Who is Tim Bishop?
Tim Bishop is an entrepreneur, writer, project manager, and technology product developer living in Berkeley, California. He has been working in high-tech startups for 18 years, and he loves turning new technologies into products that improve people's lives.
Turning Technology into Products
Tim specializes in project management and product management, driving the definition, development, testing and release of products. He also has considerable expertise and experience in managing rapid organizational growth. He enjoys devising appropriate processes that improve communication and accountability, while not hindering creativity. He is particularly adept at translating between engineers and customers. He has a passion for shipping products and has stepped in and taken on roles as diverse as Quality Assurance Manager, Webmaster, and technical writer, in order to get products completed and shipped to customers. He has been described as:
"The best damn project manager I've ever worked with"
-- Don Reeves, Vice-President of Engineering, Black Pearl
In his spare time he volunteers his time in education, from shelving books at his child's school library to consulting on technology with the University of California at Berkeley. He also loves to write, and at the beginning of the 2003 SARS epidemic he started the non-profit website SARS Watch Org, which was the British Medical Journal's site of the week and which Dick Thompson, the World Health Organization's Department of Communicable Diseases Communications Officer, called "The best SARS page on the net."
For vacation he loves to immerse himself in other cultures and countries, and he has traveled widely in Africa, Europe, Central America, and a little bit in Asia.
Manage the development and release of new software functionality at GetActive Software, an ASP for non-profit and advocacy organizations. GetActive hosts the websites and/or advocacy, fundraising, and community web pages for 300 organizations ranging from Oxfam America and the Humane Society, to the Environmental Defense Fund. I am responsible for:
Did a wide variety of internet marking, business development, project management, software development and writing consulting projects, including:
Led design and development of Onscreen System's innovative product, TVtopia, a downloadable Windows entertainment application with automatically updated TV listings, directory of fan and official web sites, user-to-user interactive games, chat, and instant messaging:
Grew Onscreen from a 3-person software contracting company to a 20-person product development company:
Tim Bishop started SARS Watch Org, a non-profit website, at the very beginning of the 2003 SARS epidemic in order to disseminate news and information about SARS to a lay audience. He obtained US Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization press credentials and (virtually) attended and reported on press conferences. He scoured the net for daily for new information on SARS, and he recruited volunteer correspondents in China, Canada and the United States, and wrote updates daily. The site had more than a quarter of a million visitors in four months, and received favorable reviews from medical professionals, the medical and popular presses, and from people living in China, who had the greatest need for accurate information.
Doctors recommended it:
"For anyone interested in keeping up with SARS, the unequivocal place to start should be SARSwatch.org. It has official updates, news, and even links to personal blogs reporting on SARS from around the world. A fantastic resource."
-- Dr. Craig Bradley
It was a British Medical Journal website of the week. They said that it was:
"an impressively detailed weblog, with links to all his sources and a facility for visitors to add comments"
-- British Medical Journal
The popular press reviewed it:
"Quant à sarswatch.org, c'est est un blogue tout entier dédié à la pneumonie atypique. L'auteur, Tim Bishop, semble avoir plusieurs cordes à son arc professionnel: ingénieur, entrepreneur, écrivain... Il reste que le site est très complet et publie chaque jour des coupures de journaux, des communiqués d'instituts médicaux et des statistiques émanant des ministères de la Santé des différents pays touchés par le syndrome respiratoire aigu sévère. Enfin et ce n'est pas rien pour tous ceux qui souhaitent en savoir plus sur le SRAS dans le monde, sarswatch.org a constitué une longue liste de Weblogs consacrés au virus. Voilà une source à ne pas manquer!"
-- -- Cyberpresse (Canada)
Even the World Health Organization liked it:
"The best SARS page on the net"
-- email from Dick Thompson, Communications Officer, World Health Organization
It was prominently linked to and recommended as a source of information by McGill University Medical School, Taiwan University Medical School, and Beijing Medical University.
1999 – 2000
Created a companion web portal, www.MyTurn.com, for the users of MyTurn's low-cost computer, the Global PC:
Built web products development team for MyTurn:
After 3 years at Geoworks, was promoted to run the newly created 35-person business unit responsible for the development, marketing and sales of Geoworks’ new flagship operating system, GEOS-SC:
Managed Geoworks’ development of GEOS-SC, a brand-new portable graphical operating system for mobile phones and embedded devices. Development took place in 4 sites, included both Unix and Windows based C++ development environments, and required debugging on 3 platforms.
"Tim has a great mind -- thoughtful, creative, and a near photographic memory. He does a great job of asking the right questions and identifying problems that no one else has thought of. His assignments are mostly self-determined -- if it is important, he is working on it. He never loses track of an action item or an issue. He excels at process, and driving problems to a solution."
