C-suite talk fav tech: Murray Callander, Eigen

What tech do the c-suite really get excited about?


Name: Murray Callander

Job title: CEO

Company: Eigen

Industry: Oil and Gas

Location: Leatherhead, Surrey, UK

Years’ of experience: 17


What is your favourite personal gadget? If you look at what I use the most, probably my phone (iPhone SE – I prefer the smaller form factor), but it doesn’t give me a great deal of joy.  If you ask me what gives me the most joy I would say: 1. Omega Seamaster watch – 15 years old, still as good as the day I got it and I still like looking at it, or 2. My Tesla – it’s just so easy, comfortable and fast! 3. My new “The Frame” TV which doubles as a piece of art when it’s not on, 4. My Bosch cordless drill – I still can’t believe how much torque and battery life you can get in a tiny little drill. And finally, 5: My dishwasher – it genuinely frees up more of my time to spend with my family.

Do you have a favourite piece of personal software? Adobe Lightroom – it does everything you could want and when you find something it doesn’t do you can get a plugin that solves it. I make a book every year as a memory of the year and it’s a great tool. It’s not as intuitive as Apple’s iPhoto but it’s much more powerful and doesn’t slow down the more photos you add.

What was the first piece of technology you got really excited about? Other than my first computer? I remember my dad bringing home an “Apricot” portable computer about 30 years ago and it was supposed to do all this cool stuff, but none of us knew how to work it! I sat staring at a grey screen and occasionally managing to make some odd green characters appear, and then eventually having to admit defeat.

More recently, Apple’s iMovie – it is amazing what you can do with a free piece of software. That came out over 10 years ago and it is still going strong on mobile devices too.  They have done a great job of simplifying a complicated workflow and making it easy to produce decent home movies.  My kids entertained themselves for a whole day once, making a one minute trailer.

What device improves your life most at work?  My Jabra headset – I am on VC and phone calls a lot and the Jabra sound quality and noise cancelling is excellent. I’ve tried headsets twice the price and people would complain that they couldn’t hear me well or that there was a lot of background noise.

Or our internal IM system (Jabber) is also noteworthy.  It is very handy being able to communicate with the team wherever I am and wherever they are, plus you can see who is online if you need a quick response.

What software keeps you most productive at work?  Possibly Omnigraffle – it’s a great little drawing package that lets me put together all kinds of diagrams and graphics very quickly.

Is there any technology that has become extinct that you would like to resurrect? Concorde – it was such an icon and when I was growing up you always knew when it was 10am or 6pm because Concorde flew overhead.

Is there any technology you would personally recommend that you don’t think enough people know about? (Hardware or software, work or personal) TripIt is good – you just link it to your mailbox and it automatically spots travel plans and creates itineraries.  I travel a lot and digging out the right email with the right booking reference can be a pain. A lot of times I have ended up having to get my laptop out to check in.  Now they just appear in an app on my phone and the correct one is always on top, plus is gives me quick links to check online.

Do you think anything about your personal use of tech would surprise your colleagues? I think possibly I could be seen as a bit schizophrenic. I’m constantly looking to improve things. I run a tech company but I have turned off all email notifications on my phone and I won’t have an Amazon Alexa or Google Play in the house! I have also stopped using most social media and I’m going to hold out on my kids having their own smartphone for as long as possible. For me human interaction is still the most meaningful thing in life and I want technology to give me more time for that, rather than less.