The innovation gallery: Tom Liptrot
- 20 November 2020

Innovation is demonstrated in a manner of different ways. It can be technological, it can be transformational. It can be driven by the work you undertake with people, the impact you have on a market or your ability to bring about real change through new ways of thinking. 

The Innovation Gallery is a series of interviews from within the Konductor network, talking to the innovative and inspirational individuals, asking questions with a difference.

Name: Tom Liptrot

Role: Data scientist

Part one: the interview (the questions they didn't want to answer)

What is the most challenging part of your job and why?

My job can ‘mean’ different things – there are elements anyone could find difficult and there are things I don’t like doing. Keeping up with AI and applying this in businesses – cutting-edge doesn’t usually translate well into practical advice.

What has been your greatest professional failure and what did you learn?

Every machine learning project didn’t turn out as expected, but every time I have achieved something. Being in charge of a large team is not where I thrive – I don’t like sitting in meetings, I like doing things and I have learnt my strength is in other areas.

Worst piece of advice ever received and why?

 I don’t follow advice – I like to figure it out myself

What keeps you awake at night?

 A hacking cough

Most pointless job you have ever done?

I spent one summer pulling shells off sea slugs in a shellfish factory in Orkney. I got fired…

What constitutes success to you?

 Being able to do what you want to do

Most insightful piece of customer/client feedback you’ve ever received?

 “I don’t understand that” - when deep in tech you forget what it is like to not understand stuff. It may be obvious in your peer group but outside, not so much, so provides crucial feedback.

What would your nearest and dearest say frustrates them most about you?

 Probably my inability to put anything back where it came from -  I am messy

Part two: Quick fire

  1. Android or Apple? Android
  2. Words or numbers? Numbers
  3. Transformational or visionary? Transformational
  4. Red or blue? Red
  5. Lark or owl? Lark
  6. Coffee or tea? Tea
  7. Sweet or savoury? Savoury
  8. Twitter or LinkedIn? LinkedIn
  9. Times or Guardian? Guardian
  10. Radio Four or Five Live? Radio Four


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