00:02 OK so my name is Matthew Witt I’m a Business Operations Consultant previously Chief Operating Officer of a pretty large internet business.
00:11 When I left primary I won a scholarship to a public school so there was a sort of was a, in the days when very few people could afford to go to public school relative to, certainly from my background, social background so. Dad was a maintenance engineer and mum was a, worked in insurance so I suppose there was a little bit of pressure to perform having, having, but that was when I was 11 and so it’s a long time ago.
00:38 School was a long way away and none of my primary school friends were at it so it was a sort of a big shock and a big, a big change. I had gone to a very relaxed and informal primary school very close by, lots of friends and then I’m suddenly thrown into a very structured school uniform, caps, no caps, when can you eat, when can’t you eat a very, a very structured environment, which I wasn’t particularly suited to for several years. But in the 6th form the environment became much more co-operative and less, and less rules based and more you know where, where we trying to get to. The school was very good at guiding us through what we needed to do at an academic and at a how to get through the interview process level. So I had a mentor at school who was, who was a pretty inspiring character, very good guy. There was an expectation set that if you were reasonably capable then they would help you get to, well achieve whatever standard you wanted to achieve so it was a very, it was a very good academic school and it was a, it was a it, it wasn’t usually for sort of 20 or 30 from the, from the 6th form to go onto to, to Oxbridge so the, there was no pressure, never put under any pressure either from parents or from the school to do it but it was a, a intellectual ambition and the school made it very easy or facilitated it in a, in a very straight forward way. But all the ambition came from me I, I don’t think there was any nobody kind of pushing me in that direction.
02:14 I’d gone to University thinking I’d be a physicist and very much enjoyed doing physics but didn’t find it as straight forward as I found some of the other subjects I worked on and the study of materials and metals was something that really excited me at the time and indeed it was leading edge at the time, aero engines and aircraft design, electronics and so on. I think that ambition started before University, it started when I was an A level student I got very inspired by stories of people like Newton and Hooke and Boyle sort of working in a room on their own and able to create great scientific breakthroughs and inspiring thinking it was the sort of thing that became very much, I never thought I’d be a Newton but I always wanted to follow in the footsteps of those people.
03:00 I can’t speak for everybody but I certainly at that age sort of early 20’s just didn’t think beyond the next week or the next month or, in terms of career I thought the career would take care of itself if I just got these, if I, if I put these things, if I could achieve the, the first and second degrees that would be personally very satisfying, that was probably more important than what happened afterwards. So I ended up working for 4 or 5 materials supply companies getting smaller and smaller but getting further and further up the decision making chain of a company.
03:35 So the thing that’s probably most satisfying was selling the business. Active Hotels which was the company, the internet company that we started up founding a business, growing it to a stage where it’s profitable and successful and then finding somebody else who was that excited by it that they wanted to pay quite a large sum of money for it, it’s a very satisfying experience.