Childhood – Life’s adventures become life’s compass

Shawn Davison – Childhood – How life’s adventures become life’s compass.


I think things happen for a reason so you know; I don’t know how you found me but obviously this happens for a reason so thank you for the opportunity.

Marzena Kmiecik: oh you’re welcome, I’m happy you could meet with me.

Shawn Davison: oh is that right?

Marzena Kmiecik: I’m recording. So tell me, tell me you’re story, your personal story.

Shawn Davison: My personal story?

Alright, well, I had a very, very unique childhood. My father was a wildlife cinematographer and we grew up with a lot of wild animals. He was actually the first to get the birth of a mountain lion on film in an actually setting

Marzena Kmiecik: Really?

He was a wildlife photographer for Mutual Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and an ambassador for National Audubon Society so at a very young age I had exposure to a lot of wild animals and travelled a lot. He would film in the summer months or the fair months of the year and then he would lecture in the winter months. So I get to see and experience a lot of different things and it kind of change my perspective on life I think.

Being around wild animals like a cougar, in fact as an adult people say that I got a very calm energy and I think it has a lot of do with that childhood experience in a good way. Interestingly enough, I don’t do the same thing that my dad did. It was pretty amazing what he did yet I also realized that it was pretty hard, it was hard stuff, not a predictable paycheck, he was very much an entrepreneur, very very creative yet it was difficult.

I was actually exposed to computers at about age twelve. First computer that I had the opportunity to play with was the Apple 2 and that was actually at the university, they just got some and I was able to go in and play with some. I just figure out I want to do something with computers. Basically I knew pretty much what I wanted to do since I was twelve and I went to college; basically in high school I was pretty instrumental in getting computers into our school, because they didn’t really have any computers. Given my age but it was, but I was a student teaching USCT Pascal as a junior in high school and then went off to college like three weeks after high school to focus on my computer science degree and I really never look back.

I have an Undergrad in computer science and then I got a Masters Degree in telecommunications from UC Boulder and I consider myself an entrepreneur. I’ve been building businesses for the last fifteen years,  I’ve been in software for twenty five years and I was a CTO for about twelve years and I have been building my own, been off on my own for about five years now. My company today builds mobile Apps and I love what I do. It’s like, at heart I’m an architect and I have this definition of an architect; I’m a liaison between concept and reality. It turns out anybody can do that yet I love doing it with software. So, the ability to take a concept from somebody and translate it into reality, you know, helps them figure out how to make that real. So I’ve been doing that for a lot of years and for a number of different companies. I built a professional services firm. Actually I’ve done six startups in my career and you can say that four out of those six have been actually very successful.

It’s a pretty good record in that respect, certainly had some dismal failures along the way and I think you have to, you know, you learn so much from the failures along the way and I think there is a gift in each failure right. If you can learn from that experience and find that, actually a favorite mentor of mine, he’s Napoleon Hill, and favorite quote is, he says:

In every adversity there is a seed of equivalent or greater benefit.

and I really believe that. If I look back at all the failures and challenges in my life, there is always something to learn that was fantastic and always made me experience the learning better than the actual experience. So I take that forward with what I do today.