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

People must also be asking you for advice. Is there a common question that you get asked?

It's the obvious one of wanting to start a company. What's interesting in the world we're in today is it's rare to meet people who don't have an internet idea or an app idea. So it's [asking about] how one goes about bringing that to fruition.

Is it worth it? That's what a lot of people are thinking. Because there's the glory of entrepreneurship but also the guts. You sacrifice your life to it and is that something you want to do?

Then it's tenacity. If you really decide you want to do it and you really believe in it then it the answer lies in tenacity. You have to be prepared for failure and for people to say it's rubbish but actually if you really believe in it and keep validating and listening and understanding why people are wrong if they say it won't work, that's a good thing.

The balance that's very hard to give people good advice for is when are they right to say "No, it's not a good enough idea"? and when should they believe in it?

Do you think you had it easier when you started up than people trying to get ahead today?

The challenges then were different. Raising money at the very beginning for the first round I remember our old boss saying to Martha and I "Have you ever seen anybody raise 600,000 with two people and a business plan?" And we thought "Whoops, this could be harder than we thought!" But we were lucky that that was OK.

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.