Hi. I’m Max Nussenbaum,
and I design things.

I used to be a Y Combinator-backed founder and CEO. When my startup went under, I decided to use the design and branding skills I’d developed to help other companies I believe in.

Learn more about me, see some of my work, or just go for it and hire me.

Who I Am

photo of me

I’ve been a graphic designer and front-end web developer since I was 11, when I read a book about HTML during class instead of paying attention to my fifth-grade teacher.

Most recently, I was cofounder and CEO of Castle, a property management startup. In our three years of operation, we grew to a $1mm annual run rate and a team of 18, and raised $4mm from great investors like Y Combinator, Khosla Ventures, and SV Angel. But we were ultimately unable to build a sustainable business, and wound the company down at the beginning of 2018.

A few other minor claims to fame (that have nothing to do with my design skills):

  • My restoration of a formerly-abandoned mansion in Detroit was featured in Fast Company and Recode.
  • I was one of the subjects of the 2017 documentary Generation Startup, which followed the early days of Castle and a few other Detroit companies.
  • I appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? when I was 19, becoming one of the youngest contestants ever to appear on the show.

My Work

A few good examples of my past work are the site and brand for Castle, my former startup, and my personal website, for an example of the kind of thing I do when I’m just working for myself.

The rest of my portfolio is largely private. to see more past work.


Work Ethos

My goal is to work collaboratively with you to create design and content that fully express your vision for your brand and product. I work best with clients who have a big-picture vision for where they want us to go, but are open to exploring the many avenues we might take to get there.

I believe that in addition to my technical skill, you are hiring me for my experience and judgment. If I think an idea you’re asking me to implement will lead to a terrible product, I’ll be upfront about it—with the caveat that I am very often wrong.

I also believe that work should be fun (at least most of the time). If either of us finds that we’re not enjoying working together, we should pause and figure out what we can do to make the process work better for both of us.

Hire Me

I’m selective about who I work with, and generally only take on one or two clients at a time. To set up a quick consultation call, email me at .