Mike is a 6X company founder, former member of SEAL Team 6 and a seriel entrepreneur. In addition to co-founding Data Tribe, Mike is Executive Chairman and co-founder of Silent Circle, one of the world’s leading Global Secure Communications service. Mike is also as an author of two best-selling books on self-discipline, leadership, and performance (Take Control & Power Living). Mike is the co-founder of DataTribe –a MD and Palo Alto based technology startup studio and Blue Pacific Studios -a Los Angeles based Film & Media Production Company he co-founded with Daniel Weinand, co-founder of Shopify. Mike sits on the board of 4 other technology firms. Prior to starting Silent Circle, Mike was the founder and former CEO of SOC-USA, one of the countries largest defense logistics and security firms headquartered in Washington DC, with over 8,000 employees in 14 countries. Mike speaks around the world on Privacy, Cyber Security, and Encryption and is the 2016 recipient of the “Visionary of the Year” awarded by the Center for Technology & Democracy.
What do I do best?
I bring unique strategic and personal performance tools from the world of Special Operations (I am a former SEAL Team 6 member) to technology startups. I help startup founders understand the minefield of building a commercial technology startup. There is no magic formula or secret. I have built 7 companies since my time in Special Operations and apply experience as well as unique strategies from Special Operations to the field of startups.
What makes me the best version of myself?
I believe that a combination of characteristics have helped me along my path. For me, the ability to surround myself with people way more talented, smart and experienced in various skills than myself – has helped me create elite teams to start companies. The second is personal performance –both physical and mental. I geek-out over bio hacking and believe that working out and doing things that others will not, or are unwilling to do – provides an edge in life. I also feel that I have a bit of ADHD when it comes to business. I have built a large Defense firm, 4 technology firms, a media production company and recently a bio technology longevity firm. I like to learn other markets, products and industries and apply lessons learned to each –failures and success.
What are my aspirations?
My personal aspirations are to try and mitigate my flaws (we are all flawed creatures) and become a better husband, Dad and co-worker. In the SEAL teams we called these “Flat Sides”. Every human has them, but the key is to set aside your ego and focus on improving the things I suck at or personality flaws that keep me from helping others. My business ambitions are to be known as someone to helps others succeed instead of focusing on my personal success. I have learned that if you focus on giving and helping others without trying to get the limelight focused on me – it’s the fastest path to business success. Its incredibly important that I harshly evaluate myself in this light.
My Biggest Success?
From a personal perspective – definitely my daughter. Being a dad has taught me more about living that the value of every day we have than any other experience in my life. On the professional side, I would say the fact I have tackled building companies in 4 completely different industries – Technology, Defense, Media Production and Venture Capital. I crave challenges and learning new industries combined the fact I have a different risk-profile than most from my time at SEAL Team 6. I don’t view risk the same way.
My Most Challenging Moment?
I have had a lot of these. Too many. I will focus more on my business and professional time rather than my military experiences as often times they are hard for people to relate to. The most challenging Moment is a combination of horrible moments. As the founder and CEO of SOC-USA, we provided logistics, security and construction services to the U.S and Coalition Governments in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Africa. Everytime one of our employees was killed, I flew to the families home and had to break the news. If anyone tells you that business is not personal –don’t believe them. That experience changed the way I view hiring and firing people.
If not me –who? If not now –when. I will out-grind, out-work and outlast everyone else.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
Cool Hand Luke, my wife Mary Beth, Sir Henry Shackleton, Carlos Hathcock
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
Turks & Caicos, Santa Fe, NM and Chile
My Favorite Products/Objects?
Emerson pocket knife, Stand-up desk, Apple’s large desktop monitor, Saxom wine
My Current Passions?
I really “geek out” over bio-hacking, improving physical & Mental performance and longevity. I have been helping a friend of mine, Dr. Brett Osborn, start a new company called Advanced Longevity Project. He is one of the top neurosurgeons in the world and probably one of the worlds top 5 most advanced experts on longevity and physical performance.