THE ANDREW DAVIDSON INTERVIEW: DAN WAGNER - The youthful founder of MAID, now proprietor of Bright Station, may be a proven techno-prophet, but he has been slammed in the press as a flash self-promoter who falls short on results. He is surrounding himself

THE ANDREW DAVIDSON INTERVIEW: DAN WAGNER - The youthful founder of MAID, now proprietor of Bright Station, may be a proven techno-prophet, but he has been slammed in the press as a flash self-promoter who falls short on results. He is surrounding himself

by ANDREW DAVIDSON, Magazine Journalist of the year

Sometimes it isn't easy being Dan Wagner. 'What can I say?' He looks at me, his face momentarily losing its normal, confident sheen 'It's been a catalogue of f***ing disasters, hasn't it?'

Wagner, chief executive of Bright Station, holding company for a host of tech ideas, is contemplating the ruin of his recent career. He set up his first infotech company at 21, floated it at 31, made the mega-takeover deal when he was 34, crippled by debt before he was 36. Last year, aged 37, he surprised everyone by selling off the bulk of his company Dialog's business and setting up afresh as the tiny (well, pounds 8.5 million turnover) Bright Station plc. A naturally ebullient, some would say irritatingly assured, performer, Wagner now seems chastened by the whole experience.

And when did you first have these feelings, Daniel? 'The eight or nine years after I started my first company were awful ...'

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