What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was as a helper to a mobile greengrocer delivering fruit and veg out of the back of a van, but my introduction into IT was as a sales operations analyst at 3Com in 1996. It started as a temporary role to fund my last year at law school, but the lure of the late 90s tech world (and earning money!) ended up leading to where I am today.
What could prompt you to give it all up and join the revolution? Why?
I don’t need to, I’m already part of a revolution! If you were teleported to another planet that could support human life, how would you try to communicate with the locals? I should probably say via Blue Jeans, but I think I’d use the medium of cricket – once they understood the laws they’d soon benefit from the fact that it’s the most technical, strategic, pressurised, individual and sociable team sport on the planet (or their planet). Cricket could teach them a lot about human life.
If you were the newest crayon in the box, which colour would you be, and why?
Blue. It seems to have been a constant theme in my life – cars, school, job, clothes, swimming pools and my favourite view, looking out at a blue sky blending into the blue sea, can’t beat it.
What will be the most important trend to follow in 2015? Why?
Flares… apparently they’re coming back.
Tell us about one of your greatest ever moments in life so far.
Putting aside marriage and the births of my children, it sounds fickle but the England Rugby World Cup win in 2003 takes some beating – the only really significant English sporting success in my lifetime watched in a pub at 7am!
Which four famous people (living or dead) would you like to invite to your next dinner party? Why?
Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann, Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss. I’d love to find out what has really been happening inside the England team for the last decade.
Tea or coffee, and how do you have it?
Filtered coffee, black no sugar, because I don’t really like tea!
If you were the next prime minister, taking power after this year’s general election, what would you do first?
I’d ensure that state schools offered more sporting opportunities for children, starting with primary school. Clearly there are funding issues which the private sector doesn’t suffer from, but generally the difference between the approach at private schools and state schools is huge.
Which is more important: a good leader, or the team as a whole? Why?
I believe they are equally important. Part of being a good leader is ensuring you are not afraid to hire a team of people more talented than you are and then being strong enough to lead them.
What was your most important lucky break in life so far? Did you make the most of it?
I refer you to my first answer. Landing the temp role at 3Com introduced me to an industry and a career that I hadn’t previously been aware of and I’m still making the most of it today.
What would you do or who would you be if you could be reincarnated? Why?
I think I’d like to give being an elephant a go. I’ve had a thing about elephants since I was a kid, ridden them in Sri Lanka and sponsored orphaned ones in Africa – as far as the animal world goes they pretty much rule.
How best can channel companies adapt to survive the cloud revolution?
Don’t just pay lip service to the cloud. Whether you are looking to build clouds, provide cloud services or resell cloud services, go into it wholeheartedly or it will not succeed. There are ways to ensure that your new cloud business can be successful either in place of or alongside your traditional business but you need to believe in it above all else.
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