Get to know Purple People – John Oliver, Product Development Director

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1) What is your very first memory?

My 5th birthday. I don’t really remember anything before that.

2) What was the name of your first pet?

Dee – a neglected German Shepherd we rescued from our next door neighbour.

3) When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A pilot. (I still want to go for my Private Pilot’s License).

4) Do you have a nickname?

I did when I was younger, but I’m not giving that one up.

5) Describe your role at Purple in one sentence

As Product Development Director I am responsible for the vision, design and management of all Purple WiFi’s internal and commercial products.

6) What do you like about working here?

I enjoy working under pressure, so this is definitely the right place! I enjoy the creativity the position gives me, and also the sense of pride I get when I hear how much our customers like the things we’ve created.

7) What’s your best achievement so far at Purple? (what are you proud of?)

We’ve recently launched version 4 of our system which was a significant leap forward and a great achievement for all the people involved. But I think I’m most proud of the fact that we are continually recognised as market leaders, and our solution is the one our competitors look to when they work out where they want to be.

8) How would your co-workers describe you?

Most probably that my attention to detail can be quite annoying.

9) Who has made you laugh today?

Iain Jewitt, our Head of Tech and self proclaimed shortcut champion of Tameside. If there’s a quicker way to get somewhere, he’ll know it.

10) What quality do you most admire in others?

Drive, ambition and a willingness to work hard for what you want.

11) Which person has been the greatest influence in your life and why?

Professionally, Steve Jobs. I admire the way he brought Apple back from the edge of oblivion and created some of the best products of the modern age. Our office has a famous Steve Jobs saying on one of its (purple) walls.

12) What’s your biggest regret?

I had a chance to learn to skydive in Spain when I was 20 and didn’t take it.

13) What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy cooking and like to keep in shape, although I’ve not been doing very well at the latter lately.

14) What is your favourite film?

Too many to list but I’d say either The Shawshank Redemption or The Usual Suspects.

15) What makes you happy?

I love my job and I enjoy spending time with friends and my other half.

16) What gift would you like to receive if money was no object?

How about a private jet?

17) Which cause are you most passionate about?

I can’t stand animal cruelty.

18) If you’re in trouble, who would you call?

My mum, obviously!

19) If you could choose a superpower, what would it be and why?

Time travel would be pretty cool.

20) Finally, how would you spend a day with no access to technology?

If that’s not a good excuse to head to the pub, I don’t know what is!

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