#TechRunsBoston: Q&A with Fred Shilmover, Founder and CEO of InsightSquared

Photo credit: Gameface Media

Photo credit: Gameface Media

Fred Shilmover - Founder and CEO of InsightSquared and one of four runners on
TUGG's 2016 Boston Marathon team.

The two-time Boston Marathon runner, who is donating his bib proceeds to TUGG portfolio nonprofit Resilient Coders, sat down with us to share a little about who he is and why he's running Boston.

Here, Fred reflects on the best (and worst) parts of being a founder, his personal mantra, and why he chose to run for Resilient Coders.

What's the best part of being a founder?
Having the opportunity to set culture and create a great work environment – productive, challenging, fun, rewarding – for employees.  When you are CEO, in many ways you are responsible for the livelihood of your employees.  Creating a great place to work is incredibly satisfying. 

What's the worst part?
Tradeoffs between time with family and single minded focus on the business.

Which tech CEO or company do you most admire?
We work in the Salesforce.com ecosystem and I’m constantly amazed at Marc Benioff’s ability to have built the industry leading software company while also focusing on the team and the community.

What is your personal mantra?
I’ll take one from Bill Belicheck, “Talent sets the floor, character sets the ceiling.”

What was your best running experience ever?
A few weeks ago, on our long run, I was pretty much done after 18 miles. I didn’t think I’d make it up heartbreak hill, but when I got to the bottom, I saw my coach (Erik Hajer) waiting and smiling. He ran me up and I made it. What’s been best about this whole process is the energy that the team provides to one another.

What's the longest distance you've ever run prior to training for Boston?
Prior to 2015: 5 miles; In 2016: 26.2 (this is my second Boston marathon)

Favorite running jam
Reunited – Wu Tang Clan

Marathon training pet peeve
Training dominates the weekend. It’s half a day on Sunday but it looms large the whole weekend.

What motivates you to finish your long distance training runs?
Last year I hit the wall during the long runs and on marathon day. This year the last 2 miles of every long run have been really hard, but the runs keep getting longer. I want to have a good race day. 

What do you say to people who say they could never run a marathon?
It’s only intimidating before you start.  Once you begin training and find your groove, all things feel possible. No one has ever accused me of being a great athlete. If I can do it, most people can. 

Do you train best in the morning, mid-day or evening?
I’m generally a morning person (and with two kids under 3, they’d be up even if I wasn’t). The last week I’ve been running at night as well, though, and have been surprised by how peaceful it is.

I feel most like a badass mother runner when:
I shave seconds per mile off my pace each week.

How would you like to finish Boston?
At last year’s race it was driving freezing rain and wind.  Any way other than that works for me. I would also like to beat my time from last year’s race.

Why are you running for Resilient Coders?
David Delmar and the Resilient Coders team are taking an incredibly innovative approach to the concept of vocational training.  Resilient Coders provides opportunity for under resourced youth to take advantage of the innovation economy.  They set a great example for social innovation in every way. 

How can people get involved?
Be a mentor.  Host a coding bootcamp or series of co-working workshops at your office.  Hire a Resilient Coders intern.

To show your support for Fred and the rest of TUGG's Boston Marathon team,
as well as the incredible nonprofits they are supporting, join us at our
Spring Beer Garden & Marathon Meet & Greet on March 24th!


Resilient Coders is a free, volunteer-based program focused on making web technology more available to kids who might not otherwise be exposed to it. Each student builds a website, coached along by a web professional.