Source: Jeff Hudson, Vhayu
Jeff Hudson, CEO of Vhayu Technologies, takes the two-minute test.
Date and place of birth: 1952, California
Residence: San Francisco but I am seldom there so more probably NY
Marital status: Married with two children
Education: BS University of California
Career path: High tech, enterprise scale systems
Current posts: CEO, Vhayu Technologies
Q: What was your first job?
A: I drove big rig trucks right after college while I decided on my first “real” job which was with IBM.
Q: Who is or was your mentor?
A: I have been fortunate to have many in my business and non business life. Most life changing was an ex Irish Catholic Priest who spent 20 years in Africa and then started his own business after leaving the Priesthood.
Q: Which business leaders do you most admire?
A: Warren Buffet because he focuses on value.
Steve Jobs only because he has an otherworldly insight into what his customers want.
Henry Paulson for stepping up to try to make a difference in the public service (tough job).
Q: If you weren't in your current job, which company would you most like to lead?
A: It hasn’t been started yet and so I would start it.
Q: Do you read books on management theory? If so, which has influenced you the most?
A: The Diamond Cutter – It is not your basic run of the mill management book. It was controversial when I read it and it caused me to think deeply about my management philosophies, more so than most I have read.
Q: Which competitors do you benchmark your company's performance against?
A: We don’t. We ask our customers to benchmark us against our competitors. We talk with our customers all the time to figure out what they want that will cause them to choose us over someone else. Who better to ask for a benchmark than the customers.
Q: What has been your best experience in business?
A: Customer conferences where thousands of individuals gather and have found some service or product that we delivered to be of value and in some way made their life better.
Q: What was your biggest mistake in business?
A: Being too proud early in my career to admit mistakes for fear of being judged. I learned quickly that not admitting mistakes creates an environment where others don’t either and a false sense of “everything is OK develops”. I am very fast now to own up to my mistakes which I still make with regularity.
Q: What keeps you awake at night?
A: Fear of missing some important input from the world because I am not listening hard enough or because I am filtering input.
Q: How do you relax?
A: Telemark skiing, photography, tennis.
Q: What was the last gadget you bought?
A: TSA approved travel locks (lol)! 85mm f1.2 lens for my camera.
Q: Favourite Web site
A: Our internal Web 2.0 site (fascinating to watch information flows change) and Yahoo.
Q: Desert island disc/book
A: No electricity so an unlimited supply of Black n Red notebooks and pencils so I could write about my experiences.