Stephen Clarke, founder of Truancy Call, on White Lies, James Caan and productivity apps.
Name: Stephen Clarke
Company: Contact Group (new trading name of Truancy Call)
First job: Marketing analyst for a paper merchant and yes, there were a couple of “David Brents” working there.
Dream job: Drumming in a band and touring the world would have been my dream when I was younger. Now, advising small businesses how to grow and using technology to enable that would give me a real buzz.
Car: BMW 5 series
Economy, business or first class: Economy mainly. I travelled business class once and loved it but I guess if I travelled that way all the time it wouldn't be as exciting.
Most extravagant purchase: Recently purchased a couple of made-to-measure suits. Odd choice as I mainly only wear suits to meetings, not to our Contact Group offices.
Most played song on iPod: "Bigger than us" by White Lies.
Best business book: I was given James Caan's autobiography at a recent event – I hope to get round to reading that soon.
Worst business moment: Believing that we had won a contract to supply our systems into every secondary school in Scotland only to be informed that the person awarding that contract was not authorised to do so.
Proudest business moment: There are many, but 2009 was a pretty good year for us – we won the Fast Growth Business Award 2009 for Best Use of Technology and we were shortlisted for the Growing Business Awards, too. This may be toppled should we win the Technology Supplier of the Year at the Education Investor Awards 2011.
Your business mentor: Gary Corbett – he has provided useful advice on starting up and maintaining our leading position in the education technology sector.
Next big thing: Productivity apps for business users are already available but I can see the market exploding.