Our series of Q&As with this year's BYPY finalists has now moved onto the technology category. The head of D4 Software tells us about his hatred of clutter and printers, admiration for Cleopatra and love of a sunny Sunday in Melbourne.
Name: Daniel Thompson
Job title: Managing Director
Company: D4 Software
BYPY category: Technology
1) If you could go back in time and have one conversation with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you discuss?
I would go back to meet Cleopatra. Her life story is fascinating. She was clearly very intelligent, ambitious and determined. At a very early age, she became a ruler at a time when it was unheard of for women to hold any kind of authority.
I would ask her how she stayed strong despite the lack of precedents for women in power and what drove her on. I am sure the answers would be both inspiring and witty.
2) Which single element of any city in the world that you have visited would you like to see transplanted into Birmingham?
I spent a while working in Melbourne. It's a great city with a very laid back atmosphere. I wish I could transplant Melbourne's Southbank on a Sunday afternoon into Birmingham.
Not long after going, I discovered the Southbank would be full of street performers every Sunday.
There were magicians, acrobats, dancers, musicians and groups doing ballroom or latin dancing, all out in the open. The whole thing felt great and just brought everyone together.
3) Which technological innovation would you happily see consigned to history and what would you like to see invented which doesn't yet exist?
That one's easy - printers. They are evil. They have it in for me. They never work consistently. They fail at the most inopportune moments, for arbitrary and indiscernible reasons. On top of all that, they require expensive ink.
And every one is different, with different options and a different control panel. Technology should just work, nobody seems to have told the printer manufacturers that though.
What's the point of printing things out anyway? Sometimes I go to a meeting and they give me a printed handout, wouldn't it be easier to email this round?
I can't press 'control F' and search this printout. If I wanted to keep this, I have to buy a folder or a filing cabinet to put it in and then I'd have to pay rent on office space to keep it all in.
So instead I'll just scan it, or ask for an electronic copy. Either way, this printout is going in the bin the moment I leave the meeting.
What I'd like to see invented is a machine that untangles headphone cables. I'm sure I've spent several months of my life untangling cables.
4) Think about who your ideal dinner guests might be but instead you can only invite their relatives. Who would you choose and what would you ask them?
I'd invite the grown up children of old rockstars - The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, U2 etc.
The reason is that rockstars are all about rebellion and breaking the rules, it would be fun to hear whether they all became mature and sensible parents, or whether they brought their kids up in crazy and hippy ways.
Especially because I'm a parent now. It's a cliché but you do turn into your parents and find yourself doing things your parents used to do.
I wonder what happens when your parents used to fill football stadiums and trash hotel rooms. Do you rebel and become a librarian or do you follow in their footsteps?
5) There are many 'National Days', some more obscure than others, but which one would you like to create that doesn't already exist?
I'd have a National Clear-out Day when, instead of rushing to the shops to buy things for each other (be it presents, cards or chocolate), we all clear out our houses and put anything we don't need on the streets for other people to take away if they choose.
We all just have too much stuff in our lives these days. A National Clear-out Day would give us all a bit more space and the things we don't want could be recycled or collected and sold for money.