Kate Craig-Wood

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Kate Craig-Wood

Chief executive, Memset

Which tech figurehead do you admire the most?

Herman Hauser, founder of Acorn Computers. When I was growing up Acorn was always the underdog compared with US titans like IBM and Microsoft, but with calm determination, a distinctive style and a compassion for his staff which sets him apart from the likes Jobs and Bezos, Hauser eventually helped create ARM which has gone on to become one of Britain's most successful tech companies. Your phone will use one of their processors.

Hauser was foremost a scientist who went into business and helped make the world a little better while remaining true to himself and his integrity. That is something to which I aspire.

What's the biggest challenge facing the industry no-one is talking about yet?

An increasing diversification of PaaS technologies and lack of standardisation. It makes sense that developers shouldn't be worrying about scaling at the level of servers, storage and so on. PaaS is where the industry can really take the fight to AWS. But for that to happen the ecosystem needs to be more inviting, with less vendor lock-in. Technologies like Docker or CloudFoundry are great but nobody is certain which will win out, and by the time we make up our minds it may be too late.

If you could invite three famous people to dinner, who would they be?

Alan Turing, Richard Feynman and Marie Curie.

How has 2017 been for you?

Challenging but transformative. The biggest change for me has been the appointment of my deputy chief executive, Annalise O'Rouke. There came a point where I had to accept that my strengths lie in strategy and innovation rather than managing a medium-sized organisation, particularly now Memset has grown. While difficult, it has also been rewarding; Memset has been able to take on more projects allowing further growth and my stress levels are a lot lower. 

What's the most extravagant business lunch you've ever had?

I don't tend to do fancy business lunches. I have quite simple tastes!

Which global city best matches your personality?

San Francisco.

What would be your super-hero power?

Magic, specifically abjuration (healing/protective powers). I always seem to end up playing such characters in MMORPGs!

Complete this sentence. The worst thing about our rivals is… always putting profits or growth before what is right.

What makes you nervous?

AWS, the unstoppable behemoth.

If you could eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Tea! Food is fuel. I'd rather do without it.

Sum up the channel in three words

Evolving ever faster.

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