Jon Pickering

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Co-founder & chief executive, Block

What achievement are you most proud of?

Creating and building Block into a successful company in the right way based on a core set of values that are closely aligned with my own.

What has been the biggest change in the channel since you started working in it?

I think it is one that many are still trying to come to terms with. It is no longer possible to be successful long-term by just understanding just what you sell; you need to be able to articulate the impact it will have on the customer's business and sell value.

What three things could you not live without?

1. My golf clubs - it is my favourite place to relax away from work. 2. Sky Sports. 3. My iPhone.

What has been your most embarrassing moment so far?

Not any big ones that stand out, but I have turned up to the wrong meeting location a few times! My assistant was a much-needed addition!

What do your family think you do all day?

Have meetings, talk to people and play on computers!

Who is your ultimate celeb crush?

Margot Robbie.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I don't really have one, but I do like a ‘few' beers!

What would be your first act if you were made Prime Minister?

Funding into sports, including a total review of sports strategy from primary schools upwards. Sport is such an important part of physical and social development, and it develops the right level of competitive spirit which stands you well in business, but it is sadly lacking at school level - a great example being non-competitive sports days! At the top level, the result is we don't win enough as a country relative to the amount of talent we have.

Has 2015 been a good, bad or ugly year?

Pretty good so far. As an entrepreneur you have to keep learning and adapting fast. In all businesses you get setbacks, but through the experience of running your own company for nearly 10 years, you just deal with those setbacks a lot more intelligently and effectively, and keep pushing on.

If you didn't work in the IT channel, what would you do?

I am not sure as I left engineering to get into IT as it wasn't fast moving enough.

What major issues will the channel face in 2016?

Quite an interesting new one is ‘digitisation' and how we can help our customers collect real-time data analytics and use it in a way that adds real value to their business. Again, it is a new skill set, and is another example where software is coming to the fore.

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