Company Spotlight: Founder & CEO, Orlando J. Hernandez, Jr.
For this month’s blog, we’re interviewing our founder & CEO, Orlando!
Orlando graduated cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where he received his B.S. in Science, Technology, and Society and his M.S. in Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship.
At RPI he was very involved in Residence Life, Student Government, and Greek Life going on to become a Resident Director at the University of Southern Maine after graduation. In addition to his experience in higher education, he has a decade of experience working with startups in various roles. When he’s not working, he enjoys going for walks, cooking, and reading, while he patiently (or not so patiently) waits for the next Marvel movie. He is also an aspiring lawyer and aims to begin his law school journey in Fall 2021.
Q: What made you want to start your own business?
A: Growing up, I always had an entrepreneurial spirit and was always pursuing one venture or another. This was fostered by working closely with my father’s business when I was younger. After graduation, I decided to take the plunge and incorporate EID Visions as an official business.
Q: Why EID Visions?
A: The name, “EID Visions” was actually something that I gave a lot of thought to. I wanted something concise, memorable, and that was a reflection of my core values. EID stands for, “Excellence In Discipline” which is something that is foundational to how I work. Discipline is a key value that helps ensure I’m able to accomplish what I want to. The “Visions” represents my appreciation for and strength in long term thinking.
It also helped that the domain name was available!
Q: What responsibilities do you have as CEO?
A: While my title may be “CEO,” as a small business owner, I often wear “all the hats” at EID Visions, even if it is for a varying amount of time. My core focus is on strategy, direction, and finances. In a nutshell, I think of where we want to go, how we are going to get there, and what resources we need to help us on our journey.
Q: What do you like the most about owning your own small business?
A: As cliché as it sounds, I really enjoy most everything about owning my own small business. There is something freeing about being able to build something and having the autonomy to do what you want. While it means that the work falls solely on me and Priscilla as co-owners, ultimately it’s a trade off that I find to be extremely rewarding and I recommend everyone try it if they feel so inclined.
Q: What do you dislike the most about owning your own small business?
A: The parts I dislike most about owning my own business is the smaller administrative stuff that needs to be done but ultimately, all jobs have something like this to some extent so it’s not necessarily a unique challenge. Whether it’s your business or you are working for someone else, there are a variety of i’s that need to be dotted and t’s that need to be crossed!
Q: What is on your wish list for your next five years at EID Visions?
A: Long term, I would like to increase EID Visions’ R&D output. I believe that the future is interdisciplinary and I envision being able to see how various technologies and disciplines are able to benefit one another. As someone who enjoys learning new things, I love applying seemingly disparate concepts to one another in unique and useful ways.
Q: What’s the one thing all small businesses should be doing in 2021?
A: Keep on keeping on. 2020 has been quite a challenging year for people and businesses alike and unfortunately 2021 doesn’t necessarily show any indication of being vastly different in this regard. However by maintaining one’s composure and being resilient, we can ensure that we are able to thrive in 2021 and beyond.
Q: What piece of advice do you have for others starting small businesses?
As the old adage goes, the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago; the second best time is now. The secret is you will often never truly feel “ready.” By starting, you’ve already overcome one of the biggest hurdles.
To quote Yeats, “Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.”
Q: What have you learned from working with other small businesses?
A: There’s a lot to learn by working with small businesses but one thing that I am in constant awe of is how everyone has something valuable yet different to bring to the table. There is often more than one solution to a problem and collaboration is key. It can be easy to let our passions blind us but keeping a collaborative approach in mind is essential!
Q: How do you define success?
A: For me, success is a moving target. I’m not someone to rest on my laurels. I don’t think success is something that is ever truly achieved but rather is something that is constantly being worked on.
While this can admittedly be a bit frustrating at times, it’s important
If I ever feel like “I’ve made it,” that is a good indication that I need to work on getting to the “next level.”
It’s one of the many things I like about a dynamic working environment that owning a small business affords me. The finish line is always moving and so am I.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about living in Maine?
A: Everyone in Maine is super friendly and hard working. There’s a wonderful energy to the state and I’m grateful that I’ve been able to experience it.
Q: Favorite company/person to follow on Twitter?
A: I don’t necessarily have one favorite person I follow on Twitter but some accounts I enjoy following are from the various subject areas I find interesting. I follow legal experts like Asha Rangappa and Lawrence Lessig, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Harvard Business Review.
Q: What’s the most recent app you’ve downloaded?
A: The most recent app I’ve downloaded is Wallabag. I use it to keep track of articles I’d like to read later so I can efficiently read things of interest I find on the web and organize things I’ve learned.
Q: What’s your favorite line from a film?
A: “Don’t Think You Are, Know You Are.” – Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus in The Matrix (1999)
In this scene where Morpheus and Neo are sparring for the first time, the quotes is meaningful to me because it is yet another example of Morpheus trying to get Neo to believe in himself and that he is The One.
Q: If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
A: I think it would be cool to be a video game developer for a day. As someone who has done game development as a hobby, I would be interested to see what it looks like as a full time role.
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