MY BEST ... Going it alone and launching Steebek Systems in 1982. It was a bolt from the blue, as I had a safe job with General Datacomm and a young family and I needed to remortgage my house and get a big bank loan to found Steebek. It frightens me to look back at the risks I took, but I was so convinced about the opportunity. I'd approached my employer with a plan to broaden the business and it meant setting up a development centre for modems in the UK. They turned it down, so I did it myself.
It launched me on my career of entrepreneurship. I've now founded four firms and invested in others. I believe passionately in the strength of British technology and the skills of British engineers - we have great ideas and inventiveness, but the lack of an entrepreneurial culture and understanding investors holds us back.
MY WORST ...
Merging my present company, server appliance vendor Equiinet, with German company DICA in mid-2000. It was at the height of the IPO boom and Equiinet had a strong product but not the funding to go global. DICA was in the throes of an IPO, so offered a short cut to the funding we needed - or so I thought. The stock market downturn killed the float, and six months later DICA went bankrupt. There's a happy ending, though. I bought Equiinet back from the receivers and we're now successfully growing again.