The Showplans CEO on extreme sports, the firm’s achievements and his fifteen minutes of fame on TV.
I was born in Carmarthen, South Wales on Christmas Day 1980, ruining my mum’s Christmas dinner. We did make the front page of the South Wales Evening Post for her plights though.
We moved to a small Somerset town called Wincanton. Many have misconceptions that there’s nothing to do, but my experience couldn’t have been further from that.
I was quite naughty at school and was probably a bit of a rebel, but it’s all relative; at my school you were seen as naughty if your shirt wasn’t tucked in.
That said, I did once get suspended for being caught in the girl’s dormitories.
I answer to many nicknames, none of which are appropriate for publication but some of the less explicit nicknames are Bones, Joner or Joneser.
I’ve never been afraid to get my hands dirty. During the summer holidays I worked on an organic farm, initially picking weeds out from between crops. By the end of the holidays I’d been promoted to tractor driver at the age of 14.
I used to be into some extreme sports. I still like downhill mountain biking and I try to visit Wales with uni friends when possible but the climbs get harder every time and my confidence outweighs my ability.
I am a big F1 fan and would love to drive in a competitive race series. I’m sure there’s still time for my F1 racing career to take off…if anybody fancies sponsoring me?
I was 28 when I started Showplans with Richard Dove. We had a couple of thousand pounds of savings between us, which we used to buy two AutoCAD licences and a couple of PCs.
Initially Showplan’s HQ was my one-bedroom bungalow in Fleet – unlike Google, Microsoft and Amazon we didn’t even have the luxury of a garage to start our business from.
We had a few amazing clients to start with, most of whom are still clients to this day, including National Boat Shows, Media 10 and William Reed to name a few.
We had a vision to design technology solutions for the industry that would make organisers’ lives simpler and more efficient.
We also wanted to take on the big boys who offer floorplans for free and demonstrate that floorplans can unlock the full potential of a show – a service well worth paying for.
We’ve steadily grown over the last seven years to a team of ten, now working from a real office in Surrey, where we even have space to display our three EN Awards and an AEO Award with great pride.
Outside of work all my awards are mostly either football or driving related, I also have a medal for the U15’s Dorset and Somerset Javelin record.
I play football most Sundays, I find that it’s a great way to keep fit and let off steam, although those on the receiving end of one of my infamous slide tackles probably don’t enjoy the game quite as much as me.
I’ve been married for two and a half years to my lovely wife Jody, who I first met during university in Swansea.
We were both on the same Industrial Design course but only started dating in the last few weeks of our final year while exhibiting our major projects at the New Designers exhibition at the BDC.
I’ve probably had more than my fifteen minutes of fame.
I’ve been on Going Live in the 80’s; I was seen dancing to a Robbie William’s song on Top of the Pops in the 90’s; TFI Friday, and my most recent appearance was on The One Show during the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace.
I’m immensely proud of what Showplans has achieved, especially when considering we started with practically no money, a few ideas and a lot of coffee.