What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
In 1979, I worked in a car radio shop in Basingstoke, and I sold a rather posh man with a Jaguar a car hi-fi system. He asked me for a discount, to which I replied: "You just had it; my knowledge is your discount." He then gave me his business card; his name was Ian Donaldson, sales director at Micro Peripherals Ltd, and a few years later, I called him.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
A car, where I am always in control.
What could prompt you to give it all up and join the revolution?
Working at Smithie UK feels like I already have.
If you were competing in The X-Factor, what song would you choose?
It wouldn't matter, I would be the contestant everyone had a good laugh at. If you had heard my singing voice, you'd know why.
Should Prince William shave his head?
No, it would not suit him.
What was the best business trip or junket you have ever experienced?
I love telling the story about my first trip to Japan in 1988 where everyone had stomach problems. There were 40 people on a coach
with no toilet.
If you had to choose just one leisure activity, would you choose an art or a sport?
I would always choose sport. A day without sport would be a bad one as far as I am concerned, and when it comes to my beloved Arsenal, nothing gives me more pleasure than watching them win.
What never fails to make you laugh?
Jimmy Carr's laugh - it is hilarious and infectious.
What would you like to do next weekend?
The perfect weekend for me would involve lots of watching sports, and lying in the sun with access to a swimming pool. And, oh yes: plenty of good food and red wine.
Is too much truth-telling bad for human relationships?
No, as long as the truth is not being told for malicious reasons.
What will be the most important trend to follow in 2014?
The growth of employment, because that is what will control the interest rates.
What is one thing you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
Going out riding my bike all weekend - one that my dad made from spare parts - because time and my fitness do not permit it.
What would you like to have as your epitaph?
"He made a difference." We give to as many causes as possible.
What are you reading?
The last thing I read was The Economist, which I could not put down, apart from discussing the contents of every page of it with my wife. I found it fascinating because I love business and figures.
Which four famous people (living or dead) would you like to invite to your next dinner party?
Graham Norton and Groucho Marx, as I would love the banter, gossip, innuendo, laughter and general showing off! Also, Nigella Lawson - so I could show off my culinary skills - and Thierry Henri for the va-va voom.
Golf is a good walk wasted. Discuss!
If you play golf as well as I do, the walking is definitely the best thing.
Shane Hilden is managing director of Smithie UK
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