Fearless Editor was delighted to have a chance to interview Wayne Lansdowne, Chief Systems Architect and 10 year veteran at Applied Innovations and West Palm Beach Florida native. A Renaissance man: technologist, photographer, and connoisseur of coffee and Coca-Cola black
Fearless Editor: So what was it like, way back BA? (Before Appliedi!)
Wayne Lansdowne: In my former life, I managed a variety of retail specialty stores before opening my own. I had a record shop (yes, actual vinyl records) specializing in electronic music. And I created an early e-commerce store—long before iTunes.
FE: And then in October 2002, you embarked on what we can only look back on as an historic new venture… drum roll, please…
WL: Yes, it was a momentous occasion. I started out focused on customer support and slowly progressed into more specialized roles. It has actually been really fascinating, seeing the constant evolution and progression of technology. Seriously, I’m still just as excited (if not more) today as when I started.
FE: Seriously, then, do you have a proudest accomplishment at the company?
WL: I’d have to say it was building one of the largest Hyper-V private cloud server infrastructures outside of Microsoft.
FE: Thinking back, what surprised you most about the company after being hired?
WL: That’s easy, and it’s something that continues to impress me: How much everyone’s voice is heard! From the customers’ input to the new hire, every thought, suggestion, opinion and criticism is listened to and considered.
FE: Do you have any favorite customer success stories?
WL: I’m passionate about solving scalability issues and seeing these challenges overcome. One that stands out is helping a customer scale during a very intensive marketing campaign related to the World of Warcraft game launch. We did it in a matter of hours instead of the industry-typical days or weeks. They went from a few hundred unique site visits to hundreds of thousands in just a few hours.
FE: How about favorite screw-ups?
WL: Yikes… over 10 years there’s a bunch. Let’s just say once I almost restored a backup of an entire server (hundreds of websites) instead of restoring just one customer’s! I earned a nickname or two after that.
FE: Any other particularly memorable moments at Appliedi over the past 10 years?
WL: In 2006 we migrated (physically moved) a large number of servers from one datacenter to another. It was an “all-hands-on-deck’ affair with just about everyone in the company involved. We started early in the evening and ended somewhere around 3 or 4pm the next day. It was pretty hilarious to see the progression. Countless cans of Red Bull and Mountain Dew, endless coffee and donuts can only go so far! I’m glad to say not a single server suffered for the worse and everyone made it through.
FE: What new technology or skill set are you excited about learning right now?
WL: I’m super excited about Windows 2012, in the media it’s being referred to as Windows 8, and the advances being made around IIS 8 and Hyper-V. Everyone is taking notice. This is the release to watch and our customers are really going to benefit from it.
FE: Great stuff! Okay, so now for the fun part. We want to get up close and personal with the Legend that is Wayne Lansdowne. Wife? Kids? Pets?
WL: My wife Laura and I have been together 12 years and married 4. No kids (yet.) Currently, we have a Tabby cat named “G.” Yep, just the letter G! He’s grey.
FE: Got any hobbies?
WL: Outside of technology, I enjoy anything where I can be a bit creative and work with my hands. Past few years that’s been photography, and building and flying large model aircraft.
FE: What is your favorite charity or cause? Why?
WL: Anything kids or animals. It’s hard to say no.
FE: Most recent book you have read?
WL: Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership.
FE: Best last movie you have seen?
WL: The Avengers—loved it!
FE: Favorite guilty pleasure?
WL: Any kind of meat in tube form.
FE: Name three famous people (alive or dead) would you like to have dinner with.
WL: Da Vinci, Ray Kurzweil and Johnny Depp
FE: Rate yourself on the Geek scale for me:
WL: Give me a TEN! Commodore Pet, Vic-20, C-64, Ti-994a, Amiga 500, 300 baud modems and BBS’s… memories I look fondly back on.
FE: Firefox, Explorer, Chrome or Safari?
WL: Chrome. Period.
FE: Angry Birds or Words with Friends?
WL: Birds that poop explosives? You have to ask?
FE: Star Trek or Star Wars?
WL: Star Wars, but almost as impressive was The Matrix.
FE: iPad or generic digital time-wasting device?
WL: iPad. Outside of the Atari 2600, nothing has been a bigger time waster.
FE: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry?
WL: iPhone (today) especially for the apps, but Android is gaining my attention.
FE: What is your stimulant beverage of choice?
WL: I’m half Cuban, so it’s coffee for sure. Anyone remember Coca-Cola Black though?
FE: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in Swedish or English?
WL: English. I like to watch movies, not read them!
Ah, so many burning questions, so little time. But now we all know a little bit more about the man, the legend, the enigma, Chief Systems Architect Wayne “Never-Met-a-Hot-Dog-I-Didn’t-Like” Lansdowne. We can die happy.