Only one year after I began programming, michaelcbrook.com made it to the Top 10 Websites for Media & Music on StumbleUpon. In 2009, while I was attending UC Santa Cruz, the website was flagged by the RIAA. It was taken offline due to copyright concerns, and I was forced to take a copyright education course. Today, I actively work to bring progressive change to the music industry.
I had big aspirations as an entrepreneur one year into programming. With PHP under my belt, I embarked on my first commercial website, My Media Hotspot. The website provided services that made it easy to embed any kind of media into a website, and it allowed users to share playlists and slideshows. The site is no longer in existence.
In high school, I attended Nuview Bridge Early College High School in Nuevo, California. Having newly discovered my skills as a programmer, I was asked to build a website for the school. In addition to the design, I also created a custom content management system from scratch, allowing staff to edit the website themselves. The site is no longer in existence.
TalkAddict was my second commercial project, but in retrospect, it was actually one of my biggest learning experiences. The site pivoted several times, from a location-aware social network to a Web-SMS gateway to a communication forwarder (could forward to IM, SMS, or email seamlessly) to a social network aggregator (for both posting and receiving). The site is no longer in existence.
After learning how to write instant messaging applications with a C library called Libpurple (used in instant messengers like Pidgin), I purchased libpurple.com to provide tutorials on the library, which is notoriously difficult to learn. The website itself was made with WordPress, but my sample code has been used by developers all over the Internet.
In 2010, I created a website for a retail party rental store called Tri-Valley Rentals based in Simi Valley, California. Among all my websites, this was the second to include a custom content management system. All products, prices, pictures, and options can be edited by employees, and customers can submit their purchases with ease. Within the first year and a half, the website received about $45K worth of sales.
During college, I was hired by The Actus Group in Silicon Valley as a frontend web developer for a site where customers could bid on movie tickets. Despite my position, the bulk of my work consisted of server deployment, location-aware geospatial search, advanced natural language processing to search for movies and purchase tickets over text message, and payment processing.
BluePlaylist was one of my most successful projects. As an on-demand music service, it acquired more than 120,000 registered users via its website, Android app, and BlackBerry app since its launch in 2010. After participating in the 2010 UCSC Business Design Competition, development was discontinued in 2012 because the business could not be sustainable. BluePlaylist was finally taken offline in 2015.
Rebuilders Inc. is a general contractor, specializing in renovation and restoration of residential and commercial properties. The website is mostly informational, but it is the third to include a custom content management system, allowing employees to upload new pictures to the website after each new project.
Property Management Services. That's what PMS stands for. Being a young company without any branding, I created their logo and theme. The website took two days to create. Within months, the company averaged over $130K per year in sales. In 2015, sales are expected to exceed $430K.
Songtwist is my second stab at the music business. Following my previous music service, the goal of Songtwist is to help create a sustainable source of revenue for artists and to provide an experience that brings new music to listeners easily. Simplicity is at the core of its design, and helping artists compete is at its soul.
In 2013, I did some work for Map Builders, a high-end land development company based in Manhattan Beach, California. Their projects have become home to some of the wealthiest in the world. While the website did not reach completion, I helped with other miscellaneous technical duties.
In 2015, shortly after moving to Des Moines, Iowa, I became business partners in a joint venture to build M&A software for financial professionals. I am in charge of product development and turn client needs into a usable solution to help them cut costs and eliminate headache in operating a Merger & Acquisition firm.
Bell Metrix is a big data company located in Des Moines, Iowa. After working for a large web development company in West Des Moines, Shift Interactive, I went on to become Bell Metrix's first hire and helped them develop their idea from concept to design and execution, as well as provided mentorship in building a positive company culture.
After being hired by a political startup, I was in charge of developing the famously-known Iowa Straw Poll for 2015/2016. The results of this poll were read on television, predicting who might be the winner of the Iowa Caucuses. Video news coverage
Both the Iowa Straw Poll and America's Term Limits projects were completed under the WeVote Project, a political platform to help citizens be more engaged with their government. I worked with the founder for several months to refine the product and provide business guidance for investor relations.
On April 20th, 2016, I launched the premium version of Songtwist version 2. After working for a slew of different companies in Iowa, I got back the relentless courage to start back up again. The open/free version is planned to be developed soon, as well as a mobile app and connections to your wireless devices. Sign up here. Artists welcome.