Chris Shiflett en-us Chris Shiflett is an entrepreneur and web developer focused on building community and bettering the open web. Sponsoring New Adventures The intro to Good Work starts with a simple statement:

We love the web.

This sentiment is core to the vision of Faculty. It is also a common thread that ties together most of the professional endeavors throughout my career.

My love of the web has led me to do something I’ve never done before. Faculty is sponsoring a conference. Not just any conference, of course. New Adventures.

For a new company, any expense (even a small token of support) is a big decision. Here are a few of the reasons we decided it was a good idea:

  • We share a similar ethos. The company you keep reflects who you are. It’s important for us to align ourselves with those who share our values.
  • Our friends deserve our support. When I started Faculty, it felt like starting over. Although my career spans more than two decades, Faculty itself is new. I’m sure bringing New Adventures back after all these years feels a bit like starting over. I have benefitted from the support of my friends. I want them to benefit from my support, too.
  • I miss it. I attended New Adventures all three years (2011, 2012, and 2013), during the heart of the Brooklyn Beta years (2010–2014). There’s heavy overlap between our communities. I’m confident the return of New Adventures can refresh our optimism and spirit.
  • We need this. We’re no longer standing on the shoulders of giants like we once were. We need to ground ourselves in the lessons of the past to reach new heights. By sharing our experiences, we can help newcomers get a head start and push the web forward.

There are many conferences I love. (I’m looking at you, Webstock.) It’s possible we’ll sponsor more conferences in the future. For now, we’re incredibly excited to be heading to Nottingham in January.

Grab your ticket, and we’ll see you there.

Until then, happy holidays!

Mon, 17 Dec 2018 22:42:06 -0700
Tweet Only Links I’m going to try an experiment. Starting today, I’m making a commitment to tweet only links.

Why? I’ve been blogging for more than 15 years, but I blogged far more in the first 5 years than in the 10 years since. While there are many factors, I think joining Twitter drove the decline of my blogging habit more than anything else. Now, if I have something to share, I’ll write a sentence or two on Twitter and be done. Twitter lets me scratch the itch.

If I have something to share going forward, my hope is that this commitment will compel me to blog about it. If I can’t take the time to explore a thought by blogging, I should link to someone else who has. Twitter can still be great for spreading ideas, but it’s not a particularly good home for them.

In order to make this commitment more palatable (to hopefully inspire others to join me), there are a few exceptions:

  • Personal tweets are still allowed. This includes most replies. Some judgment is required, but if it’s not something you would ever consider blogging about, then it’s probably trivial enough for Twitter. I like to wish friends a happy birthday, for example.
  • Retweets are discouraged, but still allowed. I personally turned off all retweets, but retweeting doesn’t violate the spirit, since it’s similar to linking to someone else. Just be mindful not to spread the sort of shallow tweets that you’re trying to avoid yourself.
  • When you tweet a link, you can add some commentary.

If you have something to share, don’t give yourself the easy out and temporary relief that comes from a tweet. Let your desire to share lead to a blog post.

I mentioned this idea to Chad this morning, and he committed to tweet only links. I hope you’ll join us, too.

Mon, 01 Oct 2018 12:45:22 -0600
2017 Highlights At the start of 2017, I wrote:

The world feels different. It’s hard not to fret, but I hope we can all be optimistic and continue to work to make the world a better place.

I took a long break from social media and focused most of the year on my work. While I didn’t announce Faculty until December, I spent all year getting it off the ground.

My biggest client had me traveling so much in the first quarter that I matched the pace of Hillary Clinton’s travel when she was serving as Secretary of State, including half a dozen trips to Korea. On the plus side, I now have Global Services status.

Below are some additional highlights.


I was interviewed by Ed Wassermann for his podcast Between Screens. We mostly talked about Brooklyn Beta.

The day after the inauguration, the Women’s March gave us our spirit back. It was the largest protest in American history and a good reminder that the world is full of good people who are willing to fight. My wife and eldest daughter marched, and I was so proud of them.


