me.
A lot has changed since then. I wound down Guidewire Labs, said a sad goodbye to Mojita, and the neighbor is being successfully treated with psychotropic drugs. Alas, the Madonna is gone, too.
Still, much is the same. I travel extensively, work from my home office, and have extensive opinions about the best coffee in the Bay Area. I opt for casual over formal any day of the week, prefer to learn from engaging conversations instead of books, and believe we get as good as we give so we'd better give mightily to things that matter. I remain passionate about and committed to working with entrepreneurs who are equally excited about changing the world together. If any of that sounds like the kind of person you'd like to work with, I'm happy to take your call.
The Original (Only Slightly Edited) Essay
I co-founded Guidewire Labs in 2004, and it has been my preoccupation ever since. Still, I have a hard time saying no to people and projects that pique my curiosity and my passion for entrepreneurship. I serve on a few boards as either an advisor or director, and I'll have coffee with just about anyone who wants to bounce around an idea. These activities leave me with limited time and since enjoying life with my family and friends is always the superior choice, I will only take on additional projects that offer a unique challenge and the opportunity to work with smart people in a constructive, collaborative atmosphere.
I travel frequently enough to know many United flight attendants by sight and a few by name. Because I travel enough that I need to use that time productively, my clients pay for business class airfare on any flight over three hours.
When I'm not on a plane or at Guidewire Labs Studio G facility in downtown Redwood City, I work pretty effectively from my home office. What choice do I have, considering the view from my study window. It's either work or stare at the neighbor's garage, which wouldn't be that interesting except that the neighbor is a bit eccentric and I think has taken up living in the garage. . . but that's a story for another time.
When you call my home office, don't be surprised if the phone is answered with a chorus of barking. We're working on better house manners, but Mojita del Medio de la Noche gets excited when I get work. Someone needs to keep her in organic-wheat-free-non-fat-hypo-allergenic kibble and to date she has not found meaningful employment. Nevertheless, Ms. del Medio (a.k.a., Mo, Snackie, Moisha, Ms. Brown, Missy Mo, and -- on rare occasion -- Bad Dog) is a great sounding board for new ideas, a careful listener, and slow to criticize. She manages the security of the business, ever vigilant lest the letter carrier, UPS driver, or FedEx guy be so bold as to sneak up and leave a package unattended.
Why do I tell you this? Because I have come to a point in my career where I think (I hope) I can choose to work with people of like mind and character. I mention these few things about my work environment to give you a sense of who I am and how I work. If this background sets you back, then maybe it's best we go our separate ways. If, on the other hand, you'd like to meet Mo or see which way the Madonna statue in the neighbor's garage is facing, then please give me a call.