This month the spotlight is on Paul Dundon, our Head of IT.
What brought you into the world of market research?
I moved to a new apartment in 2003 and one of my new neighbours ran a specialist market research company.
I did some freelance work for him and things grew from there. My previous background was a combination of psychometrics and software development.
Online market research seemed like a natural move from there (especially as, at the time, I was building robot systems for pharmaceutical companies, which wasn’t really my bag).
If you were stuck on a desert island and you could bring three people to join you, dead or alive, real or fictitious, who would you pick
Well, I should probably say my partner, Jim, to start with!
My second choice would be Velma Dinkley. I’m a long-standing fan of Scooby Doo and Velma is my favourite character.
Lots of cult TV has a “Velma” – someone competent, principled, and selfless and I have a lot of admiration for people like that. Also, I think she would just be really cool to hang out with!
My third would be Lisa Nandy. I’ve heard her speak on a number of occasions and she seems to be full of good ideas and a positive vision of things and dedicated to the work she does and the people she works for.
Having said that, I’d rather see her working in Westminster than stranded on a desert island.
Describe your ideal weekend?
I don’t really do weekends as a thing – I often use the time to catch up with bits of work that need peace and quiet or to pursue projects that interest me. For example, I wrote a word game recently – click here if you want to have a play!
We’re really fortunate in Manchester to have so much to do in the city itself – we have a great art gallery and a huge performing arts scene – and we are only a short journey from Liverpool and more picturesque places like Buxton, Chester and Marple.
In the days before lockdown, we’d try to have an afternoon out or visit an arts event on Saturday or Sunday.
I love cooking and entertaining and I try to throw a dinner party every three months or so – these tend to be fairly complicated affairs - the last one was a ten-course meal for eight people!
I love the challenge of doing them and the opportunity to share new and interesting things with my friends.
Favourite film, book and podcast?
I don’t have a favourite film, but one of my favourite moments in any film is the point in Mission Impossible II where Nyah injects herself with the virus.
Up until that point she has basically been an object manipulated by Ethan and Sean (the two male protagonists) but suddenly she is the controlling force in the story. Thandy Newton, who plays the part, is also brilliant in Westworld.
I’m a great fan of detective fiction – especially Val McDermid and Kathy Reichs – but the book which probably had the greatest influence on me was Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco.
I read it when I was a student and it inspired me to go and see the Pendulum itself. The dialogue between thinking and feeling, and mind and body, that Eco explores has shaped a lot in my life.
I don’t get on with podcasts; if I want to get information, I like to get it at my own pace and listening to someone explain something gets a bit frustrating.
I do listen to detective fiction on Audible, though, and recently enjoyed listening to Sayers’ “Busman’s Honeymoon”.
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No nonsense. No jargon. Just brilliant surveys for brighter insights.
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