I hosted an important workshop at Roost for some of my colleagues, and we did some good work together designing an API for global online commerce.


I started working with Frank on the Faculty brand.


I got to see the Indigo Girls at CU, where they recorded an album with the CU Symphony Orchestra.


I took the whole family to Salt Lake City and attended Front, a conference created by some fine people, including Ben Peck, who once wrote some really nice things about Brooklyn Beta.

While I was there, I was able to make time for lunch with Bryce, one of the few investors I admire.


For the second year in a row, we spent a month back in Brooklyn as a family. It still feels like home, but less so than last year. I mostly remember enjoying unreasonably-long lunches with Frank and playing soccer in the park with my old crew.


We returned to Boulder in time for me to attend an office warming party for Emerson Stone. Boulder’s budding creative community is growing stronger, and I’m proud of the role Roost is playing in that.


I led two more spectacular Backcountry Club trips. The first trip was to Indian Peaks, which was particularly special, thanks to the solar eclipse. We experienced it from one of my favorite places, an alpine meadow just west of Buchanan Pass.

The second trip was to Maroon Bells. The Four-Pass Loop is often described as the best backpacking loop in the lower 48, and it surpassed all expectations. Many of the photos I’m using on this site were taken from that trip.


I got to see the Indigo Girls again. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen them live, but every time feels like such a privilege.

I finally launched a website for Roost. It was an especially fun project, because the members of Roost collaborated on the design and build, notably TNKR and Jesse Litton.


I went to Greenville for Greenville Grok, one of my favorite homegrown events. Less than a month later, Chris Merritt would join Faculty.


Officially welcomed Chris Merritt and Doug Wilson to Faculty.

I was lucky enough to meet Conrad Anker and listen to him talk about his many adventures over the years. Pretty inspiring.

I took the whole family to Breckenridge for a short getaway, which was nice. What a beautiful little mountain town.


On December 11th, we hosted an unforgettable launch dinner for Faculty. Several people came to Boulder to help us celebrate, including Sean and Nick, who would be officially joining Faculty in January.

For posterity, here is the guest list:

  • Amanda Lenz
  • Chris Merritt
  • Chris Shiflett
  • Christina Shiflett
  • Dan Storch
  • Daniel Burka
  • Doug Wilson
  • Frank Chimero
  • Jackson Fox
  • Jeremy Keith
  • Jesse Litton
  • Jonny Black
  • Kaitlyn Irvine
  • Katy Jeremko
  • MK Cook
  • Nick Sloan
  • Sandi Grigoryan
  • Sean Coates
  • Sergey Grigoryan
  • Val Head

The day after, we announced Faculty to the world. I made the announcement on my spiffy new website.


Years ago, I tried to start a blogging revival called Ideas of March. It was great while it lasted, but it didn’t last. Maybe the timing wasn’t right.

This year feels different. I’m slowly regaining my love of technology, and I think getting back into blogging (and bookmarking) will help. I’m not alone. RSS Club, Newwwyear, friends redesigning their personal websites, etc. Something’s in the air, and I’m glad to be a part of it. Let’s bring blogging back, and the open web with it.

Have a fantastic 2018, and thanks for reading.

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 17:00:00 -0700

Today, I am proud to introduce Faculty. We design, engineer, and build really great websites and apps.

I love the web, and I feel fortunate to have been working on the web since its inception. From writing CGIs in C and laying out pages with tables, to CSS Grid and serverless computing, it has always been fulfilling to bring new ideas to life and share them with others.

I also love working with smart, friendly people who obsess over the details as much as I do, and I’m grateful to those who are continuing this journey with me. We’re an experienced team, and we enjoy using our experience to unlock the potential of our clients.

Faculty is the culmination of everything I’ve learned about technology, design, and business. If you think we can help you, please do let us know, and thanks in advance for your support.

