In these first few months as we make decisions about Shepherd Dog we are also figuring out what our values are. Part of our thought process for each decision involves analyzing why we made that decision and what it says about who we are. In the near future we will put our values into writing and make them a core part of our site.

We knew some of our values before we even decided to start Shepherd Dog, one of which is transparency. Today we’d like to start to define what that means to us and provide some information that we believe should be shared in the name of transparency.

What We Mean By Transparency

To us, transparency is sharing as much information as possible in as useful a way as possible. By sharing this information we believe that you can better understand who we are, who we are not, and what it would be like to work with us. Transparency is the opposite of always “putting a good spin” on our situation. It is sharing the bad news just as much as the good.

We also hope that sharing our experiences will give other entrepreneurs or potential entrepreneurs information to help them make difficult decisions, like whether or not to even start a company. We have struggled with figuring out when the right time was for a while and know others do too. With the information we share we might all be able to say “yep this was good timing” or “should have had some more money in savings first” or who knows what else.

When we say we want to share “as much information as possible” we do so not to give ourselves an out, but to protect the confidentiality of our clients. We will not share anything about them without their explicit permission.

We hope to be able to share this information on a regular basis and not too long after the events we share happen. We know that our hindsight gets more biased with time and our recollection won’t be as accurate if we wait until we know what happens. This means some information might not be complete but we think it’s worth it.

Shepherd Dog Transparency Report #1 – The Beginning

  • Before we started the company, we had 2 clients, one paying and one not
  • Our monthly business expenses total $112.46 (we will be adding insurance to this list soon):
    • CH3 Data Server - $32.46
    • FastMail Email - $10.00
    • CodeSchool - $58.00
    • Grasshopper Phone Service - $12.00 + 6¢/minute
  • We also had a few start up expenses for things like business cards, a domain name, etc. totaling less than $100
  • If we completely exhausted our savings and had no income we could live for 6 months barring unforeseen events (like our dog needing knee surgery or our water heater going out, both of which happened)
  • We work out of our home so we don’t have any additional office expenses
  • We are a Texas general partnership with Brandy and David as equal partners.