In this team interview, we’ve managed to snag a few minutes with our busy MD, Steve O’Brien…
From singing in a band to meeting the Queen, our MD’s done it all. But what he’s achieved with Newicon tops the lot.
We sat down with Steve to get some insight into what he gets up to when he’s not helping to advance connected technology, and what drives him in his career. Here’s what he had to say.
What made you decide to start Newicon?
I wanted to build a future utopia, with robot butlers and computer systems taking the drudgery out of organising data… so I started Newicon.
Describe your job to a six-year-old.
We create new icons to appear on your family’s iPad, TV or phone.
What’s it like to work for Newicon?
We play hard and we work hard. Challenging and fulfilling.
Your favourite office moment?
Receiving our first branded Newicon mugs — there’s nothing quite like a hot cup of tea in mug with your logo on it. Perhaps it’s time to order a few more!
What was your proudest moment at Newicon?
Newicon getting invited to meet the Queen!
If you could switch jobs with anyone else at Newicon, who would you swap with, and why?
I enjoy the creative process and building new, useful things, so I’d probably switch jobs with a developer or designer, depending on my mood. However, we don’t have fixed departmental boundaries at Newicon — if people are interested in a new technology or a particular aspect of the business, then we encourage them to try their hand at it and develop skills in that area. Because of the nature of technology, things change very fast and there must always be a healthy amount of research for everything we do. So, being a small company, we do encourage people to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in.
Do you have any interesting or unusual hobbies?
Like a lot of Newiconites, I do enjoy a sing-song, having previously been guitarist and vocalist in a band. So, when I have the time, I like to play music.
When we can’t spend time on AI, and my vocal chords need to relax, I’ll snuggle up with a hot cuppa and read the latest research papers on mapping computation to biological structures in the neocortex.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
An astronaut… or Iron Man (complete with a huge tech lab!).
This is a tough one. If we define favourite as most watched it would probably be The BFG (the animated one) or Willy Wonka (the original with Gene Wilder). I must have watched those films about 300 times when I was a kid, and I’m still not fed up with either of them.
Who’s your celebrity doppelganger?
I have no idea. Probably someone gorgeous though.
If you could time-travel, where would you go?
Keep an eye out for more of our team blogs. And find out more about what we do in our recent case studies.
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