What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
I was an aircraft engineer with British Airways. BA then retrained me as an IBM mainframe programmer in PL1 and Cobol. But I don’t think we called it IT back in the 1980s - it was the computer division.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Classic bikes are my thing. Good, solid, primitive engineering and cool styling. My ride is a 1963 BSA 650 Star and my current restoration project a fairly rare BSA Hornet desert racer. Anyone got any parts?
Which sport should be in the Olympics but isn’t?
Learning how to budget properly? Or paintball? That could be incredibly exciting if they found a good way to televise it.
Which fictional TV character is borrowing ideas from your life?
Homer Simpson? Maybe not, actually. I’ve gone right off him; I remember when he was older than I am but he’s not any more. That’s not right.
What could prompt you to give it all up and join the revolution?
Some mornings I have to work hard to talk myself out of it.
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
Light travels faster than sound. That’s why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
In my dreams…
… the bike starts up first kick after the rebuild; I can still run the length of a paintball field without having a defibrillator on standby; and everyone laughs at my jokes.
What would your superpower be?
I would have the ability to command cats. Then I would be able to get them to come in from the garden when I want them. Plus, a cat army, how cool is that?
Do you use social media?
I have a Facebook account, but I favour LinkedIn. I don’t rate Facebook as a B2B tool, but I get good commercial results using Twitter.
Is it wrong to tell little white lies?
Don’t lie! Every time you do, an angel dies. Seriously, people lying just make my job harder. It makes it much more difficult for me to convince you that my message is the one you want. I don’t like liars. If I catch you doing it, I’ll tell the Advertising Standards Authority.
What does the channel most need to learn this year?
Our partners are very successful; that’s what has supported our growth. So what can we tell them?
Can politicians ever be trusted on IT?
There are many things politicians do badly, and IT is right at the top of the list. For example, the private sector sees data as a liability just waiting to escape, yet politicians love to stockpile it, for some pretty poor reasons.
Is IT well taught in schools?
I think kids today teach themselves everything they need to get started. You are more likely to find a kid who can’t do maths than one who can’t use Twitter.
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
Reliability. If you have partners that do what they say they will, you’re on to a winner.
What is the most important thing in business?
If you are sitting there wishing it was 5.30pm or Friday, you’re wishing your life away. Change something. You owe it to yourself.
Barry Mattacott is marketing director of Wick Hill
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