DAVID BUTCHER: David Butcher's quest to find out whether employee-owned firms really work proved an eye-opener. 'I envisaged places like United Airlines, where there was a sense that the lunatics had taken over the asylum,' he says. 'But it turns out plenty of co-owned companies like John Lewis and Ove Arup do really well. It may not be the promised 'third way', but it can be a smart move for privately owned firms.' MT veteran Butcher is a freelance writer on business and the media.
KATE BARKER: Kate Barker casts her expert eye over Jim Hirst's collection of essays on the global economy, The Challenge of Change. Her judgment? 'An engaging read with stimulating glimpses of the future.' Barker is an external member of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee and was previously the CBI's chief economist. A weekend campanologist, she rang in the millennium at her local church in Essex. 'I didn't plan to become a bell-ringer, I just saw they were advertising for someone.'
TIM WATERSTONE: MT put Tim Waterstone in the Room Service hot seat this month. After gentle interrogation, he reveals a taste for the world's finer hotels, particularly the Ritz-Carlton Boston. Waterstone set up his bookselling chain in 1982 with pounds 6,000 redundancy pay from WH Smith. Eleven years later, he sold it to WH Smith for pounds 47 million, then bought it back in 1998. He left the group in 2001, and is now chairman of the department store Daisy & Tom, and author of three novels.
ADAM LEYLAND: Adam Leyland, who contributes this month's BBC feature, sees parallels between the corporation and Cuba, which he's just been to. 'They're both great places to visit but somewhat flawed in their set-up. And it's a toss-up as to whether Cuban cooking beats the BBC canteen.' A freelance journalist and former editor of Press Gazette and PRWeek, Leyland dreads the day when advertising disturbs the Beeb airwaves. 'Can you imagine John Humphrys being interrupted for a mobile phone commercial?'
NICK DENTON: Nick Denton is causing a stir in New York, where his weblog (online magazine) Gawker has become a Popbitch for Manhattan socialites. Providing a live review of news and culture, Gawker's obsessions include Conde Nastiness and real-estate porn. Denton was the FT's tech correspondent before co-founding Moreover Technologies in 1999. This month, MT tempted him down from the blogosphere to post his thoughts on the turmoil at the New York Times.
SCOTT GARRETT: Scott Garrett, the man who drew MT's Global Salary Survey illustrations, is quite the surrealist, liking nothing better than turning something familiar into something funny. He has used his skills to illustrate some very odd ideas, including a fly about to commit insecticide and a ghost wearing a sheet sewn like a human. Working as a freelancer since leaving Kingston University, he says his outside interests include playing pool and listening to music from the '60s and '70s ... 'but only the good stuff'.