What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was working as a bucket boy at a local pottery. I had to wash the buckets used by the potter, outside in all weathers, for the princely sum of 22p per hour. IT really found me, as I used to be an apprentice engineer, fixing computers before the PC as we know it came out. Being in the industry as the PC took off was a fantastic bit of serendipity.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Great film! I would have to pick automobiles because I can still achieve my dream of getting a faster one, and I’m not going to be able to own a train or plane any time soon.
What is the best business trip or junket you’ve ever been on?
A friend of mine once won a sales achiever trip to Australia but his wife didn’t want to go, so I got to go to Sydney instead, and saw the Great Barrier Reef and all that. It was an excellent trip – and I hadn’t sold a thing.
If you had to choose just one leisure activity, would you choose an art or a sport?
Sport, specifically football. While I don’t necessarily understand good art, I do understand the offside rule.
Where would you like to go or what would you like to do on your next holiday?
I went to Venice last year and would really like to go back and continue exploring it.
If someone shrank you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
Well, if we were living in a word where someone had the power to shrink me, I assume I would have some sort of magical power too. I’d conjure up a ladder, climb out, and find the dude who shrank me – to exact my evil revenge.
Would you rather draw up the plans, or carry them out?
As I’ve grown a little older, I steer towards the drawing-up side. But it’s important to continue to carry things out too, otherwise you just rust up.
Is it wrong to tell little white lies? If not, under what circumstances?
Honesty is always the best policy.
What will be the most important trend in 2013?
It would be too easy to just say “the cloud” but I have to say “the cloud”.
Is there a long-term future for IT distribution?
Sure, there is. Distribution has huge value for vendors and the partner community and it extends beyond reach and credit.
Can politicians ever be trusted on IT?
Is the question limited to IT?
Your closest near-death experience?
I was once on a plane that came in to land and the pilot noticed another plane on the runway that shouldn’t have been there. Things got a little bit hairy!
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
They fix their customer problems better than their competition, and they do it profitably.
What are the traits of a perfect boss?
I am lucky to have had some great bosses and they had one quality in common: they were great listeners.
“Golf is a good walk wasted.” Discuss.
Not at all – I walk twice as far as anyone else during a game of golf. If only I could hit the ball straight.
Dave Ball is marketing director at GFI Software
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