But I *want* to pay my TV License

There’s a bit of a storm brewing at the moment that has been simmering for a
while on the Isle of Man. As an offshore jurisdiction, with our own tax rules
and economic regulation, there is a continuing confusion about why
we should pay the TV License
. The TV License, often called the “BBC Tax”, is
an annual payment of about £138 which chiefly goes towards the BBC, although
some goes to the broadcast infrastructure. In the future, with Channel 4’s
current financial problems, some of it may also help prop up Channel 4’s public
service remit.

Unfortunately, however, there seems to be an increasing resistance to paying the TV License on the island, seemingly only because we can get away with it. The Isle of Man’s geographical location, sandwiched neatly between Cumbria in England and Northern Ireland means we can catch a TV signal from either coast.
Indeed, Northern parts of the island currently enjoy a full complement of digital channels – more than the Isle of Man will enjoy when we finally switch to digital in 2009.

The revenue collection of the TV License has always been difficult on the island, with a large number of people actively not paying it due to the difficulties the TV Licensing Authority have in gaining access to the island’s residents and legal system. A recent problem the TV Licensing Authority hit was when they came over on to the island in force to enforce revenue collection, only to be told to go back as they hadn’t applied for th required work permits. Comical, yes. I suspect someone in the UK didn’t to their homework. Subsequent arrangements of enforcement have been better planned.

In Manchester, I received a number of benefits of being a TV License payer. I didn’t resent it, although requiring students to own their own individual licenses without provision of a single license by the halls of residence was a little unfair. As an island resident, I don’t enjoy the same benefits.

TV License Benefits
Available In
Manchester Isle of Man
Analogue service Yes Yes
Digital service Yes No
Radio broadcast Yes Yes
DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) Yes Partial (geographical restrictions)
Broadcast infrastructure Yes Yes (2 transmitters)
Use of BBC Internet site Yes Yes
Access to archives using iPlayer Yes Yes
Access to Freeset/Freesat from Sky platforms Yes Yes

So seems to me we still get a pretty good deal. I am the first to complain
when the BBC launch services that are not available on the island. I am used to
multi-channel broadcasting over terrestrial on the digital platform, digital
radio stations and Internet services. DAB was only recently launched on the
island, and it was a very quiet launch. Unfortunately, I “lost touch” with my
favoured radio station, 6 Music, in the meantime as a result of the lack of

If we, as an island, ceased to pay the TV License, we could have serious
implications on our content. Some users on the island may be able to obtain a
signal leaking from one of the adjacent coasts, but otherwise the island would
be without a terrestrial TV signal. Due to the slow implementation of
technologies by the BBC and broadcasting infratsructure, the island has no real
digital option and won’t have when the island goes digital next year (only the
primary channels being available). This has resulted in over 70% of houses on
the island having to be fitted with satellite receiving equipment, so equivelant
content to the UK can be obtained. What about the other 30%? Those people are
very likely to be vulnerable people, people on low incomes, people who don’t
want to deface their property with a satellite dish or people who cannot
physically access a line-of-sight signal. Surely the very group who should not
be deprived of TV access would be vulnerable groups? It is often their only
company and source of information, particularly in the winter months. The BBC could actively
block our access to the BBC web site, and associated network services. iPlayer, in particular, will likely disappear as it specifically states that content is made available subject to
payment of the License Fee. Bernard Moffat, quoted in
the Courier this week, seems to be encouraging people to steal the TV services
from the UK and use satellite services to access the services for those unlucky
enough not to be able to access a leaking signal from Northern Ireland or
England. I am distinctly unhappy about this. £138 for a TV License is not a lot
of money, if he is concerned about the cost of the license he should put his
efforts in arranging a subsidy for people who struggle to afford the fee, not
advocating theft of a service that people in the UK are paying for. It is by
happy coincidence that we have leaking signals from the UK of digital
terrestrial and are in the beam area of satellite broadcasting, but with the
increasingly complex and advanced DRM mechanisms, it may not be long before
equipment bought in the Isle of Man may be actively blocked. Is he also not
considering the possibility (remote though it is) of satellite failure? A
satellite may fail due to any number of reasons (space debris, systems
malfunction, etc.) and repairs/replacement is not cheap and could leave the
island without television for weeks or months.