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0700
2016 Highlights It’s January again, so I’m recording my personal highlights from the previous year.


In January, I signed a lease for Roost, a company I formed at the end of 2015 to build a coworking studio. After that, I spent a few weeks building desks, ordering chairs and other furniture, learning a lot about WiFi equipment, and buying and framing art from friends. I’m really proud of Roost and what it has become.

I went to see Linotype: The Film. I missed seeing it in New York, but distinctly remember all of my friends going. I didn’t know that I would like the film, but it seemed like a great opportunity to make some new friends. As it turns out, the film is fantastic.

Boulder finally started a pilot for proper bus passes. When I first moved here, I was astonished that there was no convenient way to pay for the bus. You had to have exact change or buy paper tickets that expire (which I learned the hard way). The only bus passes were various forms of an unlimited pass.

The pilot had a questionnaire, and the questions were telling. Examples include:

  • Is a car or other motor vehicle available to you at the time you usually ride the bus or rail?
  • Do you have a valid driver’s license?
  • Do you currently have a disability or medical condition that prevents you from driving a car?

I laughed the whole way through. Boulder is pretty adorable sometimes.


This isn’t all that noteworthy, but I commented that I miss Mailbox more than Rdio, which remains true. Two fantastic apps that I am sad are gone.


I spoke at Smashing Conf in Oxford. My talk was recently listed as one of the 16 must-watch web conference talks of the year. I was out of practice, which shows, but a lot of people really seemed to enjoy the talk, and I enjoyed getting back into the swing of things.


Tegan learned to ride a bike. I was all prepared for hours of quality time with my daughter, but she took off after the very first push and never looked back. Later that same day, Riley took her first step. It was quite a day.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated at the same venue we used for the Brooklyn Beta finale. Pretty cool.


Leicester won the Premier League. Words can’t explain how astonishing their run was. I feel fortunate to have watched.

We took the kids car camping in RMNP. I decided that we need more car camping equipment.

I flew to Korea for work. This isn’t that notable, since I’ve been working with Samsung for a few years, but I crossed the international date line on the return flight on the last day of my 30s. I didn’t really get an extra day, since I lost it on the way there, but it was a neat coincidence that I was able to experience the day before my 40th birthday two days in a row.


My wife and I celebrated 15 years of marriage. On the same day, a bear visited our yard to help us celebrate.

We all went to Brooklyn for a month. We met up with old friends. I played soccer every Saturday. We visited our old neighborhood. It was familiar and easy to fall back into our old lifestyle.

Brexit happened. I remarked that it felt like watching Trump get elected. Little did I know.

Christina threw me a surprise 40th birthday party. It had been more than a month since my actual birthday, but celebrating in Brooklyn was a great idea. It felt a lot like the old Studiomates days. We even ate Juliana’s pizza.

We had a going away party for Jason Santa Maria. Like my birthday party, it felt just like old times.


I took Killian car camping at Golden Gate State Park. It was our first father-son camping trip.

I got to see the Indigo Girls perform at Chautauqua Auditorium. Spirit renewed.

We took the kids to the Great Sand Dunes. I took a photo of Tegan and Killian walking across the top.


The World Wide Web turned 25 years old. I feel fortunate to have been involved in the Web from the very beginning.

I started an outdoor adventure club called Backcountry Club and took two trips to Indian Peaks. I can’t really put into words how meaningful these trips were. I think BCC will be something I continue to do for some time.

Tegan started kindergarten.


I saw Sigur Rós with Lachlan Hardy, who visited us in Boulder.


I resigned from FK and started Faculty. I’ll share more about that when I’m ready.


The election happened. I left social media for a while.


I went back to Korea for work.

I wrote an article for 24 Days in December called A Few of My Favorite Things.


The world feels different. It’s hard not to fret, but I hope we can all be optimistic and continue to work to make the world a better place.

I hope you have a wonderful 2017. Thanks for reading.

Sun, 08 Jan 2017 17:00:00 -0700