CEO, Krome Technologies
Tell us something most people won't know about you
I'm a big fan of biographies; I like reading about what makes people tick. Most people who know me do know I'm a big motorsport fan but there's been some great motorsport biographies out this year. I'd highly recommend Adrian Newey's.
What has been your highlight of 2018 so far?
Seeing our team grow again and being able to give out a bunch of ‘long service' awards has been a great pleasure and honour for me this year. Krome is nine years old now and keeping a whole bunch of that original team together is a highlight for me.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
I'd like Jon Hamm, but given a number of our team jokingly call me ‘Rain Man' I guess I'd go with Dustin Hoffman.
Which tech firm (other than your own!) do you most admire?
I think the way Microsoft has moved itself to being a ‘cloud services' organisation from a software company is very impressive. I think how Satya Nadella has managed to transform a business of that size in the timeframe he's done it is quite remarkable. Changing the tack of a business is challenging and they've evolved it quickly.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
An early Sunday morning drive out in the countryside with friends for breakfast while the roads are empty, and then back home again in time for everyone else to be getting up. It's a great chance for me to clear my head and concentrate on something that's not work for a little while and get some downtime.
What is the most irritating tech buzzphrase of 2018?
The ‘influencer', people who exist by just being ‘famous'. People who've done something worthwhile to become famous, for example Elon Musk who's currently launching stuff into space, or Gates/Zuckerberg/Dell giving billions to charity now they've achieved so much are great in my book, but I'd sooner boil my head than spend time with a Kardashian or a social media ‘influencer'.
What would be your first act if you were made Prime Minister?
I would change the political system to ensure that politicians could only seek election if they had real-world experience outside of it. Career politicians who have never seen any time in industry or service outside of the political system are bad for the system overall. They can argue their point and score points off each other as it is what they have learned to do, but as they do not have any other career, they will say whatever they need to in order to stay elected.
What's the biggest untapped opportunity facing the channel?
The ability for channel organisations to differentiate on service has become a great opportunity. The move to online services and hardware becoming more and more of a commodity rather than the actual ‘product' gives a huge opportunity for those working in our industry, who deliver a quality professional services offering, to win business for the right reasons.
What is your most treasured possession?
Outside of the obvious clichés of ‘my family' and so on, currently I'd say it's my Caterham 7 as it's what I use for those Sunday mornings out.
What do your family think you do all day?
Turn things off and on again.
Who has been your mentor in business?
There are a few: my dad who taught me to get out there and try and make things happen as they generally don't come looking for you; my first two bosses (they jointly ran the business) who taught me the value of customer service; two brothers who are friends who ran one of my first clients who inspired me to grow a business; and a friend who has now ‘retired' to South Africa, who again showed me a lot about growing a business.
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