[By no means up-to-date!]
- A self-starter with proven entrepreneurial skills
- Highly competent CTO with technical and commercial experience in several successful start-ups
- Expert in open-source technologies (Apache, php, MySQL) and applications (WordPress, Joomla, et al)
- Solid and successful experience in SEO and other internet marketing disciplines
- Proven ability to consistently deliver results under pressure
- A natural facilitator, skilled in translating the needs of the customer into deliverables
- Enjoys using awareness, problem-solving, consultancy, and analytical skills to identify the optimal solution, then co-ordinating and steering the efforts of self and others to implement the solution
- Experienced at evaluating and negotiating partnerships, joint ventures, and acquisitions
- Oxford-educated engineering graduate
- Driven by a personal passion for excellence
Yabadoo, sole proprietor (2007 – current)
- Community-based site targeting the Spanish eGaming market via search engine marketing
- Technology leverages open-source applications based on the php/MySQL platform, integrated with out-sourced proprietary code
- Content from outsourced copy-writers
- Monetisation achieved via affiliate relationships with eGaming systems, such as 888.com
Barcelona Internet Marketing SL, sole proprietor (2005 – 2011)
I provided consultancy services on Internet technologies, e-commerce strategies, SEO, and Internet marketing. Projects included:
- Design and implementation of an on-demand hotel reservation system.
- Identifying best-of-breed 3rd-party reservation system for an apartment rental company; subsequent installation & customization.
- Development and implementation of an Internet marketing strategy for a UK online-bingo company’s move into the Spanish market.
BookaBed, sole proprietor (2002 – 2006)
now on http://i-hotels.iagora.com/
- Consumer-facing portal for hotel reservations. At its peak, in the top 3 for all hotel-related search terms in Europe (e.g. “hotels Barcelona”), generating 250,000 visitors and 3,000 bookings a month.
- Traffic to the site generated primarily from intensive SEO targeting the main search engines such as Google
- Solely responsible for development all aspects of the site, including the design, usability, code-base, database, and search engine marketing
- Formed partnerships to provide hotel affiliate revenues to 3rd party sites, integrating my application into their sites
Active Hotels Ltd, CTO (2000 – 2002)
I joined Active Hotels, then an e-commerce start-up, as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) upon its formation in 2000.
Active Hotels was sold in Sept 2004 to priceline.com Inc for £90M, at which point it was turning over $300m in booking value across 5,000 hotels in 11 countries. After joining the Priceline family, Active merged with Bookings BV in July 2005, creating Booking.com, which in 2007 booked 20 million room-nights, turning over $2.4Bn across >40,000 hotels in 63 countries. Booking.com is Europe’s leading online hotel booking agency, and the website carries 17 languages.
I was responsible for all technical aspects of Active Hotels, including the technical roadmap, product development, design process and management, project scheduling, liaising with internal and external clients, IT support, recruitment, the production environment, and advising the board of directors on all technical matters.
Selected Responsibilities and Achievements
- Decision regarding prototype technology within constraints of very limited start-up budget
- Identifying optimal solution for the long-term need for a more robust and scaleable platform
- Successful implementation of a hotel reservation prototype in MySQL/php platform
- Asynchronous integration with several hotel distribution systems
- Migration of the prototype to a more-commercial J2EE platform, based on consultation project with external experts
- Balanced the short-term needs for continuous product development on the prototype platform with the long-term migration project
Development Process and Management
- Scheduling of development projects
- On-time delivery of fit-for-purpose solutions
- Introduced the XP agile development methodology into the company. This required much stronger communication between technology team and the business, greater transparency in decisions regarding development priorities, and a radical new way of working for all concerned.
- Delivered many projects on time, included
- Real-time rates and availability system
- Hotel admin interface both by web and by web-phone
- Client reservation interface
- Integration with 3rd party distribution systems
- Affiliate system for tracking and managing affiliate integrations
- Set-up and on-going management of hosting environment
- Ensuring as close to 100% SLA as possible
- With zero budget, the first cut was on a shared server! Once we had funding, we moved to a dedicated hosting solution.
- Scalability and robustness very quickly became an issue – oversaw move to self-managed production environment based on the IBM range of servers, hosted in a secure off-site environment.
- Implemented an automated remote system for monitoring server response; organised 24*7 technical response in event of server outage
- Instigating and maintaining close working relationships with a number of technology partners
- Relationships varied from our hosting and telecoms providers, to multinational hotel chains, to the major travel GDS’s.
- Contributed to the development of the XML specifications for the travel industry, under the Open Travel Alliance (OTA)
- Identification of requirements in areas of skills and expertise
- Recruitment of all members of the technology team
- Identified and filled the most critical roles in the start-up phase (all-round programmer/designers)
- As the business evolved, identified and filled positions for Java programmers, Oracle database admins, and systems managers
- Arranged for training of existing team members as we migrated to new technologies
- Liaising closely with the COO on a day-to-day basis
- Advising the board of directors on technology issues
- Co-ordinating with the various managers of the business departments
- Obtained support from the business managers for the implementation of the XP process
- Obtained approval from the board for the migration to the J2EE platform
- Advised on the technology implications, viability, and cost vs. benefits of a variety of business proposals
- Completed “Due Diligence” to meet potential investors’ requirements
Other employment history
- 1999: Weddings-Direct.com: Director, though a grand word as there were only 3 of us! Cold Fusion-based wedding planner. Venture failed due to lack of funds.
- 1998 – 1999: Juicy Designs – providing web design services on a freelance basis.
- 1995 – 1999: Water Systems Analyst, first at Binnie BlacK & Veatch in Redhill, then Mott MacDonalds in Cambridge.
- And of course a motley selection of student jobs!
- E-commerce technology strategies
- Open-source technologies
- Search Engine Marketing (SEO & PPC)
- Project inception, management, and completion
- Fluent Spanish
- MA (Hons) Engineering Science, St Catherine’s College, Oxford University 1989 – 1993
- 4-year intensive course in all aspects of Engineering Principles.
- Modules included: Computer Science and Programming, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Hydraulic Engineering, Project Management, Economics
- A-levels: Maths (A grade), Physics (A grade), French (C grade)
Travelling – I’ve travelled throughout Europe, India, and parts of the USA, Africa, and the Middle East.
Interests include snowboarding, yoga, running, and swimming. I also enjoy good restaurants, good wine, the cinema, and an occasional hand of poker.