A new chapter

Sep 12, 2008 | Press

Well here we are, the first post on 8ninths! Hello, my name is Adam Sheppard, Co-Founder of 8ninths, a new internet research & development laboratory headquartered in Seattle, WA. For the last 12 years I’ve worked on a myriad of products and services at Microsoft, primarily in the online space. Highlights have included regular meetings with Bill Gates, Ray Ozzie and Kevin Johnson on cutting edge research, pioneering new services on MSN and helping to change perceptions of Microsoft as an innovator with flagship new services such as Photosynth. You can read a little more about that journey in my bio.



In September 2002 I started an internal, confidential blog at Microsoft blog named ‘The Shep Report’. Blogging was a relatively new paradigm at the time and the format of a weekly post describing something new and interesting,  with a level of depth and analysis as to how it was of relevance to Microsoft received a very warm response.

Over the next 5 or so years the subscription list for ‘The Shep Report” grew to include the senior leadership of the company. This often lead to long and sometimes heated discussions about my observations on everything from social and community strategies to new user interface paradigms. I still have mails from BillG discussing the relative merits of Wikipedia vs Encarta…

In 2006 I was a founding member of Microsoft Live Labs, an applied research laboratory in Ray Ozzie’s organization chartered with bringing together hand picked scientists and engineers from across the company,  to explore new territory and incubate the potential services of the future. I had always dreamt of one day pursuing my entrepreneurial interests and in Sept 2008 I left the company and thus 8Ninths was born, a research and development lab founded with my good friend, and former colleague William Lai. Together we will continue to build upon our experience in developing cutting edge version 1.0 products that will shape the future of the web.

We’ve decided to use our main site as not just a communication forum for the new projects we’re working on but to revitalize the original premise of ‘The Shep Report’, sharing our observations and analysis of the real cutting edge of the web and explaining why you should care about it. Thanks for taking the time to stop by. if you’d like to  get a bi-monthly summary of what we’ve discovered please do subscribe and of course we appreciate your support by letting your friends, family and colleagues know about out our new home on the web. It’s a great time to be online and we look forward to shaping and sharing it with you.

Adam Sheppard



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  1. Sep 17, 2008 at 5:23 am

    John Pope says:

    Adam – Best of luck to you in this new venture. I am excited for you and can’t wait to see what incredible services I know you will deliver to the world. Keep on innovating!

  2. Oct 1, 2008 at 6:27 am

    Rob West says:

    Adam – wow! Big changes. Would love to hear more about this project. Good luck with everything!


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