Wearing Two Hats, Resnick Pushes Tech Issues on Madison Council

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Democrat Tom Barrett’s unsuccessful 2002 campaign for Wisconsin governor. While studying at UW-Madison, Resnick worked on several political campaigns as a member of the College Democrats, he says.

Resnick intended to get a law degree but abandoned that plan partly because of the tough job market for attorneys. He graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and legal studies.

“I remember telling my parents, ‘No, I’m not going to law school,’ after all the preparation, the classes. ‘I’m going into business for myself,’” Resnick says. “At that time, that was a very risky decision, but it paid off.”

Resnick was one of the first employees at Hardin Design & Development, co-founded by his college friend Jon Hardin, the company’s president and CEO. During school the two had previously worked together on a startup called Inzum. It was a failed Hulu-like venture run by eight sophomore students in the dorms, Resnick says. Inzum was able to put episodes of “Popeye the Sailor,” “I Love Lucy,” and Japanese anime series “Naruto” on its platform because they were in the public domain, but the students lacked the financial resources and business connections to try and negotiate with Viacom and other major media companies to license content, Resnick says.

“That company didn’t make any money,” Resnick says. “We made like $50, split eight ways over the course of nine months. It just wasn’t good.”

Hardin Design & DevelopmentBut it planted the seed for Hardin and Resnick to work together again at Hardin Design & Development, a much more successful enterprise that builds software and Web and mobile applications for clients including Mercedes-Benz, HarperCollins Publishers, the Golf Channel, and CNN. Resnick oversees business development, marketing, and human resources, among other duties.

Resnick never lost the political itch, though, and when his district’s common council seat opened up three and a half years ago, he seized the opportunity. He was re-elected to the seat last year.

“There’s something about serving others and serving the community [through politics] that you cannot do in business,” Resnick says. “There are certain issues that I just want to tackle and look for innovative solutions.”

One such issue that is dear to his heart is conquering Madison’s “digital divide” by finding ways to bring Internet access to homes in poorer neighborhoods. To that end, Resnick spearheaded passage of a city budget amendment that will spend $150,000 to try to solve that problem in a pilot neighborhood, he says.

“I could never do that while sitting at Hardin Design & Development,” Resnick says.

Long term, Resnick says he isn’t sure where his path will lead. Right now he’s just excited to wear those multiple hats: helping to run a company that builds better technology and trying to make Madison an innovative, tech-friendly city, all while striving to be a good husband. (He got married last August.)

“I know [my future endeavors will] be something that I’m passionate about, and it’ll be serving the general public,” Resnick says. “That’s right now what gets me going in the morning and drives whatever I’m doing.”

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Jeff Bauter Engel is Deputy Editor, Tech at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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3 responses to “Wearing Two Hats, Resnick Pushes Tech Issues on Madison Council”

  1. Justin Effing La Plante says:

    Did the author of the article actual RESEARCH anything about Resnick? He is hardly “progressive” for the last two months he has been violation city council rules by having secret meetings on ordinance issues and he is actively trying to get two cab app companies with no insurance and an on going confidence scam to officer services to the public AFTER both of these companies have killed and injured several people without paying a DIME in compensation.
    Not to mention the largest of these two companies Uber, has financial backing from the very same company that monitors and reports on the internet communications of Chinese citizens. The Republicans have hailed Resnicks plans to deregulate cab services to the point of barbarism. Not to mention his business partner Jon Hardin likes to get wasted and torment local cab drivers with stories about his pandering and manipulation of the city council and Madison chamber of commerce. Resnick and Hardin are trying to ride the coat tails of Uber and Lyft because this home rental site and their other mild mannered tech start ups are proving to be very uninspired and poorly lucrative. Uber and Lyft are also very poorly constructed apps that already have a wave of free and better regulated alternatives flooding out of europe to offer customers just as accessible ride share apps but without mandating credit card entry or providing drivers WITHOUT insurance.

  2. Justin Effing La Plante says:

    I did a double take on this article.. Resnick is a Democrat?! Just the fact of him manipulating Madison’s city council for a company like Uber is going to lose him every Liberal vote in Madison if he ever ran for Mayor.

    I don’t think Madison has had a more insane closet republican council member since Brenda Konkel.

  3. Justin Effing La Plante says:

    The title of the article should be “Wearing two faces, Resnick pushes insurance nightmare on Madison tax payers”.