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Meet Mike Grossman of Mike Grossman Consulting in Arlington

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Grossman.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m 37 years old and I’m the founder of Mike Grossman Consulting. I started the company about 2 years ago. I grew up in Belmont, went to high school in Cambridge (Buckingham Browne & Nichols), then attended college in Waltham (Brandeis University) and I’ve lived in the Boston area my entire life.

As a kid, I grew up playing video games and I was fascinated by computers. While in high school I taught myself how to use Photoshop and write HTML code. During college, I freelanced as a web designer and spent summers working for local companies (like Pegasystems in Cambridge). Before I graduated from Brandeis I started working for an Allston based startup call and I briefly worked there after graduating with a degree in Computer Science. Not long after that, I earned my Master’s Degree in Software Engineering (also from Brandeis) and I started a company with friends from MIT. We sold digital music online and were directly competing with the newly introduced Apple iTunes platform. This startup was my first experience running a company and I learned many lessons that help me today.

After leaving the digital music startup I co-founded, I began working as a Software Engineer doing research work at Children’s Hospital Boston. While working at Children’s Hospital I learned a lot about usability (how people interact with technology), usability best practices and how usability informs the creation of software user interfaces. Since then I’ve considered myself a usability expert, specializing in user interface design.

My next job was working as a Software Engineer at a small software company in Needham. I was the eighth employee and after less than two years there I helped sell the company to a very large, billion dollar company. After about a year of working for this large company, I left and started volunteering for the Green Streets Initiative in Somerville. I enjoyed volunteering but I quickly realized I wanted to do more. It seemed like there was demand for freelance web development and custom software development work so I decided to start Mike Grossman Consulting. Not only was I going to offer a range of software development services but also eMarketing services like SEO. I also decided to offer general software consulting in my areas of expertise.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’ve faced a lot of challenges but I’ve always viewed them as opportunities to learn. As a software engineer and now as a business owner, I need to constantly learn new things to stay ahead. Luckily I really enjoy learning and it is part of why I enjoy doing what I do.

When I left the very large, billion dollar company and decided to go off on my own I didn’t have a business network or any clients or any relationships with local business owners. So I was really isolated. It took about a year to create relationships with other business owners and to identify the other vendors I wanted to work with on large projects. It’s been a lot of fun meeting new people and learning about their businesses and what they do. Now, after doing a lot of networking and expanding my sphere, I feel at home in my local business community and I enjoy the camaraderie.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Mike Grossman Consulting – what should we know?
I offer a full range of software related services to my clients including web design and development for both big and small companies, mobile app development (both iPhone and Android) and custom software development using open source programming languages like PHP and Java. Also, I offer eMarketing services and I’m doing a lot of search engine optimization (SEO) improvements for my clients.

For a more traditional consulting relationship my clients can bring me on board as a Chief Technical Consultant and I can help them make decisions related to software technology. This covers everything from their website, to their email systems, to their customer relationship management (CRM) tools, and more. I can also help my clients integrate the different software platforms they decide to work with. Ultimately, with this arrangement, my clients can focus on their business and they don’t have to worry about or struggle with their software technology as their business needs change.

I work with very talented independent contractors (designers, copywriters, and coders) on a project to project basis. My 5-year plan is to hire in-house talent and set up an office space near where I live in Arlington.

My customers like working with me because I can discuss technical topics in simple, understandable terms. Also, I’m an expert programmer so I can jump into their technology stack and get started quickly.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think kindness and gratitude are the most important characteristics for my success. Having a real connection with my clients is important because I need to listen to what they say and take care of their needs. I think this requires kindness. Also, I really appreciate this opportunity to go off on my own and to do this work and own a company.

I feel so lucky to have grown up where I did and to have the amazing family that I have. Good luck and hard work have made me who I am. I’m just trying to enjoy my success with my friends and family.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Sarah Soldano

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