A few words (ha!): Born into the era of floppy disks and Windows 3.1, Michael grew up with a fascination of technology, and pretty quickly realised the internet was more than what ‘stole his parent’s credit card details’. Boasting to everyone that he would go on to form the next Microsoft, or rather Michaelsoft, he spent countless days tinkering with the family PC, and eventually taught himself how to code websites from the ground up about his childhood interests. One of his websites about the wildly popular TV series ‘Beyblade’ gained some popularity, and soon caught the attention of an overseas publisher, who would use his site’s content in the official, licensed book on the topic.
This was pretty crazy for a youngster, but it was this moment that cemented Michael’s passion for all things internet and technology, and drove it to even greater heights. If a kid from Perth could connect with a global audience, and get his stuff into a product that made some other guys a little richer, all from his living room, what couldn’t be done over these wires? The sky is the limit!
Well, for a while a dialup connection was the limit, but as Aussie internet started to catch up with the rest of the world, Michael got taller, got a bit of a fro, and messed around with cameras. He continued to make websites too; blogging a bit of his daily life, and maintaining a school help website that gained some top rankings on Google, as well as a bit of ad revenue. As YouTube positioned itself as the king of online video, Michael started to follow early YouTube stars, and aspired to take a tiny piece of the throne for himself. He wanted to share his life with others in a greater way than MySpace or Facebook. He likes to think he lived by ‘YOLO’ (you only live once) before it was a cool hashtag, and wanted to share his adventures with others, inspiring them to do the same, at least every once in a while. And he wanted more people to talk to, because the people around him needed a break, sometimes.
Because he still wanted his own business empire he was now enrolled at the University of Western Australia (UWA), completing a double degree in Commerce/Arts, majoring in Management, Entrepreneurship and Japanese. Who knew the last one would catapult him to where he is today.
Midway through his double degree a huge opportunity came along to study abroad in Japan. This kind of thing was far out of his comfort zone, but reading the advice of online bloggers who had done it already made the decision a lot easier. Long story short, he did it! He blogged, and he filmed the lot. Half a million YouTube views, a bit more ad revenue, and a lot of crazy only-in-Japan experiences later, the surreal experience would form the basis for his passion for marketing, particularly in the digital sphere. The power of the internet and technology to connect strangers and create rewarding relationships was never more obvious to him. He could now use his platform to encourage others to study abroad, see the world, just like bloggers had earlier done for him. And there was nothing more exciting to him than seeing strangers interact with, love and share the content he had worked hard to create.
As two degrees were obviously not enough, and the Uni life too hard to give up, Michael would go on to study a Master of Marketing at UWA, hoping to build upon the lessons he had encountered as ‘Maikeru in Japan’, and the passion for business and technology he had nurtured since childhood. If you have read this far, here comes your reward: we have reached 2015. Some cool teachers and practical lessons later, Michael knew he was in the right place – this industry was home. Through a physical and digital marketing mix, he wants to help connect businesses and organisations to their customers, to create rewarding relationships, and to witness the amazing things, the value, that can come about when this is done right.
Finally, Michael now feels privileged to be part of the #SMPerth community as its first intern. He is learning a lot of real world stuff from Meg (Hi Meg!), and is looking forward to meeting you all at #SMPerth events…I think 2016 is shaping up to be pretty awesome. Sorry, he thinks it is going to be pretty awesome 😉