Designed for the age of independents

Meet our team

Michael Megalli, Founder

Michael Megalli, Founder

I’ve spent most of my career helping large and small companies build great brands. Now I want to help people start and run great independent companies.

What if everyone of us had the power to use our unique gifts, to create work filled with purpose and to stretch the limits of what's possible for themselves, their families and their communities?

Great businesses happen when groups of people find just the right mix of creativity, strategic thinking and honesty about who they are and why they do what they do. Anyone can use those powerful tools to make things they believe in. That drive has always been at the heart of the migration into independence.

I started my own first business in 2001: a strategic consulting firm based in New York City, called Group 1066. Within a few years we were doing a variety of creative and strategic work for clients like Microsoft, MasterCard and Lehman Brothers.

I ran that company until 2009 when I was asked to come in-house at Microsoft and decided to move west. In addition to leading company-wide re-branding work, I was lucky enough to create a variety of thought leadership projects, including an innovative modern small business campaign. We met some inspiring entrepreneurs and made some videos that I’m very proud of-- a portrait of what this community actually looks like in America today. Traveling around the country meeting business owners put me right back in the world of the independents.

I’ve long been inspired by the power of social entrepreneurs to create businesses that address issues including health, education, and society. My work here included serving as a founding board member for RISE Egypt and mentoring an incredible group of young Egyptian entrepreneurs over the course of the last few years.

Two years ago, I decided I wanted to be an entrepreneur again, focused on helping other independents learn, plan and build businesses for themselves while joining a community of others on the same journey. I’m excited about the possibilities as more people nurture that creative spark in themselves.

If you’d like to get in touch, you can email me at

Alex Woodhouse, Data Science Principal

Alex Woodhouse, Data Science Principal

I’ve always been drawn to the numbers as a way of understanding the world as it really is. When it came time to go to college, I decided that I wanted to study economics and to eventually become an economist.

The more I studied economics, the more fascinated I became with the new frontier opening up in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science. Everything that I loved about a quantified understanding of the world could now be applied to just about anything.

I spent the remainder of my time at the University of Washington studying the computationally rigorous side of economics, specifically econometrics, and I supplemented this with programming classes in the Computer Science department.

After graduating from UW, I started working at Seattle Data Science. It was great to immediately put all that I had learned to practical use, working with small and medium-sized businesses to help them unlock the business value in their data. was the next logical step. Rather than just helping a handful of local businesses, we’re focused on helping millions of potential business owners to use data and knowledge to successfully start and run their own business.

For me, data science lies at the intersection of computer science, statistics and, most-importantly, domain knowledge. When it comes to domain knowledge, small independent businesses have rich expertise: our job is to help them leverage it more effectively by creating powerful tools to help them succeed.


We’ve had a number of collaborators on this project. Thanks to all—it wouldn’t be possible without you.

Shiwani Srivastava, Researcher/Writer

Shiwani is a writer and researcher par excellence who’s been writing about the independent market for many years. Shiwani became an independent herself three years ago and it’s been a pleasure to get to work with her again.

Kristenelle Coronado, Designer

Kristenelle is a designer working across visual and user experience design disciplines. She has a particular passion for bringing simplicity to the communication of complex ideas.

Sadok Cervantes and Edgardo Ramirez Leon, Front-end Developers

Sadok and Edgardo are front-end developers who live and work in Mexico City. We’ve only gotten to know them recently, but have come to appreciate their clean, responsive code and practical problem-solving.

Jessica Brown, Project Manager

Jessica is a powerful force for good when it comes to organizing our processes and keeping us to a schedule.

Maged Zaher, Lead Technical Advisor

Maged brings over 20 years of experience as a developer and enterprise architect for companies including Microsoft, Amazon, Nordstrom and NVIDIA. In addition he is a celebrated poet and translator.

Lisa Light, Editorial Consultant

Lisa is an expert on editorial voice and brand development with 20 years of experience using words to create powerful brands. She's also the author of 5 books and has been essential as we’ve developed our materials and voice.