Five minute interview: Ian Cummins, Network Instruments


Five minute interview: Ian Cummins, Network Instruments

Microscope contributor

MicroScope puts its questions to Ian Cummins, vice-president of Network Instruments EMEA

What is the best book you have ever read?
J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. It’s so good we even named our daughter from it. And before you get really worried – her name is Lorien.

What is your most elusive goal?
Earning more money than my wife spends.

Where is the one place you would like to visit before you die?
The pyramids. I don’t think anything else on earth can compare.

What do you just have to do before you die?
Live as long as possible. I hate unknowns.

Which bit of technology would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
A satellite telephone so I could call someone to get me out of there. I think I would get bored and hungry way too quickly.

Who helped you get to where you are today?
The man who first trained me as a computer salesman. His name was John Netherton, and much of what I learned in his sales training course at Philips in the late 1970s stays with me to this day.

What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?
It was a brand new, white Ford Escort with an 1100cc engine. A company car (remember those?). I will not embarrass myself by saying what year it was. Compared with what I drive now it lacked electric windows, air-conditioning, automatic gear box, cruise control… It did not have even a radio. But I loved it – especially the fact that all costs (even private mileage) were covered by my employer.

What do you believe in most?
Good guys win. Eventually.

If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be and why?
Avoiding the obvious temptation to name someone rich or powerful, I believe it would be incredibly enlightening to be a woman for a day. It would perhaps be my one and only chance of trying to really understand one half of the human race that I fear I will never otherwise truly understand.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?
Someone with bad breath.

Describe yourself in one sentence
Can I use the Neil Diamond quote “A frog who dreamed of being a king and then became one” – or is that too cheesy?

Why are you good at your job?
Because I firmly believe that doing a good job, being successful, keeping employees and customers happy are not mutually exclusive goals.

If a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla decided to have a no holds barred fight, which would you put your money on?
A bookmaker friend of my father’s always said that you should never own, or bet on, anything with a mouth – and I have tried to live by that advice ever since.

Describe your perfect night out
A nice meal with some decent red wine, followed by watching Ipswich Town win a game. I have recently been working on the principal that two out of three ain’t bad.

What would be your perfect holiday?
I recently went on a cruise up the west coast of America as far as Alaska, and it came pretty close to perfection in a holiday.

Sum up the IT channel in one sentence
In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Share your thoughts

To take part in the five minute interview, e-mail for a list of questions. You can respond to all questions, or a select few. Interviews should be 500-1,000 words.

Join the conversation Comment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.