Who is IT NZ: Ian Apperley

This edition of Who is IT NZ is a very special edition. Like they used to do very special episodes of Blossom. This week it’s Ian Apperley. Former owner of this very blog. It’s also a very special edition because we’re publishing this on Ian’s birthday. Happy birthday Ian. Thanks for the blog!

Who is IT NZ is a feature of What is IT NZ that we talked about in an earlier post. We’ll meet you for coffee, ask you a version of the Proust Questionnaire and just hang out and have a nice time. Afterwards you introduce us to someone else so the chain keeps going.

What’s your business?

That’s a complex question, I have hands in lots of things, so my primary business is IT transformation and I work with a lot of different govt agencies so where they get stuck then they will engage me to help with that process. People change, strategy, play books that sort of thing. Then I also write for NBR as a tech commentator and also for Wellington scoop as a local politics commentator and then I also write for an awesome tech blog – What is IT NZ.

What’s your role?

I have many different things I do, but primarily, I’m an IT consultant.

What’s your two sentence elevator pitch for your business?

I help companies get unstuck with their technology and move from much older heavier IT systems to new systems like cloud.

What’s your favourite virtue?

Curiosity and passion because they transcend everything from work to your personal life to your relationships.

What do you look for in a friend?

Someone who is smart, kind, honest and that’s usually about the end of it. I’m not too interested in what your smart in, but I prefer friends who are.

What’s your dominant characteristic?

Curiosity – I am very curious about the way things work. I like to ask a lot of questions and I put together quite complex systems together in my head around relationships of people, and technology and business, I’m curious and systems thinking. Because it seems to me that good systems thinking could solve a lot of problems. And I over analyse. You can’t give me enough data – I consume a massive amount of information.

What’s your biggest flaw?

I get frustrated with myself if I can’t explain a change, then I feel I can’t communicate properly. So the flaw is the frustration as there is obviously something that I’m not doing to get something over the line, or there is something that I haven’t heard and as a result have made an incorrect conclusion somewhere.

What’s your favourite occupation?

I think my favourite occupation would be a writer of anything. I think writing and language changes the world and it’s not until you’ve seen it in action, whether via a great author or commentator is that the language can change the way people think about something. It’s almost like telepathy, I can think of something in my head, put it into language and you read it, and then it’s in your head.

What’s your idea of happiness?

I think a lot of people think that happiness is a thing that you chase, and it’s not until you give up chasing it that you realise that. I don’t know, is the short answer. I know a lot of people try to find happiness through repeating some kind of process that someone else has done and comprising themselves. So what it isn’t, is compromising on your values, so not doing that, leads to happiness occurring like a spontaneous thing.

What’s your idea of misery?

Stuck in an unfulfilling job, in the same desk every day, repeating the same old process, and not being able to change anything.

If you weren’t you, who would you like to be?

One of my heros was Hunter S. Thompson. I really liked his style, his impact, his language and his madness. But he changed the way America thought and exposed it as dead.

Where do you wish you could live?

It’s boring, but Wellington. It’s a nice place, it’s far away from trouble. The weather is shit of course. Easy to travel – we can go away and come back again.

What’s your favourite colour and your favourite flower?

I only have one favourite flower and it’s the gerbera, because it’s the only one I can keep alive. I have an orange gerbera that I’ve kept alive for months and months. And I’m amazed frankly, because I’m not a hands on garden person at all. I like autumn colours – blues and greens. Not orange. It makes me look like a Viking.

Who is your favourite character in fiction?

It’s not Jack Reacher. That has to be one of the most awful characters ever. I quite like Prospero in the Tempest, because he is a weird and strange character in a weird and strange story.

What is your favourite swear word?

I enjoy putting swear words together, like arse-face, and fuck-head. I always admire people who can swear in a string. It’s a bit like swearing poetry. It’s amazing when someone does that.

If you’d like to take part in Who is IT Wellington, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.

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