A Forum for Innovation

Introducing Member: John Shiple


Company: FreelanceCTO
Position: CEO
Country: USA
State: CA
City: Venice
Cultural Ambassador:
Interests: Agile and/or Rapid Application Development and Design, Cross-Cultural Business, Data Visualization, Design (Visual, Interactive, UXD, Environmental), Media, Organizational Design, Sustainable models for business, design and development, Start-Ups, Technology

Questions and Answers

What will you say about the work you've done at the end of your career?

I impacted a lot of people in very positive ways and made the world easier to live in. I created large amounts of value for the companies and consumers that took advantage of the products I build. The world is a better place because of the things I built.

Where do you go for inspiration?

A few places...I go to my "Techie Things I Like" tab in netvibes (my RSS reader of choice). I also started a networking group of high-end, technically oriented builders and doers. We meet monthly, and that's a great resource for bouncing ideas around. Lastly, I just relax...most of the good ideas come then, anyways.

How do you build resilience into your work & company?

I do it through my people, process, and team. I make sure all team members develop skills in multiple areas so that I am not the only one who knows how to own and operate the system. I work to ensure that everyone is motivated and understands how we build things and how we make things work (quickly!). By getting the people and process in ship-shape, the team becomes greater than the sum of it's parts.

What keeps you up at night?

Things breaking. I have a mortal fear that anything I build will come crashing to the ground. Usually, everything is doubly or triply redundant, so I haven't had a big, live failure like this. However, it really hits me during the design and architecture stages, as I lay in bad 2 or 3 extra hours going over all the permutations and possibilities for what could go right...or horribly wrong.

What gets you up in the morning?

Aside from coffee? Usually it's a burning sensation in my belly or my brain that's based on a (usually short) deadline. I tend to bite off large chunks of features and then have to figure out how to get them done. By the time I wake up in the morning, it's a race to get as much done as possible before I go to sleep.

How is your work cross-cultural?

By its nature, my work targets a large portion of the population, whether it's a consumer banking application, a distributed video engine, or a means of buying and selling cars. As a result, the target that I shoot for is broader than what most companies or individuals go for when building great things.


I lead my new consulting firm FreelanceCTO. We work with you to incubate your companies and products.

Posts by John Shiple

Q&A with John Shiple: Agile with a small “a”…

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Q&A with John Shiple: Work I like…

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