I’ve had this debate with non-UK citizens in various forums. People who can’t
understand a “TV Tax”. Putting aside the immensely expensive broadcast
infrastructure, programme content, news gathering and other services, the TV
License pays for a fair and unbiased content provision mechanism that is not
muddied by commercialism, political leaning or aspirations and is ultimately
responsible for the development of many technologies we now take for granted:
colour television, HD content, digital radio are but some of the more visible
technologies developed by the BBC, at least in part.

If we, as an island, endorse outright theft of service leakage unless you can
afford a Sky subscription (and don’t mind submitting youself to the Murdoch
empire and customer service experience), then we’re going be even more
ostracised than we currently are due to our tax status. Not a way to make
friends and influence people when you’re a small island in uncertain financial

Waltons: Bad Manx Customer Service – Again

There’s few things that upset me more than arrogant sales people. Unfortunately, on an island where there are few options and a distinct lack of viable competition, arrogance is rife. There seems to be an underlying feeling that if you don’t like it, tough, because there are no more options.

Like Nick, I have also come away short following a recent Customer Experience. For me, it was while trying to buy a TV/Video/Remote sender and then a Blu-Ray player.

I don’t like shopping at electornic goods retailers. The staff are basically out to pay their commission and whether you get the product you actually want and require is not always a priority. I can deal with pushy sales people, so I’m fine with that. What I can’t stand is them giving out incorrect information. Unfortunately, though, thinking about it today I realised that if they knew what they were doing then they’d probably be in another job.

So, experience #1. Buying a video/remote sender. I have bought these previously, and I know that despite the marketing on the pack you cannot watch the source in the two rooms at the same time, that bit of information is strategically “ommitted”. You need to split the signal off and then send it to the second room. Despite arguing this with the salesman at Waltons last week, they were quite insistent. Got it home, tested it, oh what a surprise. So I bought the necassary kit from Maplin instead. No biggie.

Today took the biscuit, however. I am after a Blu-Ray player, a very specific
model of Blu-Ray player. I’m after the Panasonic DMPDB55 Blue-Ray player,
because having done my research I find it is the most affordable player on the
market and has oustanding reviews. It’s also one of a very few players that have
Blu-Ray Profile 2.0. Unlike the DMPBD3x models, which everyone seems to want to sell to me. So having done my research, printed off my bit of paper, I
reluctantly decided to give a local firm a chance to bag £400 from me. I stood
around at the counter for about 5 minutes while 3 staff argued about the maximum length of a USB cable for another customer and a fourth stood around in the office at the back. Someone finally came to see me and I said I was looking for “that” player, handing over my sheet. I was brusquely told “no, we don’t have that one”. I had to ask about when they were going to get it in stock, “not before Christmas”. I didn’t actually need it for Christmas, but a date would have been nice. Then, he
tossed the piece of paper back at me. Such contempt for me as a
customer is misplaced.

In these uncertain times, if someone came in to my shop and said “I have £400
burning a hole in my pocket, and I want to buy this player”, I would be all over
that sale. No knowledge of the product is needed, no effort is needed, the sale
is already made! All that needs to happen is for the stock to come in. An “I’m
sorry Sir, that player isn’t currently in stock. Could I put one on back order
for you? Would you like to secure it with a deposit?” would have been much more
useful. (As it happens, I was more worried about the length of queue in HMV when
getting the Blu-Ray discs than when I would get the player!)

So, I’ve decided to buy it from Superfi, a company I bought my amplifier from when I was back in Manchester. These guys were VERY good. They talked to me, helped me identify the best speakers to use, and even stayed open later so I could pick it up after work. THAT is customer service. So instead of investing £400 in a player and giving a local business a hefty commission/return, I am going to spend £350 on a UK company’s web site – and wait for delivery anyway. Now who’s the idiot?

After the Waltons experience, I did go to Colebourns for an almost as useless
response. No “can we order it in?”. Just “No, we don’t stock that”. All I got
when I tried to engage in conversation was a grunt. Then I went to M&S and
the quality of service was markedly different. The salesman behind the counter
knew what he was talking about and when he asked his colleague about whether the player was in stock, his colleague actually said “No, but we have these models.
Can I ask why you want this model?” I was then able to say I needed the Profile
2.0 feature, he was told by myself and his colleague why I needed this and we
both came out of that experience positively. They didn’t have it in stock, but
my was it an improvement on Waltons!

