Techno life

Six years ago, Mark Christophers dropped out of corporate life as a venture capitalist to found the West Cornwall Pasty Company with a bunch of old snowboarding mates from his schooldays. Now he spends his time travelling the country, making sure that the enterprise's 34 outlets are doing good business, and running the numbers on his smart Sony laptop.


I first saw this phone in a gadget mag last year, and I knew I had to have one. I love the styling, and with Nokia you know that the operating system underneath it all is absolutely rock-solid. It hasn't got Bluetooth, but to me that's an advantage, as it means you can't look an idiot wearing one of those headsets. I travel a lot and it's my lifeline. We are relaxed about people taking time out to play golf or whatever, but in return we do like to be able to call them any time, even at the weekend.


A lawyer friend of mine has one of these and she showed it to me at Henley a while ago. I thought it was amazing. Our style of business is very informal - we all hate the idea of a big head office with lots of people who just make work for themselves. So we move around a lot and most of our meetings are held in one of our shops or in a cafe. The Blackberry is just perfect for the way we work, but I try to limit the amount of stuff flying around and take decisions based on small amounts of carefully chosen data.


This is the centre of my business world and I carry it with me all the time - in an old bag I call my virtual head office. I have to process quite a lot of financial data on this and translate it into how we are doing for the other directors. I like the fact that everything is built in, so there are no cables to lose and the screen quality is great. Retail is a simple business, but you'd be surprised how many people in it concentrate on sales without thinking about their margin, or forget that they are going to have to pay VAT.


Last year, I spent the season - four months - in Verbier so I could board. I managed to keep doing a bit of work, and when I wasn't working I could snowboard. I did get better, but at my age there's a limit to how far you can go. I had to come back here a few times but Verbier is not too far away. This is my fifth board; it cost £400 and the bindings £200. I love the retro wooden look - it's made of Hawaiian hardwood, the same material that the original surfboards were made of, with a layer of carbon fibre in the middle.


I saved £1,300 on the store price by shopping around online, but I haven't set it up yet. There are two other boxes that I haven't opened - they look a bit complicated. I could have paid £300 to get it installed, but I thought: how hard can it be?

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