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What's My Story?

From coding to consulting — it's been quite a ride!

Hello! I'm Keir, a UK-based marketing consultant, advisor and coach and founder of event series Craft+Work. I specialise in helping Shopify-focused businesses stand out from the crowd, build their authority, and attract new customers through clear messaging, impactful content, and high-value events.

MC Duties at Shopify Pursuit London 2018

Me (left) hosting Craft+Work London 2023

I've been involved in the tech and ecommerce industry for the past 20 years. From working independently to collaborating with agencies, big corporations, and startups including an exciting 7-year stint at Shopify.

I've experienced many successes and failures that taught me invaluable lessons. Today, I channel this knowledge and expertise into helping clients across the globe.

Since starting my own consultancy practice in 2019, I've worked with dozens of Shopify-focused agencies and app businesses, SaaS companies, consultants, founders and soloists to help them define their products and services, create customer-focused marketing and host high ROI events. Perhaps I can help you — let's find out.

Some Quick Facts

  • I'm a self-taught developer from the early days of the Web 1.0 era (yes, I remember the browser wars).
  • With over 25 years of experience in the technology, web, ecommerce, and SaaS sectors, I've accumulated a wealth of knowledge and expertise.
  • Throughout my career, I've taken on diverse roles, including development, product marketing, technical content, event curation, leadership, and partnerships.
  • I was one of the first 100 employees at Shopify, where I spent 7 impactful years on the Partnerships team (2012–2018).
  • In 2004, I founded my first web development agency, collaborating with clients across various industries and gaining valuable insights.
  • Small businesses and entrepreneurship have always held a special place in my heart. Working with passionate founders and leaders brings me immense joy.
  • I've had the honour of speaking at conferences, leading workshops, and hosting industry events, sharing my knowledge and connecting with fellow professionals.
  • I'm an investor in the Shopify app Smart Notifications, which reduces the overhead of manually filtering and passing orders to suppliers, vendors, staff, and customers.
  • In the summer of 2022, I created We Worked at Shop to assist individuals laid off from Shopify in June 2022 and subsequently May 2023
  • I am fascinated by the Cold War, Modernism, and advertising history. I like a strong IPA and an occasional cocktail.
  • I live in Bath, England, with my wife, two teenage children and a feline companion who undoubtedly rules our household (although you won't find her on my team page).

A brief timeline of projects and work since 2000

  1. Craft+Work is an event series for founders, freelancers and consultants who don't subscribe to the notion that there's a "right way" to build a successful business. It's for those who are open to new ideas, new ways of thinking, and keen to hear how others have done "their thing, their way".

  2. Real Customer Insights is a "done-for-you" service that brings your customer's voice directly into your business decision-making. In just four weeks, we will deliver unique insights from your customers that will reap marketing dividends for years.

  3. Launched in late 2022, Work With Shop was a job board for the Shopify ecosystem. The timing couldn't have been much worse as the economy, and therefore recruitment, took a nosedive. Nevertheless, many learnings were had, and I finally got to play with Kirby CMS.

    Closed August 2023

  4. I created We Worked at Shop to assist individuals laid off from Shopify in June 2022 and May 2023. The site was shared widely; many people reported finding their next role after posting their profile.

    Closed August 2023

  5. During the COVID pandemic I invested in the Shopify app Smart Order Notifications. It's built for Shopify merchants who require greater control over how, when and to who their order notifications are sent.

  6. In association with long-time friend Cat Hunter, we launched a Shopify Partner community event called De:brief. This took place after Shopify Unite in Toronto and was attended by over 150 people. It was a good day.

  7. After almost 7 years, I decided the time was right to move on and venture out on my own once again. Working at Shopify was a life-changing experience that prepared me well for the next adventure.

    Started my consulting business to help Shopify-focused agencies, developers, and technology partners. Since then, I've had the privilege to work with amazing companies and individuals.

  8. Launched A Day with Shopify in Bristol, UK. Over the next two years we grew out a crack team and took the show on the road. Later morphing into Pursuit, we were lucky enough to host events in Bangalore, Melbourne, Seattle, New York, London, Berlin, and many other cities.

  9. Launched The Back to Front Show podcast with Kieran Masterton. Over the next five years, we somehow managed to dispatch 50+ episodes of varying audio fidelity to an unsuspecting public. To our amazement, people listened, and to this day, old episodes are still downloaded.

    Closed 2019

  10. Started work as one of the first 100 at a small Canadian ecommerce company called Shopify!

    Learnt quickly that growing up in the UK does not prepare you for a Canadian winter. This didn't put me off, and after dropping some serious coin on an insulated jacket, I began to relish my trips across the pond. That said, you'll never get me to enjoy a Ceasar!

  11. For three years, I worked on several side projects with Elliot Jay Stocks under the banner of Viewport Industries. These included Insites: The Book (Free PDF Download), Digest (Free PDF Download) — a one-off lifestyle large format magazine, and Insites: The Tour — a four cities in four days tour chatting with web industry pioneers about their work journey. Our book launch party was something else; happy days!

    Attended web conferences, made new friends and learnt from the best in the business. Today, I reminisce fondly about the pre Brooklyn Beta Clover Club get-togethers, Marc's wonderful Beyond Tellerrand series, Jonny's Brighton late summer fun and heading to the land of grids and concrete cows for pizza with the geeks of MK.

  12. Moved from London to Bath, had children, and accepted that I was now an adult proper!

    Worked in a variety of roles at Carsonified (acquired in 2011), the UK-based company known for web-focused events such as The Future of Web Design and The Future of Web Apps.

    Additionally, I hosted and produced the web design and development podcast Think Vitamin Radio. The show made the shortlist for the annual .net awards two years running, which was nice. If asked, I say it came joint second in 2010! We were beaten by Zeldman, I'll take that!

  13. Got an education in code thanks to mentors Chris and Craig, whose development agency focused on large-scale data-driven web applications. Started to dabble in WordPress and undertake a variety of freelance projects. Around this time, I managed to be banned by Heart Internet for consuming 70% of their FTP bandwidth, but that's another story.

  14. I held several mostly web-related positions in the NHS (National Health Service) in East London, UK. In addition to fixing printers, installing Exchange servers, and helping local GPs understand the benefits of the internet, we built an intranet (remember them) using Dreamweaver and Microsoft Access that was used by thousands of users for many years!

  15. Before my first tech job proper, I spent two years working at the famous London venue The Royal Albert Hall. I have many funny tales from this era. Feel free to quiz me if we meet.

    Built my first website thanks to hosting that came free on the front cover of a magazine. From HTML 4.1 to stolen scripts and Classic ASP, the journey had begun.

    Sent my first email proper using Pine in a Terminal window on a Radius Mac clone. Downloaded more guitar tabs than I could ever learn courtesy of free and untracked university internet.

    Had my first taste of AOL and slowly realised that what I had seen in War Games in 1983 was becoming a reality. It wasn't long before I was playing online Tic-Tac-Toe with a stranger in Wisconsin and thinking about the possibilities this "internet" thing offered.

Can I help you? Book a free consultation and let's find out.

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About This Site

This is the web site of Keir Whitaker — I'm a UK-based marketing consultant, coach and advisor and founder of event series Craft+Work.

Fancy a chat? Book a free consultation with me and let's talk about how I can help you and your business.

Please connect with me on Linkedin.

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