Things I’d like to see in 2009

At the Manx Third Thursday lunch today, Sherrilynne asked us “What is the next big thing going to be in 2009?”. A few good answers went around the table, but I found couldn’t really answer. If I.T. is fast, Social Media is even faster, I couldn’t come up with anything fast enough before it became old news.

But here’s what I would like to see:

Twitter is clearly the big thing at the moment, and a number of supporting services have popped up around its borders to complement the core Twitter service using its API. I’d like to see some consolidation of these services within one or more
sites or services. It doesn’t have to be Twitter itself, but I think the micro-blogging space is in need of some clarity. Twitterers use different picture, URL and syndication services, each with their own API. This leads to confusion – as fast as I get to grips with one site’s service, another one comes along and I’m out of fashion. In a “normal” business market, you might see one web site buying another web site in order to gain its intellectual property, and then build on it. Unfortunately, while Twitter seems to be able to perform acquisitions despite its quite dubious business model, I can’t see this happening. Some of the services provided by the complementary Twitter services such as TwitPic, MrTweet, Twollo, etc. are so obvious that either Twitter are waiting to see which services “take off” before buying or are focused on doing one thing – and doing it well (though their success in this respect, particularly with regards the current reluctance of the Facebook status update not working, is open to question).

Steve Burrows (while wielding his Google Android phone) suggested that social networking on mobile phones will be a big thing, particularly for location-based services. I’m inclined to agree. Putting aside the fancy smart phones which are often just style over substance (iPhone, anyone?) more phones and networks are coming out with the specific goal to provide access to social networks on the move. Maybe the days of quickly checking your Facebook as soon you get to a computer with an internet connection are numbered, instead, you’ll synchronise yourself with the social networks without even knowing it – while your phone is in your pocket, for example. Services such as location-based status updates, networked games (I’m thinking of Facebook Flash games, such as Tetris and Scrabble) and voice/webcam-based social networking using the phones hardware all become quite intriguing prospects. I’m already on the roadmap, with my planned upgrade from the Nokia N95 to the N97, itself social-network
based. The only weakness in the plan is data carrier rates, which if you’re
using one of our local carriers, offers less than competitive deals where you can access up to ONE WHOLE MEGABYTE a month on your mobile phone.

I would also like to see companies’ wings clipped with regards collection and
protection of data. The quiet acquisition of almost everything about your
computer experience by Google seems to have gone unnoticed by most, the current
focus being on the losing of personal data on trains and stolen laptops. The government is committed to collecting even more personal data, particularly for their contraversial ID card scheme. Most web sites you visit have the ability to collect personal data, in addition to their trend and usage acquisition software (also powered by Google), but which web sites are fully aware of their Data Protection responsibilities? I have personal knowledge of companies that have taken their data protection responsibilities less than seriously and I would like to see this trend reversed. The acquisition of data needs to be controlled, along with the subsequent storage and timely destruction of the data. Schemes like OpenID and Windows Live/Passport authentication mechanisms seem to be heading in the right direction, though neither is entirely there yet. I’d be happy to be proxy authenticated by a site that I could trust, and then contribute to a person’s blog safe in the knowledge that my personal data is safe. (How many passwords have you typed in to quickly register on sites that could be used elsewhere for more serious purposes and what gauantee have you that your password was encrypted from use by the web site developer and anyone who could potentially gain access to it?)

In other areas, I would like to see the Heathrow Third Runway ditched, in favour of a North-South High Speed Rail Link (though I suggest we would have to
wait a long time for the latter, like Christian Wolmar, I’m not convinced in the Tories’ claims that they would implement the scheme). I would like to see the BBC not to pander to the ultra-conservative tabloids that spoil broadcasting for younger people who like their comedy a little edgier than Morecambe and Wise. Finally, I would like to see The Isle of Man to build a tunnel under the Irish Sea that comes out in Liverpool so I can get to Manchester without paying the ridiculous anti-competitive fares by air and sea I currently have to pay. I can’t see this happening, though, not because a tunnel can’t be built but because the Manx government doesn’t seem to share its residents desire for increased competition and choice in services such as travel, television broadcast provision and fixed line rental.

Not a New Year’s Resolution

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, if you need to change some aspect of your
life, a New Year is hardly an excuse for making the change. No, it is mere
coincidence that I am coming to this conclusion.

