We're really happy to finally get hold of this weeks interviewee. Paul Richards is a true renaissance man, and could easily give James Brown a run for his money as the "hardest working man is show business". A drummer for multiple bands, a one-man comedy show, film-maker, writer and now Business Development Executive for Cognidox. Enjoy this festive-themed Under the Spotlight, sadly it'll be the last of the year!
Describe your perfect Christmas Day.
Family and friends. Clichéd isn't it? And generally switching off from the outside world and being around those close to me.
Tell us about your recent "12 Days of Christmas" gig?
It was 12 gigs in one day - which was frantic! It was all in aid of raising money for Macmillan. Sadly my father passed away from cancer last year, so we felt the need to make money for Macmillan as they were fantastic to us. Last year it was 10 gigs in one day, but we thought that was a bit lazy, so we decided to go up a notch this year! It was all at local Cambridge venues and it really hurt the next day; at the time we were slightly drunk and enjoying it, but the next morning you wake up suffering - my hands were quite bruised! But we got through it, and there were a few tense moments, but by the end it was lovely!
What is your favourite Christmas song, and why?
I actually like "Last Christmas" by Wham! Everyone always goes for the Pogues, which is overexposed isn't it?! The Wham! song reminds me of school discos when I was much younger, and also when I was in a band years ago, we covered it as a reggae version which cleared the pub completely... I thoroughly enjoyed it though!
As a comedian, do you recall the worst Christmas Cracker joke you've ever read?
Oh I actually put one in the show the other day! I remember the punchline was "tinsilitus"... but I can't remember the setup!
Can you give us an elevator pitch for Cognidox?
We help address growing pains of scale-up companies around the areas of business process and information management. So basically we help customers find their information easily. If your company is growing and you have lots of forms and documents everywhere, we help to organise them in a safe place so they can be easily found. You can assign reference numbers to the documents, and you can then easily share that information with your customers, suppliers and partners. We can do it remotely or on-site; it's a great bit of software!
What is your role within the company?
I am the Business Development Executive; I'm looking for potential clients who would benefit from the use of our software.
Where do you find these all-important clients?
I'm always looking out for companies that have evolved from a start-up level, so I spend a lot of time searching through business news for those companies with potential.
What do you enjoy most about working at Eagle Labs?
Its the nicest vibe I've ever felt in an "office" environment. I quit the day job a few years ago to go full time as a drummer/writer/comedian, and when I decided to return to work part-time, I was wary of going back to a stuffy office. But its lovely here. Everyone is so happy, it's a really good vibe! As everyone else says, it is the people!
Will you be setting any resolutions for 2017?
Every year it's the same thing, and I never stick to it. I want to do less, but do it better. This year I released a novel, I released a film, I wrote two musicals, I've drummed 231 gigs... and a lot of them have been quite bad! But there's a few really good bits in there; the musical I opened last night made me think "that's a good thing I've done this month... ignore the film and the novel!" So I think maybe just a bit more focus on what I do; I've got too many ideas that are a bit half-baked. For example, I'll book a tour for a show I haven't written yet... that sort of thing needs to stop! Basically I need to calm down a bit!