What has been your personal highlight of 2021?
I was able to initiate an exit from two companies I invested in several years ago. Both are in cloud services and lockdown saw a massive increase in demand for remote and cloud services so both companies were sold to much bigger organisations that were interested in acquiring their unique IP as well as their customer base.
Which tech figurehead has impressed you the most this year, and why?
That's a tough one, only because I have been impressed by so many in the last 12 months. Elon Musk is high in my list, only because he has advanced technology in so many different areas. Like him or hate him, you can't argue with his ability to innovate and challenge the norms in technology.
Richard Branson continues to impress, of course - I just love his leadership style. There are many others, most of whom I suspect won't be known to your readers (at least not yet!). But there are some technology leaders that impressed initially but have failed to do so in the last 12 months - that might be a more interesting list!
Which one lockdown habit do you plan to keep going?
Lockdown has made our customers super aware that travel to site is not always necessary. As a review of company policy we only travel to site now where it's absolutely necessary. This ‘habit' has now become policy. We worked out that we will save a staggering 380 hours of travel time per week across our team, which means we can be more productive and it means a significant reduction of our carbon footprint as well as vehicle and fuel expenses.
Which face-to-face industry event are you most excited to return to, and why?
For me, it would most likely be Microsoft Inspire. I haven't attended (for various reasons) in the last four years - the last two due to Covid-19 - but I miss the buzz and seeing the friends I've made from all over the world. I will be looking forward to next July!
If you had the time to learn one new skill, what would it be? Actually I have just started to learn to play the saxophone! (Like I needed the challenge of playing one of the most complicated instruments on the planet!)
If you could go back in time and tell your childhood self one thing, what would you say?
Believe in yourself and never give up!
If you had to sing karaoke, what would be your song of choice?
Hmm, that would be decided by the song I'd like to sing (Welcome To The Jungle) and the one I possibly could sing (Stairway To Heaven).
Sum 2021 up in three words.
Introspective, opportunistic, rewarding.