The conclusion is that I am not fitting enough work into my day. 18 months
ago, I was working every available hour on the Work Connexions project.
Following that, I decided to “take a year off”, ie. reduce the amount of work I
do outside my paid employment. This also helped me keep a low profile while any
negativity generated from Work Connexions could settle. Now, however, I am ready to poke my head over the parapet again.

I am interested in .NET development, collaboration, Social Media and
Marketing. Whereas I have been able to enjoy input in a Marketing/Social media
capacity in my previous job, my new job does not give me access to the same
level of work. In order to keep myself in touch with this area, I’m going to
have to increase work “outside of hours”. My day currently starts at 07:00 and
ends at 22:00. Between 18:30 and 22:00 I spend time with my wife. This, however,
does not give me the time I need to work on a couple of personal projects I have
going on and keep my fingers in the social media and marketing spaces. Balancing
personal vs. professional life. Tricky. #There may be trouble ahead …#

Here are my commitments for this coincidental resetting of the annual clock:

Instead of turning over at 0545 when my wife gets up, I am going to get up
and find some work to do. I’ll be listening to Radio 4 at this point, so beware
of ill-informed rants in relation to the news. Maybe I’ll use the extra time to
go in to work earlier. (This also means there will be less traffic on the road
for the days I ride to work on my bike.)

The tricky bit comes when I come home from work. I need to be able to spend
time with my wife and be able to commit time (and energy) to more work.
Solution: work late. This should also have the benefit of ridding myself of
thoughts which would otherwise keep me awake. The strategy is to wear myself out
intellectually and physically. ….. NEED …. MORE …. DIET …. COKE ….

I’m going to get in to the habit of blogging posts over several days. Many
bloggers have the time to prepare and write blogs, but I just don’t. It’s not
part of my job, and it’s not part of my core skills. So, I’m going to blog over
several days, maybe leaving half-written blog posts lying to see if further
inspiration comes up or for me to have a cool-down period so I can realise I am
just ranting rubbish.

With my “secret project” currently taking up my Saturday mornings, I am
seeing less time I can work over the weekend while spending time with my wife.
This will be tricky! Whereas I previously worked Saturday/Sunday morning (making up a full day) this timetable isn’t really possible. I need to attain success in
my secret project as soon as possible! Maybe I need to get back to the time
machine project I was thinking about. Unfortunately. it’s much too complicated
for my ‘ickle brain.

My peers on the island, including Owen, seem to be intellectual dynamos. I need to
return to that state of being. I have done some outstanding work on outside
projects, and continuing work on these projects can help maintain my standing in
areas such as ethical web development, marketing, etc. I just hope I won’t burn
myself out.

Okay, it’s 0641. A quick Porridge and then off to work …

UK Google stats: People use Google to enter URL/Brands, well derr.

The Guardian (amongst others, including Google themselves) covered this years search term statistics for the UK this morning. Every year, Google releases some interesting statistics that provide a
modern insight into trends that would be difficult to obtain from other channels.
Apparently, the top 4 search terms in the UK this year have been:

  • Facebook
  • BBC
  • YouTube
  • eBay

All these are web sites in their own right, whose branding is either based around their URL or vice versa. So how come? Is it down solely to good marketing? It’s all quite obvious, really. Bloggers are now shouting about users using Google as a “portal” to access obvious URLs. Yes they are, but then anyone who has trained a user up in simple web access or walked a user through something in
person or over the phone, will know whenever people use the internet, it is very likely they’ll use the largest box on the web browser to type a URL in. And that is usually a Google search box, for example, the Firefox default search screen. I’ve even helped people who never even realised that the Address Text field should be used.

This highlights that your brand is everything in search terms. But whether it is just marketing that has caused people to use Google as a means of accessing web sites in the first instance (whereas using Google to access web sites within a set of search results would be in the second instance) is more questionable than people claim. Clearly, your key is to get your brand known in the “real world”, so it acheives its own life outside of the web. Google is already being used as a verb, Facebook is synonymous with social networking (whether it is Facebook, MySpace or Bebo), the BBC is one of Britain’s most famous brands and has a very high reputation across the world and YouTube and eBay are the sites of choice in their respective domains. But ask someone who is not as expert as
some of us on the internet to go to a site, and watch where they put the address.

I’d be interested to see what percentage of those brands accessed via Google are from the Firefox Google home page, I bet it’s a sizeable chunk. Can Live and Yahoo! searches claim the same? I bet they don’t. Live search is the default search for new IE installations, but the physics are simple: the IE7 browser search box/button is small. Yahoo!, well, who uses Yahoo anymore?

