About Mike Halvorsen

Mike Halvorsen

Intro

I am presently the Technical Co-Founder of CompanyEgg, a company I founded with my business partner Sean Rigo, a 200+ million-page business search engine we bootstrapped and launched in 2013.

I am presently living in Abu Dhabi working to expand our search engine into the MENA region and begin building out the CompanyEgg Business Website Builder.

Objective

I have dedicated the last seven years of my life to creating CompanyEgg, one of the world’s first, true international business search engines. The world deserves a better solution to something that accounts for more than half of all searches in the U.S. “Near me” searches have spike 250% annually over the last two years, according to Google. Having spent a decade in publishing business data at scale, the local business space is heating up all over the world and yet, there are still are entire markets waiting to come online.

Software engineered by CompanyEgg will lead the world in connecting customers to companies and in helping those companies create sustainable business models that they have more control over. We will make it easier for business owners to create modern websites, free from all the disasters and problems I have faced over the last 23 years working with them. The CompanyEgg Website Builder will allow small business owners to compete online on one platform.

How I Got Started in Tech

As a life long learner who has explored the depths of the internet and its inter-workings, I had an early start at building things on the web. When I was young, I watched my mother struggle to design a website for her small business using cutting-edge software she had just bought for $200. So, despite having little more than some basic HTML experience, I decided to build a website for her from scratch instead. It was 1997 and I was 11 years old.

I dove into learning HTML after that, often going to the library to photocopy books on computer programming. I discovered a love for building websites after designing my first on Geocities. It was at this time that I learned there was so much more to do on computers than data entry or spreadsheets. I could use these tools to create what the adults around me could not—things those adults would go on to use every day to conduct business. I began helping businesses grow and prosper in ways they didn’t anticipate or plan for. That’s when I knew this was my future. I saw the power of the web.

One of the earliest memories I have working with clients as a freelancer was in 1999 when I built a website for a local oil company in my hometown. I was 13, so my father had to drop me off at their headquarters for a meeting about the project. It couldn’t have gone better. I was in my element. As I left the conference room to call my father for a ride on their rotary phone, I felt 13 again. The executives didn’t know how to talk to me once our business was concluded and started asking me childish questions: “What’s your favorite class? Do you have brothers and sisters?”

In 1998 and 1999, I was building websites as a “professional teenager.” I designed fast websites for dial-up connections and content management systems (CMS) that left out the HTML before they really existed. I built my first CMS using Server Side Includes at this point after experimenting with the existing solutions. In 1999, I built my first CMS with PHP and MySQL—one of my first truly dynamic websites.

I went on to build e-commerce websites with tens of thousands of products and realized there was something else missing: how do I get everyone else who doesn’t know about this website to visit it? This question is what led me to focus on internet marketing and early forms of search engine optimization (SEO) before it existed as we know it today. I could build websites, but by the early 2000s, so could many others. That’s when I began to wonder: could you build a website and drive traffic organically through search engines? And what is the value for showing up in Google’s top search results for popular phrases?