For years, I have been making my living as a computer guru. My expertise and know-how to get things done with computers, whether it be programming, website design, hardware provisioning, or finding and eliminating performance bottlenecks. The technical hurdle didn't matter. If my client had an idea for something they wanted, I could find a way to do it for them.
I have always worked as a consultant or employee with salaried and contract dollars backing my effort and I've done it for some of the biggest and most prestigious names in the world. Around 2002, I transitioned from closed, proprietary systems and software (think Oracle, Microsoft and Adobe) to building solutions with open source tools. That is, software that was freely available to download and use along with complete access to the source code. If I wanted to fix, change, or enhance the software, I could! In contrast, closed proprietary systems typically costs a lot of money and it was a rare thing if you saw the source code behind such systems.
As I reflected on my career, I came to realize that I have a great deal of valuable knowledge gained over the years from so many different experiences and the only ones that benefit from my expertise has been me and the clients that hired me. Basically, I kept my knowledge closed just like proprietary systems do with their source code. That's not very congruent to the open source way of thinking and its been more than kind of bothering me for a while. During the Summer of 2014, I decided to do something about it.
It is my goal show you the tools and strategies I use and why I use them so that you can clearly see what works and, perhaps more importantly, what doesn't work.
Today, Cybrains, which stands for a melding of cybernetics and human intelligence (the "brains" part), has been transformed from a largely static, rarely changing (and boring) website into a platform for sharing the wealth of knowledge and resources I have accumulated over the years with starting a business and marketing and promoting it online. Not unlike my transition from proprietary solutions to open source solutions, I have chosen to freely share the expertise and knowledge I have for developing software, running a business and growing online.
Psst...Make Money Online (only if you do what I do)
Doesn't it seem like all those sites that show you how to make money online hawk techniques and goods that only work if you intend to draw in the next sucker who's looking to make money online? Yeah, I noticed, too, and it took me a long time before I got good at weeding out the good stuff from the bad. Unlike so many other sites that take your money and don't deliver you to the promised land, I truly hope to show anyone who has an idea and passion for their work how to monetize their ideas and live their dreams. Heck, I hope to show you how to start a business online and be successful even if you have no ideas right now as you read this. All too often, those get rich sites are self-feeding interests that only make money for those that also copy and talk about how to build an income online. Worse, they were busy promoting their buddy's products that promised to make you money, but the dirty little secret is that those gimmicks only work if you are in the how-to-make-money-online business of getting others to buy the same crap. Can you say "multi-level marketing" and "pyramid schemes?"
Not here! We're talking about real businesses, real people, and real ideas that make a difference. I hope to show you exactly how to turn your passions and ideas into a lively revenue stream. Key phrase, YOUR passions and ideas.
It does not matter where you are today in your own aspirations and goals for starting your own business. I have helped clients at every stage in their business from initial germ of an idea to those with large projects and large teams of developers already in place. My goal is to help you be the best you can be and write content that is on point and can be used by entrepreneur trying to successfully grow their business online. I am actually writing much of the content on this site as I build my own real business online because, dammit, I'm tired of of websites promoting techniques that only work if you want to teach others how to make money online.
Technology is no Longer a Hinderance
Sure, I've been doing this techie thing for decades. I grew up with computers. I started at the ripe young age of fourteen. I was on bulletin board systems and writing my first online, multi-player games before I ever went to college. In college, I was up late at night "instant messaging" with people all over the world long before 1990 rolled around, let alone WWW, which started the phenomenon now known as the Internet. I launched my first website in 1994. I've been "blogging" since before WordPress was even born. I used my servers to keep my data safe "in the cloud" before somebody made a lot of money coining the phrase. I quit Windows application development and started Web application development long before it was cool to do so and the browser wars were still waging mightily.
But that's besides the point. Today, technology has progressed so far in a remarkably short timespan, that it is no longer an excuse and certainly no longer a hinderance. Just because "you don't know how," is no longer going to hold you back. It has gotten easier than ever before to set up shop online and connect with people who have an interest in what you have to offer. Shoot, even people who have never written a line of code or know what "coding" is are going out there and producing software to solve a problem or pain they perceive needs a solution. If you have a will and desire to succeed, then you can do it, no matter how clueless about technology you proclaim yourself to be.
Think you can't program? I bet you can! Just try it here: Scratch Programming
Who is Michael?
I have been programming and building computers for almost 35 years and landed my first contract in 1988 with Kubota KMA, who had just opened up an American plant in my hometown of Gainesville, Georgia. They needed a way to set daily production targets and track their progress throughout the day. I figured out how to hook up a computer to a scrolling LED sign and wrote a program in Turbo Pascal and Assembler to produce and display statistics about their assembly line. From there, I went on to be involved in a number of start-ups and large corporations. I have gotten into nearly everything. Here's just a few of the industries I've worked in: digital sign and graphics production, magazine publication and distribution, commercial real estate, hospitality industry, clothing manufacturing, human resource management, telecommunications, veterinary medicine, healthcare.
I got started in computers because I couldn't afford to buy the games for my Atari 2600. I convinced my Parents to let me buy my first computer with my life's savings. They had to pay for more than half the cost of that computer, so it was a very big deal!
Cybrains, Inc. was established in 2001 during a time when the dot com bubble burst and made it difficult to find full-time employment in the IT field. My expertise has enabled me to consistently acquire and keep clients during even the worst of economic times. Cybrains' history has been a storied one with periods of intense activity to periods of dormancy as I was repeatedly recruited to join the firms of my various clients to head up their IT shops. In November 2011, I decided to get off that treadmill and only pursue my own endeavors full-time.
I am hearing impaired. I lost most of my hearing due to the powerful antibodies used to save my life when I contracted spinal meningitis at 24 months of age. Although I'm nearly deaf, I firmly believe my hearing impairment has become one of my biggest strengths instead of a handicap. Because I hear only one in five words, I've been forced to develop an intense ability to focus on what the speaker has to say when engaged in conversations — relying on topical context, lip-reading, and body language to "hear" what's said. Time and time again, people tell me I have the uncanny ability to, in spite of my hearing loss, not only understand what was said, but to also hear what is often not said — almost as if I was reading the speaker's mind. I really feel my ability to listen enables me to quickly grasp a client's environment, ecosystem and excel in translating client needs into software deliverables and streamlined business workflow.
In my spare time, I am an avid tennis player and loving husband to my wife Elisabeth for an amazing journey of 8 years, 3 months, and 17 days that continues to bring a wealth of joy and love. I am a proud father of daughter, Sara Kate and Step-Dad to Elisabeth's two older Sons, Gabriel and Dawsyn.
What spare time I have left, is filled up with cooking, playing piano, weight lifting, trail running, bocce, ping pong, and learning more about the Open Source community upon which Linux, Apache, PostgreSQL, etc. are all based on. Lately, the Ruby Language has gotten the lion's share of my attention.
Want to chat about something? Drop me a line! I can be reached via any of the various avenues listed in the sidebar or by filling out the Contact Form below: