Mike Simonsen: Data geek. Provocateur. Rabblerouser.

Geeking out for Data, Architecture, and Family

Mike Simonsen is a data head. No question about it. This is a guy who gets excited by numbers, finds a thrill in a good algorithm, and who sees the elegance in accurate analysis. Yes, the CEO of Altos Research is a geek of the highest order, indeed, but he’s much, much more than that.

Way back “when”.

Once upon a time, there was dotcom boom. Subsequently, there was a dotcom BUST. So, in 2002, Mike took a look at his Silicon Valley mortgage and said, “WHOA.” Not one to get swallowed up by such a thing, he built some pretty impressive data strings and technology to track his home’s value and, not long after, founded Altos Research. Since then, the company has become THE vendor (not the only one, but THE one, dig?) of real-time housing and rental market analytics. Altos’ clients include the some of the world’s largest investment firms, banks, and GSEs, not to mention thousands of real estate agents across the U.S. To say the man’s got smarts is a pretty fair understatement, but “smart” doesn’t really cover all he’s got going.

Not-so-closet architecture junkie & photography devotee. 

Maybe it’s because of his background in analytics, data, and that he has a general love of order, but Mike’s quite the photographer. He has a real gift for portraiture, but his real passions lie in architecture and its place in our world. He seems inspired by the thought that goes into all sorts of buildings, particularly those that show off curious angles that cut into a bright blue sky. He finds beauty in things that most don’t even notice at all. If you want to check out some of his work, you can find him on Instagram at @mikesimonsen (you won’t be disappointed, I promise you).

Dad. Skier. All-around good guy.  

More than data, more than photography, there are two things that fuel Mike Simonsen’s fire. One is his daughter (an up-and-coming  Marie Curie type) and the other is skiing. When he’s not poring over pages of statistics or other data or snapping photographs, he’s likely to be found in the great outdoors with her or schussing down the slopes in and around Lake Tahoe (or both!) This is not your everyday dork, folks.


Mike has been known to speak at Inman Connect. He’s talked to real estate agents about big data (because it seems that lots of people really don’t know), and how to make it work for you and your business. He’s talked about what data’s practical implications are what different challenges–whether it’s been mined, farmed, or surveyed–it might pose. It’s always an informative panel, to be sure, and probably pretty funny, too (Hey! Geeks are funny, too.) You won’t want to miss it.

Get to know Mike Simonsen. Not only will you learn a lot, but you’ll probably find one heck of a nice guy, too. When you’re at Connect, stop over and say HI! He won’t bite. Probably.

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