Name: Gabriella Poczo
Job title: CTO
Location: London, UK
Years’ of experience: 25+
What is your favourite personal gadget?
My favourite personal gadget is something that’s been around since the 19th century – it’s my mechanical wristwatch. While I now spend my working life thinking about digital tech, my Bachelor’s degree was actually in mechanical engineering. Looking at the cogs and gears of my wrist watch helps keep me grounded.
Do you have a favourite piece of personal software?
Instagram without a doubt. I’m a very visual person and I find that Instagram gives me the best insight into the lives of my friends and family. Sure, Facebook gives more detail but I like how Instagram offers little windows into people’s lives, especially if we live far apart. The majority of the people I follow I know personally. I don’t have much interest in following celebrities. You can find me on gpoczo.
What was the first piece of technology you got really excited about?
I was an early adopter of the Sharp Zaurus, before moving on to the PalmPilot and Treo line of PDAs. I believe the Zaurus came out in 1993 which really shows my age. What I loved about the Zaurus was that for the first time, I didn’t have to carry a binder of contacts and lots of notepads around with me. It fitted snugly into my purse. I remember that an exec I was working with at the time said “Can you do this with your PDA?” before dropping his Filofax on the floor. That didn’t make me switch back to an old-school address book but it did make me buy an SDcard lest I had an accident with the Zaurus!
What device improves your life most at work?
Boring answer but it’s definitely my iPhone. I have the iPhone 6 Plus rather than the vanilla 6. The bigger screen makes it easier to send emails, read documents and the like.
What software keeps you most productive at work?
Slack. While instant messaging services for the enterprise have been around for a while, Slack brings team communications and collaboration to a whole new level. The interface is beautiful on web and mobile, it’s easy to hop around to communications by team or project, and it reduces email traffic.
Is there any technology that has become extinct that you would like to resurrect?
I’d love to bring back Space Invaders machines. Video games have got much more sophisticated over the last 30 years but nothing beats the simple pleasure of blasting row after row of pixelated little aliens. But maybe they could make it 3D.
Is there any technology you would personally recommend that you don’t think enough people know about? (Hardware or software, work or personal)
Okay, so it’s hardly a secret, but I don’t think enough people appreciate how worthwhile it is to own a record player. The quality of sound is richer and more distinctive from digital music. Record players change how you listen to music. Spotify, iTunes, YouTube and the like encourage you to consume music in snippets. A record player makes you take your time and listen to full-length albums. There’s something about gently lowering the needle onto a record which is also really satisfying.
Do you think anything about your personal use of tech would surprise your colleagues?
As CTO of WorldRemit, I’m always looking to continually improve our technology. This requires delving deep into our tech and not being afraid to make big changes. In my personal life, I love apps and gadget but I just want them to work. I don’t fidget around with my personal tech whereas in my working life, it’s quite the opposite.
Phil Muncaster reports on China and beyond