• Hi. I'm Michael Sitver

    This website is a summary of my projects, writings, education, and work experience.

    Email me if you have a question, a comment, or an idea.

  • Education

    University of Chicago

    October 2015 - June 2019

    Studying political science.

    Member: Chicago Innovation Exchange. UChicago Political Union, UChicago CRs.

    Volunteer: Chicago Public Schools/Axis UChicago

    (Ray Elementary School)

    Weston High School

    Graduated 2015.

    Business Manager: Weston High School Journal

    Member: Indoor track, Golf teams.

    Team-member: Builders Beyond Borders (B3).

  • Skills

    My specialties


    Starting two companies in college, I've learned how to pick up things like these on the fly:

    • Selling to & supporting thousands of customers
    • Negotiating contracts
    • Opening offices
    • Hiring & managing teams
    • Building a supply chain


    I have written speeches for Lt. Governors, governors, and governors.

    Types written (Among others):

    • Commencement addresses
    • Ribbon-cuttings
    • Addresses on budget reform
    • Addresses on government consolidation

    Web Design

    I have built dozens of websites, web apps, and web pages from scratch, including:

    - Ecommerce sites

    - Landing pages

    - Directories

    - Simple games

    Full-Stack Development

    I have also built dozens of fully featured web apps, REST APIs, scrapers, and chat bots.


    My typical stack uses Node.JS, Express, JQuery, Moment.JS, and noSQL databases (i.e Firebase).

    Policy Research

    I co-authored several reports presented to the governor and Lt. governor of Illinois. I have also written dozens of policy memos for the Lt. Governor, senior staff, and a U.S. congressman.


    From 2011-2015 I wrote over 800 articles on topics ranging from biotech to tax reform. I have also built blogs with annual traffic in excess of 150,000 readers.

    Newsletter Design

    Sender of over 10 million emails to subscribers around the world, with open rates exceeding 25%. I have built five newsletters to over 1,000 subscribers each.

  • Awards

    Recent honors and awards

    2017 Wildhacks Runner-Up

    Highest-ranked 1-person team.

    Built a platform for quickly identifying and removing or highlighting damaging or polarizing tweets.

    2017 UncommonHacks Finalist

    One of six teams chosen to present. Built a web-connected smart robot for drawing in zen garden.

    2016 Book Podcast of the year

    Awarded by Otto Radio

    2015 First-Citizen Young Entrepreneur Award

    Westport/Weston Chamber of Commerce

    2015 HackGenY Finalist

    One of the top nine teams out of over 80 teams and 300+ competitors in a global hackathon.

    2015 Intellectual Risk-taking Award

    Weston High School

    2015 AP Scholar With Distinction

    National Honor Society

    President’s Volunteer Service Award

    National Merit Scholarship Semi-finalist.

  • I love building things that solve problems.

    Here are a few of the most successful of the many things I've built.

  • A service that delivers one historic letter every week via the US Postal Service.

    0 - 10,000 Paying Members In 12 Months

    A product with traction.

    Developed a brand and growth strategy for growing the company to five figures in monthly revenue in three months.

    Social Traction. Rave Reviews.

    Customers love our letters

    Created a product with infectious spread. 10-15% of purchases are driven by direct customer referral.


    Made with love. Crafted with care.

    At Letterjoy, we're driven by a passion for making history more accessible. In our first three months we developed programs to make our service accessible to customers of every socioeconomic background.


    Now we're working on institutional and educational partnerships to bring Letterjoy into schools and support the great institutions that preserve and study history.

  • Monthly Sherlockian mysteries told through weekly letters in the mail.

    As Seen in the NY Times

    Reviewed in June of 2020

    "For those who remember the glory days of personal correspondence by snail mail, the tactile sensation of opening and poring over a long letter may put your mind right into the unfolding story."

    A Compelling Interactive Experience

    Customers love our letters

    Dear Holmes is an intensely social experience. Many of our "detectives" (readers) solve their mystery together with friends or family.


    Each Dear Holmes mystery generates dozens of return letters from detectives eager to solve the mystery. The best of these for each mystery is awarded a prize.

    Supporting Authors & Creators Around the Globe

    Made with love. Crafted with care.

    We partner with authors and creators around the globe to develop unique and compelling mail-based mysteries.

  • Over 8,000 signups in one month.

    A product with traction.

    I focused on producing a great daily newsletter, and the internet responded accordingly. Over 1,000 people signed up in the first 24 hours, and over 8,000 people signed up in our first month in existence.

    Rave Reviews

    Readers love us.

