Hi, I’m Michael.
I’m glad you stopped by my little corner of the Internet.
What Am I All About?
- Two decades as a software developer, project manager, and information security consultant; sabbatical in late 2014; got serious about digital acquisitions in early 2015.
- Currently own and operate a software / SaaS business portfolio built entirely from acquisitions from the past few years.
- Lived, studied, and worked all over the world, including in China, Poland, Hong Kong, Holland, and about a quarter of the states in the US. Today I call Las Vegas, Nevada home.
- First “online dollar earned” in early 2000’s selling info-products to high school / college students and their parents.
- I have a cat that has no respect for the difficulties of typing when she lays on the keyboard.
From Developer to Owner
Like many other engineers and IT professionals, I was a software developer that worked for other people for decades. After hundreds of gigs and projects, I was done with traditional employment, promising myself I was done working for anyone else.
As a fun hobby, I started working with other developers on their side projects where they needed help finding product market fit, scaling along with their first customers, and achieving profitability.
Those projects turned out to be quite entertaining, so I started looking into the small niche of acquiring similar online projects and businesses for myself.
It didn’t take long before I found a few available for sale and made my first acquisition of an affiliate online business. That got even more fun.
The next thing I knew, a new career in digital acquisitions was forming right in front of me. That led to the past decade where I leveraged my prior experience as a dev and consultant to acquire a portfolio of increasingly larger software companies.
The first “real” business I purchased was a small Amazon Affiliate site. I’m not sure I ever made the purchase price back, but I learned a lot running the business. (Want to know what happened? Check out my Empire Flippers “Small Asset Practice” episode.)
Since then I’ve bought and sold a dozen different properties, products, and businesses. Today I manage a sizable portfolio of e-commerce, SaaS, content, and advertising businesses and share my experience so other engineers and IT professionals can potentially do the same.
And it all started with that one small acquisition…
Baby Steps into Digital Acquisitions
Media has us believing success can be achieved overnight. Rarely is that true. I’ve been in the IT field for over two decades working for other people. Yet, during that time, I was also spending a majority of my free time learning how to earn an income completely independent of anyone else or any company job.
2004 | Published First Online Book | “How to Get Into Army Flight School Straight Out of High School“
2005-2006 | First Profitable Blog | Life as a Graduate School Student in China | http://shangfrew.blogger.com (I think blogger.com is defunct today)
2007 – 2015 | 200+ Software Architecture and Cybersecurity Consulting Engagements in 27 Countries and 35 States
2015 | Purchased First Online Business | GolfRangeFinders.reviews affiliate site
2018 | Sold First Online Business | Extendware.com
2020 | Back to where it all started, writing online. | MichaelFrew.com
“I Want To Do What You Do, But Where Do I Get Started?”
After 20 years in software development and roughly 8+ in digital acquisitions, I finally found something that I’m really good at and enjoy doing every day.
One question I kept getting from friends and colleagues was “How do I do that too?” At the same time, I enjoy writing, so I turned my answer into a writing project – “What’s the question you are asked most often?”
After some additional feedback, I decided to turn that question into this website – publishing in-depth essays on what I’ve learned from buying, selling, and operating online businesses from an acquirer’s point of view.
This site is for engineers, developers and other IT professionals about how to transition into a career acquiring profitable software projects (instead of building them from scratch or for someone else).
Rethinking How to Start to Earn a Living Online
This is the website I wish someone wrote when I was in my 20’s and 30’s, when I needed a mentor to show me the way. It will be exclusively focused on educating engineers and IT professionals about acquiring digital properties, not trying to start them.
Age discrimination forces many of us to leave the IT careers we love too early. I want to demonstrate that one potential off-ramp is acquiring your own digital business and small software companies.
If that sounds like you too, let’s dive right into it then, shall we? The best place to start is with my essay Why Buy, Instead of Build.