-- Tony Requist, former Vice President of Engineering at Geoworks, currently president of Airset, in a 1996 performance review,
Promoted to Project Manager for EO’s next generation smart phone product, responsible for coordinating work of 100+ developers:
Led team that localized EO’s PenPoint 3.0 operating system into Japanese and wrote software to enable PenPoint to run on NEC’s hardware.
Managed the writing, translation, and production of over 2,000 pages of end-user and SDK manuals and online help for the PenPoint operating system into Japanese.
Estimated, scheduled, and organized projects for this small business specializing in hi-tech product documentation.
Managed the production of deposition and trial transcript summaries for Neil & Associates, a legal services business.
Tim Bishop is a natural born project manager, with instinct for finding the most efficient way to organize people and projects. He is an autodidact, happiest when he is learning something new, and then teaching it or explaining it to someone else. He has reinvented his career several times, moving from the law to technical documentation to software development to the Internet, and he looks forward to doing so again.
Tim is very detail oriented and a really fast learner. He has an excellent memory and can hold lots of things in his head at the same time. He excels at identifying dependencies. He is a natural problem-solver, and he is adept at ferreting out issues and getting them resolved before they become problems. He is good at leading cross-functional teams, and he has a gift for translating between marketing and development, and between customers and internal teams. He is an excellent facilitator, and he is also willing and capable of taking charge and making decisions when necessary.
Tim is a team builder and team leader. He knows how to recruit, hire, and train new team members. He is adept at motivating people to do their best work, and removing obstacles that prevent them from doing so. He believes in openness, and that loyalty goes both ways. He enjoys managing people from different backgrounds and functional areas, and figuring out how to get them to work together most efficiently.
Professionally, Tim has written marketing datasheets, white papers, competitive intelligence reports, marketing requirement documents, specifications and project plans. He excels at taking vast amounts of data, sorting through to find the relevant bits, analysing them, and presenting condensed and audience appropriate view to others.
Tim enjoys writing and editing, and his personal writing has led him experiences as varied as being quoted by the Wall Street Journal, being profiled by a Taiwanese medical website, and having one of the websites he created, SARS Watch, prominently linked to and recommended as a source of information by McGill University Medical School, Taiwan University Medical School, and Beijing Medical University. For more on his personal writing, see the writing section of this site.
Tim speaks, reads and writes formerly fluent but now rusty French, speaks and reads mediocre Spanish, and he can greet someone politely in Hausa or Japanese. He is enjoys working with people from other cultures, and has managed projects with partners in Europe and Japan.
Tim can set up and configure, use the advanced functionality in and write macros or their equivalents in Windows, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Project, Homesite, Topstyle, Movable Type, and pMachine. He hand codes and writes scripts generating HTML, CSS, and RSS.
Tim has set up and configured, and is comfortable using Linux, Solaris, Apache, PHP, MySQL, Perl, Wiki, Dreamweaver, Perforce, Powerpoint, Lotus Notes, and Groove.
Tim Bishop writes scripts, macros, and small programs using PHP, SQL, Word Basic, and other macro/scripting languages, primarily as a hobby. He has contributed bug fixes and small features to several open source projects. The scripts Tim wrote and contributed to the University of California at Berkeley generate the University's RSS news feed.
Tim attended Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, where he majored in History and Economics, and learned how to learn. He is happiest when he is learning new things, and since college he has taught himself:
Tim enjoys writing and editing, and his personal writing has led him experiences as varied as being quoted by the Wall Street Journal, being profiled by a Taiwanese medical website, and having one of the websites he created, SARS Watch, prominently linked to and recommended as a source of information by McGill University Medical School, Taiwan University Medical School, and Beijing Medical University. Like many other people in technology, Tim writes a weblog, Geodog, where he comments on issues of the day.
Tim spent large parts of his childhood overseas, and caught the travel bug at an early age.
Some of his favorite experiences include driving the length of Cameroon, from the tropical rainforests in the south to the desert in the north, attending the annual gathering of the Tuareg /Kel Tamashek and the Bororo/Wodaabe at the Cure Sale on the edge of the Sahara desert, spending an afternoon with a family of howler monkeys on Pyramid VII at Tikal, and kayaking on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Some of his least favorite experiences, but best stories, include dodging rocks being thrown up by Poas volcano in Costa Rica, spending a 12 hour bus ride between Oaxaca and San Cristóbal de Las Casas sitting beneath a dripping bag of overripe mangoes, while suffering from a case of tourista, and running into a 6 foot barracuda while snorkeling in Caye Calker.
His latest passion is the peaceful country of Costa Rica. He took a few pictures on his latest trip, and has written a few musings on his experiences in Costa Rica. He also put together a database of information on Costa Rica for himself that others might find useful.
Tim Bishop can be reached via