Chief executive & founder, Managed 24/7
What was your dream career as a child?
As a child I would have said the third drummer in Adam & The Ants.
What has been your personal highlight of 2019?
15 September 2019 marked the Managed24/7 10-year birthday. I am incredibly proud of that achievement and we had the biggest party to date.
Which famous person deserves a (gentle) slap?
Elon Musk. If only he stayed away from Twitter when hitting the bottle.
What two things (apart from family) would you grab if your house was on fire?
If family and pets are safe then it would be my laptop and phone. I'm not very interesting but they're more important than my passport as our operations all run from the UK.
Which of your 2019 predictions have come to pass?
Automation is something I preached and invested in from as early as 2014. It's a buzzword that is yet to fully show its impact on our sector but is coming like a tsunami. There is and will continue to be a huge change of vendors in the sector where they evolve or disappear.
What TV show have you binge watched this year?
Killing Eve. I am sure I am not alone in that one!
How has 2019 been from a business perspective?
We set a strategy for 2019 to be laser focused on retaining and growing our customer base and less about public accolade. Our customer mix is incredible and as we build through organic growth, we are watching our competitors quickly being acquired or locked into pretty horrible PE-backed deals. That all clears a wonderful growth path for us, and we are really looking forward to our next 10 years free to innovate and invest as we please.
What annoys you most about your commute?
I am very lucky to have a nice commute through countryside with very little traffic, so I am probably one of the few that can say they enjoy their commute. I even have a drive-thru Starbucks en-route. If Carling made commutes, it would be my one!
If you could witness one past event, what would it be?
4 April 1975, Albuquerque, New Mexico - I'd go and meet Paul Allen and Bill Gates, and offer to put some money into their little start-up.
How do you explain the channel to people?
The people that go and deliver the big thinking ideas that vendor marketing teams dream up.
What have been your favourite and least favourite partner conference destinations?
My least favourite - Hawaii. Wearing a suit in an air-conditioned conference centre while looking out of the window and watching the happy surfers on the beach will be a moment I will never forget. What was I doing? My favourite - I enjoy most conferences where I learn something (and there isn't a view of a beach).
What is the biggest challenge facing the channel in 2020?
The service sector will have an exciting ride post-Brexit with no doubt a few bumps along the way. I do not envy those having to navigate importing lots of boxes from around the globe.