    “I got the first story today, and wow. It was riveting, thought-provoking, and a bit saddening. It's a great idea for a newsletter (I write a few myself) and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's story. ”

    - Nick Frost, Editor of Mattermark Daily


    "I've got my team onto your service and they LOVE it!...For the first time in over 20 years, I am able to justify taking a little time out to enjoy fiction"

    - Cat Milton, Blogger

    Partnerships with brands, publishers, and authors

    Making partnerships to jumpstart growth.

    Turning a free product into a business is one of the great challenges of media. I've addressed it by partnering with great brands such as Strikingly.com, offering access to my audience, in return for capital to grow.


    I've also partnered with authors and publishers to make exclusive, or difficult-to-license stories free for the first time ever.

  • Featured by Lifehacker, Robert Scoble, and more.

    Commuters loved Commute Kit from week 1, and so did the press.


    Legendary blogger Robert Scoble said it was a "Great list of stuff for your commute". Kristin Wong of Lifehacker called it "useful... if you’re looking for something to get hooked on during your commute."

    Over 15,000 Visitors in one week.

    Commute Kit launched on Product Hunt, and received over 279 upvotes, hundreds of shares, and drove thousands of pageviews to curated products.

    Rave reviews

    "Really impressed by CommuteKit, which aims to make your travel time more productive"

    - Sarah Kauffman, Expert in transportation innovation

  • My writing

    Huffington Post


    As a contributor to Huffington Post, I've published two stories so far. Both have been shared more than 4,000 times each.

    The App Store Chronicle

    Founder. November 2011 - May 2015

    In the fall of 2011 I created a technology blog, and I wrote daily on groundbreaking technology for over a year straight.


    I wrote over 800 articles in the time I ran The App Store Chronicle, including exclusive interviews with luminaries such as Walt Mossberg, Brad Stone, and Jaan Tallinn.


    I handled monetization, design, and growth singlehandedly, and I brought in over 1 million ad impressions and built a social following over 10,000.


    Founder. May-July 2015

    I built Geeky as an experiment in media and quick growth. I started with open-source foundations, and designed the site with specific conversion goals in mind. Using analytics, user-testing, and heatmapping tools I refined the design, and brought in 70,000 visits by the second month.


    Once I'd answered the questions I'd set out to answer, I moved on to other projects. 

    The Street


    I wrote three opinion pieces on tech investing for TheStreet.com, the finance blog founded by Jim Cramer, and syndicated by CNBC. Topics included: Apple, driverless cars, and Sony.

    Seeking Alpha


    I wrote two articles on investing for Seeking Alpha, one of the top online financial publications in the U.S. One discussed Blackberry's (at the time) new operating system, and the trouble they had attracting developers. The other discussed Microsoft's challenges in adapting to the mobile era.

    Being Libertarian


    I joined BeingLibertarian in early 2016 to help them in covering the 2016 Presidential Election, and related political news.

  • Other Press

    Mentions or quotes in the media.

    This lovely profile on the origins and development of Letterjoy appeared on Forbes.com in April 2019.

    CommuteKit was featured in Lifehacker, one of the most followed lifestyle publications in the world.

    I was featured on WaPo for an article I wrote about free speech.

    This article was syndicated by the Associated Press to newspapers around the world. I was featured as an expert in 3D printing technology (a subject I wrote a short ebook on).


    An article I wrote on 3D printing was cited by Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight

    CommuteKit was also featured in Social Media Week.

    An article I wrote on online privacy was cited in a Univision digital trend report.

    A brief article on an entrepreneurship award I won (Westport Now).


    My writing has also been quoted in Marginal Revolution, Fox News, The Daily Signal, Vice, Breitbart, and Heat Street. I spoke two words on TBS's 'Samantha Bee', and an entire episode of the wonderful podcast Sidehustle School focused on Letterjoy.

  • Work Experience

    National Republican Senate Committee – DC – Digital Intern

    Summer 2018

    Worked with the digital team during the heart of the midterms on key senate races. Programmed tools to make workflow more efficient, and to analyze ad data. Wrote tweets, blog posts, and Facebook posts.

    Rep. Buddy Carter (GA 01) - DC – Intern

    Summer 2017

    Conducted policy research on a myriad of issues, wrote speeches for the Congressman, and assisted in constituent communications by phone, email, and postal mail.

    Office of the Lt. Governor of Illinois – Chicago IL – Communications Intern

    Summer 2016

    Wrote over a dozen speeches for Lt. Governor Sanguinetti and Governor Rauner. Also wrote press releases, reports, and research memos for senior staff. Studied the challenges of rural life, and the intricacies of the Illinois criminal justice system.

  • Connect with me.