Jonathan Hudson

39 posts
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Blackberry: Friend or Foe

I have all the symptoms of an addict: * I think about it when its not there * I'm constantly looking at it when its around * I get nervous if it hasn't been in my life for an hour Yes, I'm talking about that wonderful and pernicious device, the Blackberry. I am a full-on,...
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Planning to Write Your Business Plan

My new company's business plan went from beta to final release today. I'm very proud of the final product, and am excited to circle back to to prospective investors. In my opinion, Jeff and Rich have written the definitive "how-to" on business plan authorship. But how do you plan to write a business plan? I...
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How to Gather Competitive Research

Knowing that a market exists for your product or service is an important first step when launching a new venture, and who better to tell you about the market than your future competitors? You can start with their websites, web searches, and the Dunn and Bradstreet reports. But if you really want to learn about...
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Getting Engaged to Entrepreneurship

Well, it happened again. I had the best intentions to go into management consulting following my recent departure from Charisma Arts, but it seems like I'll be starting another business. Just can't escape it! I was discussing this last night with a new friend who is at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. She is a Senior Manager there but...
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Is the customer always right?

This evening we received an email from an irate customer who had no reason to be. He was challenged when accessing one of our digital products, and closed the email off with "How much is YOUR time worth?" The insinuation was insulting, especially given the degree of customer service we had shown him prior to...
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Don’t forget the small stuff

Whoa, remember me? Its been a long time since I blogged. No excuse for the unexplained absence... other than graduation from college (after nine years of in and out!), consulting on a friend's new business, a wonderful new girl in my life, and excessive growth at Charisma Arts. We have a television show coming out...
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How do you convince a friend to start a business?

I have a fozzy of a bear of a quandary on my hands. You see, my sister is a truly talented artist. Every year on my birthday, the one gift I look forward to more than any other is her card to me. It's always some adorable, irreverent drawing with a witty phrase, and currently,...
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What does it take to be the leader of a startup?

Good heavens, its been awhile since I blogged. Midterms were two weeks ago, along with a push to launch some new backend stuff at my businesses, then I took a much-needed spring break. In any case, while on vacation, I was contemplating what it takes to be the leader of a startup. 1. Visionary: the...
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Your evolving business plan

I was going through old files recently, and came across some archived business plans from several past companies. Man, how things change… Business Plans are necessary inasmuch as they put your company's strategy on paper. You're forced to think about how you will accomplish your objectives, and if you're raising capital, the business plan is...
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Is it time for a site redesign?

The venture industry is abuzz about Web 2.0 - a rejiggering of web technologies that promises more interactivity and a better end-user experience. If you have a website that promotes your business, now might be a good time for a redesign. The three top browsers (IE, Firefox and Safari) all render pages about the same...
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Cheap, smart startup labor!

No, I'm not talking about highly trained monkeys; I'm talking about college students. Do you work with college students? If you don't yet, you should consider it. They can be a free (or incredibly cheap) source of labor, and their mental faculties are generally well ahead of their professional skills, so most of them are...
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A quick way to improve your professional image

Ppl r calling it the myspace generration and u may evn be a part of it. If u r, u should read this mssg. If you are not, you may also find something of use herein. Here's the good news: Children and teenagers are more connected than ever, to information and to each other. If...
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Windows or Mac?

The Consumer Electronics Show is currently underway in Las Vegas, and Mr. Gates keynoted with much ballyhoo about Vista, the new version of Windows that is set to replace XP later this year. This got me thinking... You're about to launch a small business - let's say five to ten employees max. Do you go...
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Searching for a Success Principle

Why do we entrepreneurs educate ourselves? Sparing you a diatribe on knowledge theory, I'll cut to the chase: For those who succeed, education is a supplement to, but not a replacement for, drive and self-belief. There are scores of great business books and theorists out there. In addition to the StartupNation book, I've found inspiration...
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How to be a market leader

Question: What do Microsoft, Martha Stewart, and "Double Your Dating" all have in common that make them market leaders? Answer: They own a platform When Microsoft was starting out, their mission statement went something like: "Computing power is moving inexorably to the desktop. To succeed, we must own the desktop." Smart move, that. Microsoft and...
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Who’d have thunk he’d write back?

Who knows what was going through Joey Hawilo's mind when he sent an email to Mark Cuban? Joey is on the board of the Entrepreneur's club here at U of M. They're planning a conference for the spring, and are looking for keynotes. In a move that could be described as either bold or naive,...
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Extra Credit

Like my cell phone and briefcase, credit cards are such an integral part of my life that I forget what life was like before I had one. In speaking with some of my younger friends here in the University of Michigan Entrepreneurs club and elsewhere, I realize that a LOT of 18-20 year olds don't...
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Why Finish College?

When I dropped out of college the first time, everyone asked if I would be going back. "Definitely not," I remember telling a friend of my then-girlfriend. It was the heady dot-com days and college degrees were archaic relics of an outdated superstructure. When I dropped out the second time, everyone asked if I was...
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Midterms

My Intro to Buddhism midterm was a few weeks ago, and this week I have my American Business History midterm. No, I'm not buried in Fluid Mechanics equations, but I'm no less stressed juggling the demands of a growing business and the demands of my professors. When your new business is making money, you'll begin...
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Idealistic Naivete

Every now and then, I speak to an aspiring entrepreneur who is amazed by the daring feats of business-building we all read about here on StartupNation, in magazines such as Inc., and anywhere else a business is being built. They perceive a huge chasm between where they are and where we entrepreneurs sit. This couldn't...