So saturation is key to generate the brand, but the size of the textbox is also important. Search is becoming a smaller part of Google’s arsenal every day, though. They are collecting data on us in an increasingly concerning level. I posted my first submission to the Google Search Wiki today, but what about Google’s Friend Connect, GMail, Analytics, Documents and Map services? The recent launch of Friend Connect gives them access to data that would otherwise be hidden within Facebook’s privacy settings, the relationships between people. (Friend Connect is clearly a response to the failed Orkut service) This is qualitative data that would be useful if not to Google, then certainly to paranoid authorities. Are they going to be as open with this data? I bet not.


I received a suggestion to try www.twollo.com today, from one of the guys I am
following on Twitter, @jonpauldavies. His bio says he “help businesses communicate better with customers through innovation and automation”. I think that means he is into Social Media. An insightful follow, one nugget was that he was beta-testing www.Twollo.com, which is an automated follower/be-followed service that works with Twitter.

Basically, you submit your interests, so I submitted:

  • .NET (okay, a wide net)
  • Sitecore
  • CRM
  • WCF
  • Windows Workflow
  • Social Media (of course)

Initial results were not good. I added them and it just said “0 results”. Oh,
well, maybe I just had to wait a few moments. In the next few seconds, I had
found I was following 15 more people and my feed was being flooded. A very
useful feature, if you can tie your interests down.

I have tried using the search.twitter.com tool in a similar manner
to try and weed out some interesting feeds, @a_rusakov, @mediauktv and @problogger and it works quite well. But it does need effort and you do sort of need to have a look at each feed before you follow to make sure you control the old noise to signal ratio.

Twollo automates all this for you. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work for
me. Based on my interests, I soon got flooded with feeds that were half-English,
half foreign (I’m talking European languages and Eastern languages – or
certainly characters sets), about 40 errors in my Twitter Feed (I presume that a
Twitter feed wasn’t working and was just spewing our errors into the
Twitter-sphere) and one or two useful posts. I’ve kept @WCF
but binned the rest and turned it off.

All in all a really good idea, but some more thought needs to go into it.
Principally, only serve me with content in my own language and from feeds that
work. Some form of gauge to throttle feed content would be great, too. I’ll
certainly come back to it, as it will surely help reduce my Twitter maintenance
which I find I have to keep returning to to maintain my feed quality and

Goodbye @redstarvip and @stephenfry

I’ve been expanding my Twitter circle recently, trying to find a bit more
content out there which is outside my normal line of interest. To my existing
contacts, which include Sitecore Professionals, CRM and .NET specialists and
Social Media bods, I have widened the net to philosophical and comedic

But today I am losing two of them.

First to go was @redstarvip, who decided he wanted to start a debate with:

Homophobic TweetNow I’m all for open debate, but this seemed to be asking for a fight and
inviting ill educated responses. There are ways to structure debate to try and
ensure that the debate remains an informed and stable one. The language he used
was just plain provocative. To be fair to him, he did reply back:

Didn’t seem like he was using much logic to me.

And I’m also losing @stephenfry. I actually do not agree with Stephen Fry’s online presence, having disagreed with him previously about his blog where he seems suddenly to be an authority in IT consumer electronics (He has one of those unhealthy hatreds of a certain operating system). Fair enough though, the man has an opinion, and everyone is entitled to an opinion. I started following him due to my colleagues/friends all appreciating his style on QI, and I have to admit I was a fan of Fry and Laurie, when he was funny. The man is a very clever man, and I do appreciate “clever” humour.

Stephen Fry

A very quick way for me to lose respect for someone. This highlights a
weakness of Twitter. It can be used to insult, lie and be downright rude across
the net with no consequence. My Grand-parents always used to tell me, “People
who swear do so because they aren’t intelligent enough to find the right words”.
Well, I don’t understand what’s going on here but I sure don’t want to listen
to/read this outburst just because an educated man can’t use an operating system
he doesn’t prefer.


About a month ago, I discovered I Want Sandy, which is a virtual Personal
Assistant (PA) service. Not that I necassarily need a PA (though one would be
nice), but that this was a service I could use to jot notes down, track my ideas
and – most importantly – use it through my existing networking channels,
principally, Twitter. Sandy was great, you could send her a message such as “Remind to pick up the shopping at 6” and “she” would create an appointment for you and remind you when the time came. “She” can be asked to do things using email (including replying to emails and copying her in – she would read it and pick up the paragraphs relevant to her), Twitter and her web site. Then, she would remind you using the same media, web-site, email and Twitter. US
users could also be SMSed their reminders.

