Duke University freshman Hugh Love is a problem solver and has a knack for explaining how things work. Growing up in Wilmington, the inquisitive student especially enjoyed helping his mom with her smart phone and computers, turning her from an “it’s too complicated” user into a wise, tech-savvy consumer.
Sensing an opportunity, Love decided to launch a business aimed directly at helping retirees and “people of a certain age” better manage – even embrace – the many advantages of their smart phones and other devices. Love launched TechWisdom LLC the summer before his senior year at Tower Hill School and even found large groups to market his services to.
TSD caught up with Love to learn what it takes to launch and grow a business as a high schooler and how he manages the enterprise with the many demands of a college curriculum.
Town Square Delaware: What propelled you as a high schooler to launch a business? How will you continue to operate your business while you are at Duke?
Hugh Love: While sitting at the dinner table one night in 2015, I had an epiphany while helping my mom learn how to use the Messages app on her iPhone. I realized that many people may also be struggling to keep up with technology’s rapid evolution, especially in places where there are not technologically fluent teenagers to teach the basics.
I always wanted to create my own change on the world and, as a high schooler with little resources available, I found launching a business to be a great option to achieve positive change.
TechWisdom’s Chief of Marketing officer, Andrew Cercena, continues our personal sessions in Delaware, while I focus on the administrative tasks that can be done from North Carolina. My current project is working with retirement homes to set up small weekly group sessions with TechWisdom. We already offer these sessions at Country House and Cokesbury Village and plan to expand to other local homes throughout this year.
TSD: Why is technology such a mystery to so many consumers? And why do modern smartphones seem confusing?
Love: Technology is integrated into the everyday lives of younger generations because it is essential to succeeding in school and is a keystone to our communication. Technological innovation is increasing at an unprecedented rate, with large companies constantly competing against one another to be ahead of the times. Companies like Apple and Samsung achieved incredible strides in the early years of smartphones and are now innovating to cater to the most technologically fluent; thus, many consumers are left behind.
TSD: If you could help all smartphone users adopt one habit, what would that be?
Love: Do not leave your phone plugged in if it’s above 75%, especially if it’s fully charged.
Many of us plug in our phone when we go to bed and are happy to wake up to a fully charged device. While this habit appears to be harmless, leaving your phone plugged in for extensive periods of time slowly degrades the battery. If your phone is above 75%, charge it until it’s at an acceptable level and then unplug it. The chemical makeup of the battery favors charging in short bursts.
TSD: The Equifax breach has us all scared about our personal data and credit information ending up in the wrong hands. What advice do you have for consumers equally concerned about security, privacy and simplicity?
Love: I was astonished to find out just how much information Apple and other third-party developers collect via location services and other data-gathering. In the iPhone’s “Location Services” section under “Privacy,” you can find displays all of your recent locations and other private data that Apple collects. It is totally normal to be concerned about the security of your private information, and one way you can secure your information is by blocking your Location Services.
In the “Location Services” section in the “Privacy” tab, I would recommend turning off the following functions: location-based ads, location-based suggestions, and frequent locations. Apple and other app developers use your location to send product advertisements based on where you have been. This is disconcerting for all of us, but you shouldn’t worry if you turn off those functions.
If you want to secure personal files on your computer, I would recommend downloading a trusted antivirus software, like Norton or McAfee. Simply go to the antivirus company’s website and explore the products and services. There are many options, but it is unlikely that your personal needs would require anything more advanced than the basic plan. Download it and follow the on-screen directions — TechWisdom can help you get set up if you need assistance!
You should be on your way to securing your information after following the steps above. One of our main values at TechWisdom is to help you secure your personal information. Go to our website at techwisdomllc.com to learn more about how we can help you secure your personal information!
TSD: What sets your business apart from a trip to the Apple Store or a visit by the Geek Squad?
Love: I founded TechWisdom because of a gap in the technology tutoring market – there was no company that offered an affordable service in a comfortable learning environment. Other providers have offered in-store learning sessions up until September 2015, but they discontinued this service because customers complained about the store’s noisy and chaotic environment.
On the other hand, while some other providers will come to your house, they can charge upwards of $149/hour. The most common service model by others is to fix your current problem and leave, without teaching you how to handle the problem if it arises again. We are proud to say that we come at your convenience, in the comfort of your home, and collaboratively teach you how to learn to use your phone at an affordable price of $40/hour.