Interview | Gary Boon

In Conversation With..

Issue 38

What were your career ambitions growing up?

I think like most young boys, aspiring to be a footballer are fond memories I have. Unfortunately, I don’t think there was a position that quite suited my particular set of skills.

Tell us about your current role?

I’m the founder and CEO at Shout, a software development company based on the Quayside in Newcastle. I have the privilege to work with some fantastic people and clients every day looking into exciting ways of applying new technology for our client’s businesses.

What is your proudest business achievement?

I always wanted to build a business that would create jobs in the software and technology sector. I’m proud that as a North East company we have been able to do that and give our team the opportunity to work with many exciting clients from across

the globe.

How has your industry changed in the last decade?

The tech sector changes at such a pace it is sometimes hard to keep up with everything! Over the last decade, the rise of the mobile has not just changed our industry but the way the human race communicates and interacts. Cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain, amongst many others, are platforms and technologies from the last decade which are going to change the world and our industry drastically.

What are you currently working on?

We’re very proud of our client work and the many on-going projects, many of which are under NDA. We are working on several applications of emerging technology, as part of our innovation hub, with exciting projects in the space of AI, Conversational UI and Voice.

Tell us about your team?

They are great, everyone brings something to the team and as a collective I think we have something special.

What is the best piece of business advice you have been given?

Think strategically. There’s always tactical work to be done, but sometimes you have to take a bit of time out and a step back to think about where you want to go as a business, and importantly how you’re going to get there!

What advice would you give to your 18 year old self?

That you’re going to make a lot of mistakes and encounter failure along the way, but that is ok, as it’s what provides the most important lessons. If everything is going right all the time, you’re doing it wrong!

Who are your heroes inside and outside of business?

I once went to a seminar, where one of the exercises was to imagine being sat at a table with four of the most inspiring people you can think. For me, those people were Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Bobby Robson, Steve Jobs and Henry V.

How do you unwind outside of work?

I’m a big football fan, so I spend my time going to the match and enjoying the trials and tribulations of being a Newcastle United supporter!

Favourite Book/CD/DVD?

It depends on the mood I’m in, but I do enjoy history, as I think it teaches many lessons. At the moment I’m reading a book about the Medici family – The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance.

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