Modern web services seem to be going simple – really simple. Sandy was simple
at the core, it was just an appointment book. Twitter is just a glorified SMS
broadcasting system. Such simple components can then be used in mash-ups, to
create new applications.

It’s hard to believe that from a difficult start with Twitter 6 months ago
that it has come to be such an important part of my digital life. Random
thoughts and comments coming in to me from those I follow and going out to those who follow me do occasionally have gems in them that can inspire me to look
further into an area of interest, follow current events as they happen and
(hopefully) contribute the same to others. Most importantly, unlike reading
people’s blogs, it requires low commitment on the part of the subscriber.

Unfortunately, Sandy looks like she is joining the increasing number of
redundancies as of 15th December, but this time you won’t need to bail her out
as you have had to do with the banks and possibly (and probably) America’s
[ignorant] car industry. “She” has been acquired by Twitter. As “Sandy’s Helpers” say in their sad news about the end of Sandy’s service, this does raise some interesting ideas of what possible applications could be made with
such a direct integration of the two services. While Sandy’s helpers are giving
nothing away, it’s still exciting to think what could be:

Delayed Twittering, already done by some sites (sorry, couldn’t re-find them)
but why not combine it within the core Twitter service. This delayed Twittering
could be easily wrapped up in a “reminder” metaphor. The number of services that
have ballooned around the Twitter service is incredible, many of them offering
very simple services which I struggle to see as economically viable in terms of
paying for the hosting. From pictures with TwitPic to Grading by Grader. Maybe
it’s time for Twitter to reap the benefits of what services have been successful
and wrap them within their core product?

Twitter interacting with your inbox: Sandy could be instructed to create
reminders, jot notes, etc. by just copying her email address into a standard
email. This was very neat, and did not detract from the conversation in hand –
the recipient had no need to understand who (or what) she was. No complicated
code sequences, just straight plain English. Combining Twitter with your inbox
in a similar way could be used to generate Twitter content at the same time. For
example, as an extra channel for bulk e-Marketing. Send an enewsletter out and
have the enews “activate” a Twitter feed linking to the enews page on a web

It doesn’t look like any changes will come soon, as with anything
Twitter-ish, feature roll out is very slow and often very unreliable as demand
often outstrips capability. So, I guess we’ll just have to wait.

Being able to make a difference

I’ve been in a new job now for just over a month, and things are going well.
The reason I say this is because I am in the honeymoon period where my skill-set
can drive productive change within the business and its products. What’s
important to me is that I remain in this honeymoon period.

It’s important to be able to feel that you can effect change within an organisation that is employing or contracting you. Without this, there is no reason to stay, other than to trudge through your mortgage payments. My previous employment was challenging, interesting and I enjoyed the work. Unfortunately, for various reasons I found myself in a rut where despite my requests, ideas and efforts, any development work never resulted in any significant improvement. It took me a year and a half to push through the need for a new web-site, for example, a little worrying when the business is modelled around e-Commerce. You eventually end up in a mind-set that you no longer try and change things, because established work practices, office politics and commitments conspire against any positive change you could create.

As with a lot of IT professionals, my CV is full of shorter stints in
companies around 2-3 years. This goes back to my first job. You start, you get
given your remit and you maybe become enthused about the possibilities of your
own development and the development of the project you are involved in. Fast
forward to two years later, and you often lose that either because you have got
bored, or you are finding change difficult to implement. This is despite many IT
projects requiring professional, skilled input in the long-term, ie. more than 2

At the moment, I feel very positive about the improvements I can make to an
existing, successful CRM product. I’m sure this will continue, working in a
small team, it would be hard to foresee a situation where I would not be able to
influence development of our products. Also, being at the core of upcoming
developments, I would find it difficult not to be part of any future success as
a result of our work, so I’ll be in this for the long-term. Having got out of a
rut, I find my mind is working again, making me feel I had it turned off for the
last 2 years!

That said, everything happens for a reason and you learn from everything,
whether you realise it or not. So I don’t begrudge any period in my CV, as I
will always gain value from past and current work whether I realise it or not. I
have also met some very good people in every place I have worked and am still in
touch with many of them.