Source: Mike Vieyra, Gissing Software
Mike Vieyra, CEO of Gissing Software, takes the two-minute test.
Date and place of birth: 52 years old – British
Residence: UK, London
Marital status: Married with 2 children, one attending university, the other doing A-levels
Education: Imperial College, University of London BSc (Hons) Electrical Engineering
Career path: Software engineer, project management on large scale IT and software products, founder of own software companies, adviser to technology companies in digital business building – strategy, technology and marketing services, CEO and chairman appointments in the technology sector
Current posts: CEO Gissing Software Ltd, (ex-chairman iView Multimedia Ltd, ex-chairman Commerce Decisions Ltd)
Q: What was your first job?
A: After completing my degree, I started out as a software developer for Digital Equipment Corporation in Reading – it was the pre-eminent mini-computer manufacturer of its time.
Q: Who is or was your mentor?
A: None. I started life as an entrepreneur too early to have one.
Q: Which business leaders do you most admire?
A: Bill Gates, for his ability to steer Microsoft around the thousands of potential pitfalls that could trap and kill a young software start-up, and take it to the position it occupies today. Steve Jobs for the creative vision that makes Apple successfully churn out consistently ground-breaking, sexy new products that change the world.
Q: If you weren't in your current job, which company would you most like to lead?
A: A start-up operation with huge potential.
Q: Do you read books on management theory? If so, which has influenced you the most?
A: I occasionally start one or two interesting-sounding titles, then mostly get bored and am unable to finish them. One book I did finish and thought well of was Geoffrey Moore’s 'Crossing the Chasm'. It has huge relevance for anyone starting up a company, a technology-based company in particular.
Q: Which competitors do you benchmark your company's performance against?
A: At Gissing Software we always check out anyone who could be a competitor. When you’re a small start-up, anyone can eat your lunch in the blink of an eye.
Q: What has been your best experience in business?
A: Raising venture capital for my first software company in the 90s. (My second-best experience was selling a software company to Microsoft this year).
Q: What was your biggest mistake in business?
A: Raising venture capital for my first software company in the 90s.
Q: What keeps you awake at night?
A: Nothing. (A full bladder?)
Q: How do you relax?
A: Travel (for pleasure, as opposed to business), music and sport.
Q: What was the last gadget you bought?
A: I recently bought an iPod Nano. It keeps me going in the gym! I’m beginning to dislike anything that keeps me always-on and available, like a Blackberry or mobile phone.
Q: Favourite Web site
A: allmusic.com, theregister.com, bbc.co.uk
Q: Desert island disc/book
A: Impossible to choose. I’d take a desert-island iPod, with all my favourite tracks and audio books on it.