Chris Shipley (born and raised in Scottdale, Pennsylvania, United States) is a writer, analyst, commentator, and strategist, and has tracked the technology industry for more than 25 years.
She is co-founder and CEO of Guidewire Group, a technology services firm focusing exclusively on early-stage technology ventures. Shipley consults with emerging technology companies around the world to identify market opportunities and accelerate business growth. At Guidewire Group, Shipley was instrumental in creating the first social media conference, BlogOn, held at University of California at Berkeley in 2005. She is widely acknowledged for popularizing the term social media.
As executive producer of the DEMO Conference from 1996–2009, Shipley was responsible for helping more than 1,500 companies launch their products to the audience of 700+ industry insiders, investors, early adopters, and journalists who attend DEMO events twice each year to hear her analysis of the state of the industry and see the technologies that she vetted on their behalf. During her tenure as executive producer, Shipley introduced companies including TiVo, VMWare, salesforce.com, GrandCentral, and Ribbit to the audiences at her conferences.
Shipley began her career in technology journalism in 1984 as a writer and then editor at PC Week. She later became the executive editor at Ziff-Davis's PC/Computing magazine, then joined the company's online publishing division, ZDNet, where she was responsible for introducing online publications on CompuServe, Prodigy, and Ziff-Davis's Interchange Online Network. In 1994, Shipley became the founding editor of Computer Life magazine, based in San Francisco. In addition to these publications, Shipley has written for PC Magazine, InfoWorld, Working Woman, and Us Weekly.
She is the author of two books, How to Connect (Ziff-Davis Press, 1993) and (with Matt Fish) How the World Wide Web Works(Ziff-Davis Press, 1996).
In addition to her work with early-stage technology companies, Shipley is also the executive producer of the Pivot Conference, an annual event focused on the challenges facing brand marketers today. She is also the executive producer of Newsgeist, an off-the-record private event matching American journalists with corporate interests.
Shipley grew up in Southwest Pennsylvania, United States, the daughter of The Reverend Ralph Shipley and Shirley Shipley. The middle of five children, Shipley attended Southmoreland High School, where she graduated in the top of her class in 1980. At Allegheny College, Shipley studied American Literature, communications, and photography. She was a two-time letter winner on the college's track and field team. Following graduation, Shipley moved to Boston, Massachusetts where she worked as a writer and editor for a number of Ziff-Davis publications, including PC Week, and PC/Computing. She moved to San Francisco, California in 1994 and soon after began to focus her career on the entrepreneurial ecosystem that thrives in Silicon Valley. Since 2001, she has served on the board of directors and is paschairman of the non-profit Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and Executives. She is also on the board of directors for the startup Versaic. She is married to Nancy Latta and lives in Redwood City, California.
In 2013, Chris served a mentor for Unreasonable at Sea, an accelerator for technology-focused social entrepreneurs put on by the Unreasonable Group, Semester at Sea, and Stanford University's d.School.
Shipley has won numerous awards for journalistic excellence from the Society of Technical Communication, and was three times named the #1 newsletter editor by Technology Marketing for her work on DEMOletter. In 2002, Fortune Small Business Magazine cited her as a "most perfect board member," in 2004 the San Jose Business Journal placed her at the top of its list of Most Influential Women in Silicon Valley, and the DEMO conference gave her a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. In 2010, SVForum honored Shipley with its Visionary Award. .
Chris graduated from Allegheny College in 1984 with a B.A. in literature and communications arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.