What was your first job?
James Mackay (JM): As a family company I was always involved with Manaccom as a child. I hit the payroll at 14 and worked on school holidays packing boxes. At university I had a part-time job with the company in the production department and also worked Saturday mornings at my local Retravision store.
How did you end up in the IT industry?
JM: I didn't have much choice! Manaccom was started in my brother's bedroom by my mother and father. My whole family has worked for the company at one point or another and it's still a family business. I've always joked that I wished my parents started a cosmetics company or a modelling agency as that would have been much more fun with far fewer geeks! But it is great fun working with our vendor and retail partners so I can't complain too much.
How did you progress to where you are today?
JM: I've worked most of the jobs at Manaccom, but I hate spreadsheets so I tend to stay away from the accounting side of things. My first full-time role was as the Queensland account manager, which led to the office-based outbound sales role, then some marketing and eventually into the strategy and publishing role.
What do you like about your current job?
JM: I'm lucky enough to work with some terrific people. We have a really dynamic team and the headcount has exploded recently so there's a new and exciting atmosphere at our head office. I also enjoy the travel and meeting different people from around the world.
What is the biggest achievement of your career?
JM: We've had some amazing growth over the past five years and seeing Manaccom nominated for the BRW Fast 100 list was exciting. By all accounts we would have been included this year if the final nomination form wasn't waylaid on the way to the judges.
What do you dislike most about the IT industry?
JM: I'm often asked to speak about the IT industry and I'm sometimes asked this question. The more I hear it the more I'm convinced that IT, as an industry, is one of the biggest in the country. Others like mining, horse racing, construction and so on are all pretty self explanatory.
The IT industry though is multi-faceted and it's hard for people to be truly conversant in all areas. For instance, Internet content filtering, RAM pricing and document management are so far removed it's hard to even include them under one umbrella.
So, keeping pace with all the different technology areas is exciting but from a business point of view it makes it hard to stay ahead of the pack.