We Started with a Problem

Once upon a time, a marketing manager spotted a problem, and he set out to solve it. So began the story of Nichefire.

The initial spark…

It all started with Michael Howard. Back when he was an undergraduate at University of Cincinnati (and it wasn’t that far back). He had an internship as a digital marketing manager and saw how most social media metrics were BS. ‘Vanity metrics’ he called them—as valuable as lipstick on a pig. He also had access to mountains of data and spent hours to make sense of it.

He studied business and information systems at UC, and was fascinated by the promise of machine learning and artificial intelligence to change business. To make sense of data. And he set out to apply these new technologies to the mega-trend of social media and its mountains of data. The result is Nichefire’s CompetiSmart, our first business intelligence product.

Even if you don’t like social media—especially if you don’t like social media—you should take a close look at Nichefire and CompetiSmart. This competitive intelligence tool is guaranteed to add value.

Meet Our Core Team

We say “meet our core team” because we built a broad network of experts who help us—from mathematicians and data scientists to user-experience specialists and monster code crushers, and many more.

Michael Howard          linkedin     twitter

CEO (founder)

A digital native, Michael is the father of Nichefire (yeah, it’s his brainchild). He possesses a very active mind, a kind of renaissance mind, curious about all. And he seems to remember everything. An authority on emerging social media technologies, a quick study of business methods, as well as a collaborator, a leader—and a scholar of 70’s music. He’s the most interesting guy at the party.

Khalil El-Amin          linkedin     twitter     instagram

Chief Revenue Officer (founder)

We call Khalil our Chief Rain Maker. Perhaps because at six-foot, six-inches, he might reach up and pull down a cloud. Or because he loves meeting people, and helping them solve problems. That’s especially true when it comes to using our technology to spot competitive opportunities to win. He likes to win. (That winning included four years on the University of Cincinnati football team, and enough time in the NFL to bollix a knee.) He is the happiest guy at the party.

Steven Brown          linkedin     twitter     instagram

CFO/COO (founder)

Steven keeps the wheels on. While we all dream big, he keeps the team focused on accomplishing the next milestone. A born entrepreneur, Steven started his first business when he was in college (selling t-shirts) and was president of University of Cincinnati’s Entrepreneurial Club. He’s great with numbers and spreadsheets, a whiz with greenbacks, and loves to discuss philosophy in a Michigan cabin. If he’s at the party, he’s engaged in a deep discussion.

John Young          linkedin     twitter     instagram


As our elder statesman, John has ridden in a few startup rodeos. His background is in advertising and marketing, especially digital advertising. After being an advisor to Nichefire, he couldn’t resist joining this brilliant young team. If he’s at the party, he might be explaining how he helped invent internet advertising (yeah, he was there), but he prefers to talk about literature, nature, or why English is the ideal college major.

Want to learn more?

Or call us at 513-443-8194.

Nichefire is trusted and used by

“We also used your competitive intelligence and insights for new business. That was incredibly helpful.“

Micah Donahue

Prinicpal, Mechanica Branding