John Hsu has owned 4 small business since 1988, 2 of which were actually successful (and 2 of which we do not speak of):
Prophet Media Group Inc (1988-1998) – A 20-person corporation consisting of 3 recording studios, compact disc replication services, and graphic and web design services. The recording studio division was sold to recording artist Carly Simon (“You’re So Vain”) and the other assets were used to fend off the music industry-killing beast known as “The Internets”.
SurfMerchants LLC (1998-2020) – a 35 person technology company developing web and mobile applications in the market research industry including “SASSIE” (the leading mystery shopping web application for 2 decades) and “Presto” (a mobile application platform for on-the-go service evaluations and corporate compliance checks).
SurfMerchants was sold in 2020, freeing John to pursue his long term interests in whiskey, rum and craft cocktails. He teaches several classes on those topics and honed his bartending skills on his employees for three years of Friday pop-up bars (if you can’t exploit your staff as cocktail guinea pigs, you’ve hired the wrong staff).
His latest endeavors have been in the acquisition and development of private barrels of whiskey, rum and beer. He is currently seeking his wholesalers/importers license in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to escalate these efforts into a professional business (as opposed to an egregiously expensive hobby).
John holds a Bachelors of Science from Boston University’s Six Year Medical Program and a Bachelors of Music from Berklee College of Music, so it’s very accurate to say that he’s “full of BS” and “pushed really hard to pass his BM”. He also attended two years of medical school at Hahnemann Medical School in Philadelphia which gives him the right to offer unsolicited medical advice of highly dubious accuracy to anyone foolish enough to listen.
Favorite Scotch: Rosebank
Favorite Bourbon: William Larue Weller
Favorite Rum: Enmore
Favorite Cocktail: Anything stirred with sherry
Favorite Vodka: Seriously? Are you going to ask for my favorite tap water, too?
When he’s not serving El Floridita-style daiquiris, he’s serving his TRUE MASTERS, a combined 17 pounds of bossiness and neediness: