A Shopify Partner Community Event

Some of the best ideas start with a "what if", a throwaway thought shared over a coffee that somehow ends up turning into a reality. De:brief 2019 was no different.

Life After Shopify

At the end of 2018, I moved on from Shopify. It was an amazing journey, but after almost seven years, I felt the need for a change. I knew I wanted to continue to earn my living in the ecosystem and in early 2019 I started to work with Shopify focused agencies and app companies — many of which I had the pleasure of collaborating with during my time at Shopify.

The Shopify Economy Panel at De:brief 2019

The Shopify Economy Panel at De:brief 2019

Through our work together I gained a whole new perspective of the ecosystem. With Unite on the horizon, I wondered what a gathering after the conference could look like, if for nothing else than to bring those working at the forefront of the ecosystem together in something resembling a formal setting to discuss the big announcements and the impact it would have on our businesses.

It's Good to Talk

I spun the idea by long time collaborator Cat Hunter and after she agreed to lend her well-honed event production skills to the mix, De:brief 2019 was born.

150+ Partners Attended

150+ Partners Attended

It was to take the form of a community-focused half-day event featuring panels which would discuss and dissect everything from themes and frontend to the app economy and beyond.

De:brief — The Definition of Community

De:brief — The Definition of Community

A venue was found, baristas sourced and deposits paid — it was happening. Events don't seem real until the first ticket is sold, so we must say a big thank you to Craig Cooper who took the plunge and became our inaugural ticket purchaser!

Amazingly, another 149 of you joined Craig (with many more our waiting list) and helped us put on an event that exceeded all our expectations.

2020 — The Event that Almost Was

We had every intention of hosting De:brief 2020 in the same intimate setting and at the beginning of 2020 reached out to previous attendees and Patrons to see if there was interest again. To our delight there was and by early March we'd sold out and secured enough support to host a, if not bigger, better De:brief post Unite 2020.

As we all know, things changed rapidly in March 2020 and not long after Shopify announced they would be hosting Unite as a remote event, and then not at all, we decided that we would follow suit — De:brief 2020 was not to be.


Who knows what the world will hold in terms of events for 2021 and beyond. Will Unite happen again, let alone in person? I like to think positively that we will convene again and should the opportunity arise, and it feels right, then De:brief may happen once again.

Thank You

To everyone who attended De:brief in 2019, to all the Founding Patrons who supported in 2019, and finally those who pledged their help in 2020 I thank you.

Thanks for reading,
Keir Whitaker
Bath, UK November 2021

The 2019 De:brief Report

After De:brief 2019 we invited our Patrons and guest panel chairs to contribute to our first 35 page annual report. The 2019 De:brief Report includes ten thought provoking and insightful articles from some of our industries leading experts and covers topics including Unite 2019, marketing, apps, and the retail team of the future.

Download Report

De:brief Patrons (2019 Founding Patrons and 2020 Supporters)

I'll be honest, I'm very proud of the companies we got to work with on De:brief — the best of the best from our ecosystem:

Alt & Dot logo Blubolt logo Disco logo Gorgias logo Littledata logo Lucid logo Octane AI logo Okendo logo Omnisend logo PushOwl logo Railspur logo ReCharge logo Rewind logo Shogun logo SMS Bump logo Sufio logo The Support Heroes logo Union Works logo venntov logo We Make Websites logo Zapiet logo