As a full-time student, Ben Hudson, still manages his startup from his room. His project, Zenound, allows users to stream music while also allowing users to discover new music to check out. Users can also submit music, create playlists, and share playlists via Zenound. There are also some new features in the works that Hudson mentioned to us.
In our recent interview with Hudson, here’s what he shared with us:
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
Well, I took the word “Zen” and combined it with “Sound” because it is a music service and thus Zenound.
What’s the very first thing you do at work everyday?
Well my projects are pretty much hobbies for me, as I am a full-time student. So my work first thing in the morning is usually school, then during my free times I work on my programming projects.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
I am the only employee at my company.
Got any advice so far?
Make sure to be completely ready before you release a new service, be happy with it and make sure your site can handle the traffic! Test, debug, and test some more!
How do you handle frustration? When/how was the last time you dealt with frustration?
Well towards the end of the development of Zenound, I was getting pretty frustrated. I wanted to add so many more features, but I knew I needed to hurry and release it soon(I will continue to add these features in the future). I cope with frustration by taking a few days without programming and relaxing.
What’s your office environment like?
My room is my office. I have a large desk with a 22inch monitor that I connect to my Mac Pro, and a desktop(my baby). I usually bump some heavy dub step, house, electronic, rap, or rock/hardcore.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
I would like to see Zenound grow and help grow my company. I would love to be able to hire a few more developers, some designers, but that is all probably a little farther down the line.
Who or what inspires you?
I love to program, and I love music. My drive to develop Zenound came from my want of a better music experience. I was tired of jumping through hoops to listen and discover my music. Having to follow blogs, and media sources, download music, organize it in iTunes, and then share it with friends was a strenuous process. I wanted to simplify it and Zenound is my ongoing attempt to do this. Music is my inspiration, I love it. I also really enjoy programming so that helps too.
How’d you fund this venture?
I put in a small amount of money, enough to get hosting, advertising, and other necessaries into my company.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
I’m still learning myself.
What would you be doing if you had one year off and $500,000 to spend (and you couldn’t spend it on your current startup / projects)?
Well I would love to go to Silicon Valley and shadow some of the best in the industry. That would be awesome. Or even just hanging out with some other developers and learning some new stuff.
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur right now? If not, what’s it gonna take to make you feel successful?
I would love to have a fairly successful service (hopefully Zenound!) but what I really want is to create a service that will change how people do something, for the better, like making listening and discovering music easier for people.
Website you couldn’t live without and why?
Mobile App you’re in love with and why?
I love iSyncr. It lets my sync all my music from iTunes to my Android phone(which I use as a mp3 player because I got a 32GB microSD card) and also sync play counts, and ratings; its a great app to help you replace your iPod with your Android phone.
Number 1 country you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t yet?
I think Japan would be awesome, seems like a lot of awesome tech stuff is happening there.
What’s the greatest thing about your company?
Zenound is great because it will make experiencing music easier and more efficient(not as wasteful of your time). The more I get time to work on Zenound, the more awesome features I can add, making for a better music service. By theway, I plan on adding a system for directly sharing songs with friends, as well as a system for discovering new songs/artists under genres and tags that you subscribe to. There are all kinds of other features I plan on adding in the future as well.
Where can our readers get ahold of you?