Managing director, Utopia Computers
Tell us something most people won't know about you
In 2001 I filmed and produced a movie with a mate that got accepted to the New York Film Festival and I even had the pleasure of watching it in a real cinema in New York.
What has been your highlight of 2018 so far?
The amazing summer that we just had. I was lucky enough to enjoy a holiday in Lyme Regis with family, swimming in the sea every day, enjoying food and drink in the garden every night. It's the simple things!
Who would play you in the film of your life?
I'm all about the underdog, so it would have to be an unknown actor looking for a break!
Which tech firm (other than your own!) do you most admire?
Technically a bank, but Monzo is by far my most admired company. It leads the way on company culture, has changed the way we expect a bank to talk to its customers (awesome tone of voice) and is simply one of the coolest brands on the planet. I love them!
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Playing Fortnite once my kids have gone to bed.
What is the most irritating tech buzzphrase of 2018?
Oh that's a toughy. It's a close call between ‘GDPR' and ‘cloud'. I think cloud has to win it as many companies are using it to add a sprinkling of magic dust to existing products, without any real innovation. As for GDPR, let's not get started!
What would be your first act if you were made Prime Minister?
Oh, I would be busy! A U-turn on Brexit, followed by a revamp of the UK and EU tax systems ensuring that digital businesses like Apple and Amazon pay their fair share of tax. To top my day off I would introduce steps to reduce in-work poverty and food deprivation to those who need support the most. If I could get that done before getting kicked out I'd be a happy man!
What's the biggest untapped opportunity facing the channel?
Being niche. The best companies out there know what they are best at and focus on that. Too many IT firms are still trying to be all things to all customers and it will be their downfall.
What is your most treasured possession? My most prized item would have to be my Tag Heuer Monaco watch. My wife, Kaz, bought it for me. I'm a huge Steve McQueen fan, as well as always having a love of watches, so this piece brings a smile to my face every time I wear it.
What do your family think you do all day?
Quote from Liam, aged 7: "People come with computers and problems. You fix them and make them happy."
Who has been your mentor in business?
I am lucky enough to have a couple of awesome mentors in my life, but the standout man has to be Phylip Morgan of Network Group. He has helped me see not only my true potential, but the potential of those around me, all the while keeping me focused on putting my family first. Phly is in my mind a true gent and entrepreneur of the highest standard.
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