Skip to main content

Blog Post

Why I Sold Duo Consulting to Mediacurrent

by Michael Silverman
April 8, 2020

This week, Mediacurrent announced the acquisition of Duo Consulting, a Drupal digital experience and development agency based in Chicago.

Mediacurrent and Duo have been colleagues going all the way back to 2007. We’re thrilled to welcome their talented team to ours. Below, Duo CEO Michael Silverman shares his thoughts on the acquisition and bringing our teams together.

It wasn’t a joke when on April 1, 2020, the 21st anniversary of Duo Consulting’s founding, we were acquired by Mediacurrent. I’ve known Dave Terry and Paul Chason for over a decade, watching them grow their company slowly and carefully. When I was ready I knew there would be no better place for our clients and team to land then at Mediacurrent.

It’s hard to believe it has been 21 years since Duo was founded, after the sale of Pin Dot Products, a manufacturer of specialized wheelchairs and seating systems. When I started Duo in 1999, everyone wanted a presence on the web, and we grew quickly before the market crash of 2001.

When Duo started, we used Cold Fusion and ASP, and Flash - until Google didn’t recognize any of our best sites. We focused on clients that valued their content, like the Christian Science Monitor and the Chicago Public Library. Duo became “CMS experts,” using a variety of platforms based on requirements. Serena Collage, Ektron, Sitecore, and eZ Publish were names we knew well. We founded the Web Content Conference in 2007 to bring content creators like Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose together.

One platform we especially liked was Drupal because we could do almost anything and retain flexibility after launch. After the White House switched to Drupal in 2009, suddenly everyone wanted a Drupal site! In March of 2011, we had a big hit with DrupalCon Chicago (our hometown). Over the years we developed a group of strong, loyal clients who kept working with us as Duo matured.

My father used to say you either move forward or fall behind. When I felt that we had stopped moving forward I began to explore options for our clients and team. For the team, it’s the culture at Mediacurrent that I knew was a fit. Both Duo and Mediacurrent are focused on open source technology for the last decade. Both agencies value transparency and believe in open-book management. But it was their focus on employee development that sealed the deal. 

For our clients, they get to continue working with our tenured team. Many times Duo’s size, Mediacurrent has already built practices in marketing automation and digital strategy (content strategy, SEO and analytics). 

As midwesterners, we say what we do, and do what we say. That’s probably one of the reasons Duo lasted so long in this tough industry. When Paul and Dave signed our agreement and welcomed us to the team, I knew we made the right decision. I’m proud to transition our clients and team to a company that shares our commitment to people, customers, and open source software principles. That’s why I sold to Medicurrent.

Meet team member, Michael Silverman

Michael Silverman, founder and CEO of Duo Consulting, has nearly 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, and innovator. Michael founded Duo Consulting in 1999, helping entrepreneurs from Northwestern Kellogg turn business plans into customers. But when the market turned, Duo pivoted to focus on digital marketing and collaboration platforms using the Drupal open source CMS. Along the way Michael wrote the book Capturing Community: How To Build, Manage, and Market Your Online Community published by CMI Press in 2012. Michael holds a Bachelor’s in Physiology from SIU and a Masters in Management from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business. He lives in Evanston, Illinois with his wife Arlene, sons Noah and Benjamin, and their designer dog Alex.

Learn more about Michael >

Related Insights