HR & Management

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Jamie Wells: Understand how the last decade rolled

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Name: 

Jamie Murray Wells 

Age: 

27

Company: 

Glasses Direct and Hearing Direct (Chairman).

Company turnover: 

Glasses Direct turnover for 2011 is expected to be more than £13m. In its first year, Hearing Direct has saved UK consumers more than £1m.

First job: 

Computer games tester for Microsoft

Dream job: 

CEO Network Rail, or a government minister due to the scope for driving change in the role.

Car: 

Audi S5

Economy, business or first class: 

Economy at heart, business when I can justify it to myself.

Most extravagant purchase: 

I owned quite a rare Z8 for a year or two, which was BMW’s last supercar, produced for the Bond film The World is Not Enough.

Most-played song on your iPod: 

Ghostbusters, Ray Parker, Jr.

Best business book: 

‘Dot.Con: The Greatest Story Ever Sold’ by John Cassidy. One of the first books I read in business. As an internet entrepreneur, I found it valuable to understand how the last decade rolled.

Worst business moment: 

(For Glasses Direct) Discovering that our internal software had been transposing left-eye prescriptions for right-eye prescriptions in 2004. We managed to stop orders being dispatched that day just in time!

Proudest business moment: 

Receiving the Queen’s Award For Enterprise Promotion at Buckingham Palace when Glasses Direct was in its sixth year.

Your business mentor: 

Ian McCallum, my school holiday work-experience boss, and who became an early angel. Also, the current management team who are all extremely experienced, top of their game, and teaching me new things every day.

Next big thing: 

Your music collection existing only in the cloud via services like rdio.com, with all hardware devices like cars, portable players, mobiles, accessing the same account from the one platform. Location as a utility such as loopt.com and Google’s latitude, answering the question “where am I” before you’ve asked it.

HearingDirect.com, based on the business model of GlassesDirect.co.uk, has been trading for less than a year and is already Europe’s leading online hearing-aid retailer offering the latest hearing aids from £149 compared to the average price of £1,100 on the high street.

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