Haircuts and Story-Telling

February 7, 2007 in News & Events | Comments (0)


Funny how no matter where I go, no matter what I do, I can never get my mother’s voice out of my head … At least when it comes to my hair.
For years I’ve made a point of heading for the salon within days of any trip to Southern Florida so as to avoid the inevitable commentary on my shaggy locks.
So when I checked out the interview that the folks from TV did with me at SF Beta, I cringed.
Once past that, though, I was pleased to see that I was able to get in such a great plug for Guidewire Group as well as a bit of an explanation about our relationship to the DEMO conference.
As seems to be the case with so many relationships in my life, the one between Guidewire and the DEMO conference parent company, Network World needs a bit of clarification.
So here’s the story …

Chris Shipley is a long-time technology journalist and analyst. She’s worked at some of the industry’s top publications – PC Week (now eWeek), PC World, PC Computing, InfoWorld. Quite a bit of her career was spent with IDG – one of the big publishing companies servicing the technology market.
Back about 11 years ago (exactly 11 years ago, actually), Stewart Alsop asked Chris to take on the mantle of DEMO – a conference he had launched several years prior. At the time she was on staff with IDG, which owned this event.
Fast forward a handful or so of years, and IDG Executive Forums morphed into Network World. This company, which is based in Framingham, Massachusetts, decided they were going to move operations and staff back East.
Chris wanted to stay in California.
So rather than move, she shifted her role with the organization and moved from a staffer to being a consultant, and in that role she continued to executive produce DEMO. As far as the outside world was concerned, nothing had changed. Chris continued to select all the companies for DEMO (and then the second DEMO that launched, DEMO Mobile, which is now DEMO Fall) and acted as on-stage empress during both conferences.
Fast forward to 2001. Chris is in Paris having some wine & cheese with her friend and colleague Mike Sigal. They’re talking about how nice it would be if there were a firm that focused wholly on analyzing emerging companies.
So they started one. And that’s when Guidewire Group was born.
Chris continued to work on DEMO, providing all the content for both of those shows, and at the same time expanded her work with start-up companies. Again, as far as the DEMO audience was concerned, it’s business-as-usual. Behind the scenes, the Guidewire Group team works with Chris to deliver 70 companies to each DEMO event.
Now, five years later, Guidewire Group meets with something on the order of 1,000, pre-funded/early stage companies every year. Some of those end up at DEMO or DEMO Fall. Others end up at another event like Innovate!Europe or LeWeb. But mostly Guidewire analyzes these companies and then provides market analysis and company profiles through our new industry publication – The Guidewire Report.
As far as me, I joined up with Guidewire one-year ago (Happy Anniversary to me!), and now am working as a Senior Analyst focused on profiling companies in communications, collaboration and media. I also produce Guidewire’s weekly podcast series – I of Innovation – in which I interview entrepreneurs and the people who fund them.
Podcast Logo2.jpg
So that’s it … you now have the story. Feel free to tell your friends. (-:


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