What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
I took a degree in speech sciences, which didn’t make me very employable, so I got a Masters in computing and electronic engineering. My first job was as a speech writer at BT, where I worked on executive presentations talking about future technologies.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
I prefer trains, because I can get my work done on the journey. Also, trains seem to bring a sense of adventure that I just don’t get with other forms of transport.
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
The number zero is walking along, and runs into the number eight. It says: “Hey! Nice belt!”
What was the best business trip or junket you have ever been on?
I once went on a trip to Bali to do a presentation at a partner conference. I knew the material cold, so I could fully enjoy the experience, and it was my first visit to Bali. In addition, the journey passed through Australia and it was my first time there as well. It was a great junket!
Oranges or bananas?
Bananas, because you can still use a bad banana to make banana bread or smoothies but you can’t really do anything with a bad orange. I also think bananas are a great example of perfect packaging – and, to top it all off, they’re the only smile-shaped fruit out there!
Where would you like to go or what would you like to do on your next holiday?
I would love to go to a “dude ranch” – as they do in the US – to ride horses under the sun, sleep under the stars, and enjoy the great outdoors.
Regrettably, my family is completely uninterested in this idea so I am having to think harder about who to go with.
If someone shrank you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
I would draw a staircase, walk up it and escape. If I can shrink to the size of a pencil, I can absolutely climb up and open the lid.
Will there always be value in printed books and magazines?
The value of printed books and magazines lies in what they say. Design and text can enhance information consumption, and that’s valuable. However, most content can exist in any format, and I strongly believe digital media offers more unexplored opportunities to convey information in different ways. New forms of storytelling will emerge.
Can politicians ever be trusted on IT?
The bigger question is whether politicians can be trusted at all, and I believe the answer to that question is no.
What is one thing you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
I used to have these incredible dreams where I could breathe underwater. Sadly, I no longer have those dreams.
What are you reading?
The autobiographies of professional cyclist David Miller – very timely as he talks about doping in professional cycling – and of the actor Rupert Everett. He went to the same university I did, and it is fun to see him mention all the same places I have been to.
What was the last film you saw and what did you think of it?
Skyfall, and it was terrific. It also made me realise that I have to plan a holiday to Scotland at some point in the future.
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