08 December 2023
Which law would you most like to change?
It’s a little morbid, but I think there’s a lot of progress and improvement to be made around end-of-life legislation, in terms of having more control over this element of your life and wellbeing. But it’s a very tricky area, and highly politicised as these things naturally are, so not something I’d be keen to involve myself in too deeply! Perhaps safer to stay on the tech side of things, and to ensure that the future of privacy remains a protected right for all.
What was your big career break?
I was still in high school when the early stages of Netwise began to take shape. It became a fully-fledged business while still studying at university, so it’s all I’ve ever done really. I suppose the biggest single break would have been the deployment of our first set of servers back in 2005, in a loft in Surrey! This would set in motion the series of events that would ultimately lead us to operating two bespoke data centres today, so it’d be a tough one to beat in terms of significant career milestones, even if it wasn’t really a true ‘career’ for me at that point (being 15 at the time).
If you could dine with any famous person, past or present, who would you choose?
It’s difficult to single this down to just one person, but it’d probably have to be someone like Brian Cox. I’m referring to the physicist, Brian Cox, rather than the man behind Succession’s infamous Logan Roy, although in fairness he’d also be brilliant. Dinner with Brain Cox would be unbeatable for interesting chat about the universe and our place within it, although perhaps a little boring from his perspective, going over the same topics as usual at a layman level!
“For a long time, I saw myself working in graphic design. But my true calling was always technology.”
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
That nothing is ever as bad as it seems, nor as good as it seems. Which really means to not revel too much in your success, and not to languish too much in your failures, as most of these things are transient and can often be the result of luck or misfortune over and above direct input. It serves as a great reminder to stay grounded in the moment, and to maintain forward momentum and focus.
If you had to work in a different industry, which would you choose?
This would most likely tie back to my interests growing up; I think I’d enjoy working in a creative sector such as design, or perhaps even film making. That’s an area which has always been of interest to me, and something I’d have been intrigued to see take shape if I’d taken alternative path in life. I’ve always loved good design, which has certainly helped guide things from an aesthetic perspective at Netwise. Building data centres which not only function flawlessly, but look beautiful as well, is a real joy, and serves as a functional creative outlet for me.
Where would you live if money was no object?
I’ve always found it very difficult to imagine myself living anywhere outside of the UK. I love living in London, which makes answering this quite tricky. So I think London will always be my true home, but having the funds to spend lots of time in places like Europe, the US and Asia would be nice! I like to move around a lot when I do travel, so not being tied down to any one place in particular – wherever that may be – would be fantastic.
What’s the greatest technological advancement in your lifetime?
It’s probably poised to be the recent advancements in AI, but given the infancy and lack of widespread, real-world applications for this group of technologies as of yet, it’d really have to go to the ubiquitous uptake of smart phones and mobile technology since circa 2007. This change revolutionised the way in which people interact with data and the internet in general, and forced positive change on all fronts of web technology. It’s also something I’ve been able to see evolve from early concept to absolute universality in just a decade or so.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
For a long time, I saw myself working in graphic design. But my true calling was always technology. I still scratch the design itch frequently enough at Netwise, heading up most of the photography and design work for the organisation, which is a great way to stay connected to that passion of mine. I still very much enjoy seeing how well executed our brand is, from our website right through to the application of physical branding inside of our facilities.