When he’s not leading the development for kick-ass CRM systems and beautiful bespoke websites, Six Ticks Managing Director is following his beloved Sunderland AFC, or developing groundbreaking new IT solutions.
So, this week we take six minutes out of his busy day to find out exactly what makes Ian tick…
What was your first mobile phone (and when did you get it)?
I got a Nokia 8210 for my birthday when I was in Year 12 I think (the really small one). It was red and, looking back at it, I have no idea how I used to be able to send texts so fast on those small keys!
What was your first job?
My first proper job was working in the kitchen at the Mansion House Restaurant in Reading. My first IT job was working for Domestic & General in Wimbledon as IT Support. Both were when I was 16.
What piece of retired tech do you miss the most?
Not much of my tech is retired! I have a lot of old consoles (13 and counting) and tech that still works (an old Psion for example), but I do miss actually using my Gameboy. It doesn’t get played much at all. In fact, I should really check if it still works!
In a world where everyone develops websites, why should people choose Six Ticks?
I think the biggest misconception about websites is that it’s all about the design, when the biggest and most important part is the technical aspect. Websites aren’t posters or t-shirts. You can’t just put a pretty design on and expect them to deliver. This is often why we so frequently hear people say “we don’t get leads through our website”.
At least 75% of a website is the technical aspect – the “under the bonnet” bits – and we do that better than anyone else I’ve seen so far. They are the bits that really get you leads, make your website work, and – crucially – make sure the leads you get actually turn into something. But our designs are pretty hot too!
Why did Back to the Future 2 say that we’d have flying cars by 2015 – yet we didn’t?
So it’s all because of the Almanac. When Marty tried to get things back to the way they were before, he only managed to get things back to how they were in 1985. Little did he know that all the events had actually made lots of very small, yet fundamental, changes to the space-time continuum. While 1985 was back to normal and Marty could never tell the difference, the future would actually play out differently to what it would have if none of the time travel had actually happened.
So, if the Doc had never invented the time machine, maybe we’d all have had flying cars in 2015!
What does your day-to-day working life involve?
I’m not a morning person at all, so it always starts quite slowly with a double-cup sized coffee, usually in my big jellybean mug. Then I’ll check that nothing has gone wrong overnight, check my tasks for the day, answer any questions the team has, and get on with my first task.
Most of my job revolves around our core CRM system and managing the developments, so it’s a lot of technical planning, theorising, and coding. But, as Managing Director, I also get involved in the general running of the company, plenty of meetings and calls, communicating with clients, and a lot more.
What do you think is the most exciting tech development that’s happened in the last few years?
There are so many to choose from, particularly in medical treatments. To keep it on topic though, I’d go for Quantum Computing. While Artificial Intelligence is very interesting, QC will make everything we do now, including AI, so much faster and more powerful.
I studied both AI and QC back at university 10 years ago, but it was mainly theory then and the leaps we’re making in those fields now are huge. While Six Ticks are not investing in Quantum Computing yet, keep an eye on Six Ticks CRM for future AI updates.
What is Six Ticks’ biggest achievement to date?
When I scaled the company back less than four years ago to reform it into what it is today, with myself as technical lead and Steff as Sales and Operations Director, we really started from zero again.
To have built up to where we are today, with a CRM system that truly rivals even some of the biggest systems in the game and with websites that provably perform better than any competitor we have come across to date, was a mighty challenge.
To do all that from scratch while coding our own systems, growing year-on-year, and taking on six new staff in the process is not only our biggest achievement, but the biggest achievement we could have possibly accomplished in that time too.
In a massively competitive industry where the vast majority of our competitors simply resell or throw other people’s products together to make systems and websites that kind of work, I’m extremely proud to be able to say we follow our Six Ticks – our core values – to the letter in everything we do.
And finally, the most important question of them all. Is pineapple on pizza wrong?
No, it’s not wrong, but I do sprinkle salt on Hawaiian pizzas...No others, just Hawaiian!
And that's the six minutes up! Thanks Ian!