Co-Founder & Service Director – Quocirca
The last book / film you read:
Book: “Snuff” by Terry Preatchet, an excellent all round guy and great social commentator through his books
Film: Shanghai Knights – for a little light relief
Your favourite waste of time:
Wordament – a word game by a team at Microsoft. It’s totally addictive, playing with others around the world and trying to be in the top 10 in each game
The best bit of a trans-Atlantic flight:
Depends. If toward the back of the plane, then it would just have to be the films (if I haven’t already seen them all). If toward the front it can be the food and drink – but not always
The app you cannot do without:
There are a few games I play but they cannot be deemed as being life critical. The one that I really can’t do without would be Google Maps – it has got me to my destination in London many times.
The best stress-buster:
Still searching for it. I reckon that retirement may well be it – if I live long enough
The best work trip ever:
Ages ago, a vendor flew a bunch of press and me as the only analyst over to Israel. Everything from the vendor’s side went wrong – we couldn’t get to meetings; customers has emergencies that meant they couldn’t turn up, you name it. We ended up just eating, drinking and being shown the sites for three days. This included a donkey trip to the Sea of Galilee, a nomad meal in a tent, a Roman meal in Jerusalem and several sightseeing trips around difference areas.
The best day of the week:
This would have to be Saturday. Generally can have a bit of a lie-in. Generally
The one thing you would grab if the office was on fire:
As I work from home it would have to be my wife and my dog. Followed by my collection of Dore illustrated books and collection of Michael, Timothy and Jonathan Harris glass.
The thing you know now that you wish you had known five years ago:
The BitCoin was going to be a goer. I would have bought up a few acres of computers and got them mining.
The greatest influence on your career:
My original career was going to be as a chemical engineer. This was due to having read an encyclopaedia that my Granddad had got free through saving tokens in his local paper in the 1920’s – It said that a chemical engineer could earn up to £54 a year.
The achievement you are most proud of:
Before I became an analyst, I did get one very large IT vendor to pull its introduction of its office automation system due to my comments. Before that I did a lot of early work on fuel cells which allowed me to come into contact with some very interesting people that I am not meant to talk about. Some of the stuff that the team I was in came up with around then was pretty impressive.
The steepest learning curve you have been through:
When I first spoke to Meta Group, I had no idea who they were or what an industry analyst was. Three months later I was stood on stage next to Dale Kutnick, the founder of the company, keynoting an event to a few hundred people. That was scary.
The one thing you would change about the industry:
I’d go for a lot more honesty on all sides. I try to be as honest as possible with vendors: quite often I feel that what I am getting back is more along the diplomacy lines. Rather than try and face me down or correct something where I am wrong, the belief seems to be that buttering up an analyst is a better approach. If we’re wrong, we need to know it – if a vendor doesn’t like the way we are working, take us to task over it. Far better that everyone knows exactly where they stand.
The best thing about being an analyst:
having a direct impact on the direction of a vendor or helping an end user solve a business issue. At times, when taking a few minutes out and looking at what some vendors and customers have done and being able to say “I had an impact on that” is very satisfying.
The biggest challenge facing brands:
By a long chalk, social media. The sentiment of the crowd can be very fickle and it is getting harder to track it all. So far, we have seen areas such as TripAdvisor hijacked by some to give poor overall ratings to their competition. As yet we have not seen this happen in a big way on Twitter or Facebook, but it could happen – and even a massively funded, well-set brand could find itself badly hit this way.