Do you think a stomach for risk-taking, or an ability to make accurate calculations based on facts, is more important for a CEO?
GS: You need both! A CEO that is too careful doesn’t go anywhere, but either does a careless CEO. You need a balance between risk taking and thorough analysis. It comes more from experience than from studies, and it applies only to those who survive….
What is the most educational failure you have experienced in your business career? And what do you feel has been your greatest single success?
GS: Leaving my previous company because I felt it was not going in the right direction was a tough experience. Being able to organise a buy back 8 months later was my biggest success, as no one would have bet a dime on it.
Beyond the ubiquitous options like e-mail or a mobile phone, what is the single most important technology tool that you use in your work, and how does it improve your productivity?
GS: I think I should select the airplane. Without it, I would not be able to run SpecTec and spend time with our customers. It is incredible how I can literally go around the world in no time.
How does running a technology related business with customers in the maritime industry differ from your counterparts serving terrestrial users?
GS: Shipping is an extremely small vertical market, which is scattered all over the world. It is that geographic distribution which makes it both exciting and challenging. Exciting in that you can see worldwide trends, but challenging in that your customers are spread out everywhere. Not many businesses have to deal with that challenge.
Where do you think the biggest opportunities for businesses in the maritime IT sector will lie in the next five to ten years?
GS: Consolidation. I have been pursuing this goal for the last 10 years, without much success unfortunately. But we continue with this task, and we know success will come.