What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was a radio officer in the merchant navy, where I whiled away 10 years of my life swanning around the world. In a more-or-less natural progression, when I left the sea I moved into IT or electronics. I suppose in those years IT wasn't a discipline like it is now; those were the days of PDP11s, morse code and teleprinters. I sort of evolved into a CB radio specialist and then became an electronics road warrior (salesman), until starting Stinkyink.com nine years ago.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Planes. I would love the adrenalin rush of flying a helicopter or a fast jet fighter just 500 feet above the ground.
What sport should be in the Olympics?
I would love to see a pie-eating contest in the Olympics, something that anyone could enter. My mate Dave could win without breaking a sweat.
What could prompt you to give it all up and join the revolution?
Bloody computers could prompt me to give it all up. I hanker after the historical 'slow lane' sometimes, as I'm sure life was simpler with a quill, a roll of parchment and an abacus!
"In my dreams ..."
... I can hit a golf ball as far as Tiger Woods. In reality I'm just grateful to hit it at all.
What was your best business trip ever?
Playing golf in Turkey on an - ahem -- ‘management training course'.
What was the best holiday you ever went on?
After 10 years at sea, it takes something special, but a trip to tropical Borneo to see orangutans in their natural habitat, and then to the fleshpots of Singapore just about hit the nail on the head.
If you had a week to live, what would you do?
I would probably spend most of it on a golf course by the sea and going to watch Wolves win.
... thought I would one day have a £4 million business with 14 people hanging on my every whim and word! (Or is that in my dreams as well?)
Do you or have you read Channelweb.co.uk on your mobile?
No, screen resolution isn't good enough to do justice to the website!
Print or online news?
Online news every time. I don't have the patience to even buy a paper these days, and the ability to skim through umpteen sites and read different angles on the same story is great - until Rupert Murdoch charges us all for the privilege.
Do you use social media?
Social media is great, and I use it mainly for business. Twitter is my medium of choice and if I have to spend a day without it I'll scan back to where I was the day before to see what I have missed. I use it to keep up to date with breaking news in my particular sphere. If I don't see at least three or four interesting new articles every day I am disappointed. I follow a diverse range of Tweets, feeding my need for speed with everything from football (my beloved Wolves) through to website optimisation.
Will the economic recovery continue?
I think this economic recovery is very flaky. The recession 18 months ago wasn't a really painful experience for anyone as interest rates were very low, unemployment wasn't increasing, and the government kept printing money to keep us all happy. Unfortunately the bills have just arrived, and we have to pay them. I think we are in for a really tough 18 months to two years.
Your closest near-death experience?
Driving down the M6 when my children were young, not having had much sleep. Dozing off and the rumble strip waking me up. Thank the lord for extra-strong mints!
John Sollars is managing director - AKA Big Boss -- of Stinkyink.com
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