Q&A: Lastminute.com founder on eBay, mobiles and tech hates

Microsoft is not in a bad place to be trying to control your home and obviously mobile devices will be a key part of that.

What's staggering is when you look at the price of a Crestron remote control. It's so expensive I'm embarrassed to tell you. I could buy so many of these mobile phones for that. I could give them to all my friends. For them to flog on eBay

Have you ever used eBay?

Of course. Do you know what I've just bought, funnily enough? I had to replace the control for my home automation system because every time I looked at it, I wanted to throw it against the wall or throw it out of the window or something. And its battery life had gone down to 30 seconds, which is pretty impressive for a really expensive piece of consumer kit.

But on eBay I found the remote control, which in this country I was quoted three times the price. It was boxed as new. Actually it was new, but it was a third of the price.

You're obviously a very busy guy, what's your killer gadget apart from your mobile?

In business life there are only ever a few gadgets. There is the mobile and then there is the computer. So clearly it would be my MacBook Pro. That was the other indulgence for me; having one at home and one at work.

I'm very addicted to my phone. I'll use Twitter on the mobile, I'll be discovering what the new apps are. Any dead time, I'm always doing that. And, obviously I'm a slave to email. My email backlog is building up even as we speak.

Some of the really interesting apps at the moment are Red Laser and I think that some of the augmented reality apps are really exciting. Layar being the one that's getting the most buzz at the moment. News apps [are important to me]. There's one called Broadersheet and the Guardian app is coming out soon.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.