Meet the Team: Jon Plumb
- Name: Jon Plumb
- Company Role: Founder and Product Designer
- Favourite quote: The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty – Winston Churchill – amongst many other Churchill quotes
What do you do at Cambridge Design Technology?
When taking on board any development project, it is important to have awareness about all aspects of bringing a product to market. Having levels of commercial awareness as well as just technical is a major requirement to a successful development.
We interact with our clients on several layers – one may be the minutiae of a design, the next could be looking at the logistics of getting physical product shipped to its final destination.
We also have established working links with regulatory, legal and IP and also R&D tax specialist partners, so we are able to advise on many facets over and above technical design.
When working with a client, it is satisfying to make our clients feel that we have added value to their development, and that their success is our success.
The priority of any development project is not dependent on value or how exciting the project may be. Every job and every client is as important as the last and the next, and a matter of professional pride is to ensure that working with CDT is a pleasurable, rewarding experience.
What do you like about working at Cambridge Design Technology?
At CDT we have a culture of investing ourselves into our client projects. We sell our time and experience, and we want our clients to see our commitment to their development, so a positive “can-do” attitude is vital.
We also pride ourselves on good business ethics, honesty and pragmatism. Sometimes, not everything goes to plan. We believe that in these situations, it is important to stand up and be counted, and always have the foresight to offer solutions to problematic scenarios. This leads to a healthy pragmatic relationship with our clients.
What’s your background?
I am an Essex boy, born and bred. I was washing cars, mowing grass and delivering papers whilst at school, and stacking shelves and pulling pints whilst at college. Although I am privileged to work in the digital age, my first jobs were spent cutting my teeth on the drawing board working on ink and vellum.
I am not keen on people saying things were better in the old days, but in this instance, they may not have been better but I learnt how things needed to be done from first principles by hand, because a computer doing all the background/repetitive stuff hadn’t even been conceptualised. And the manual way of doing things has stuck with me since my first working days.
Having worked in professional broadcasting equipment and air movement systems, I finally got a job in a medical company and through the years was lucky enough to be part of a team creating new IP in intravenous drug delivery.
This company was subsequently bought out by a large US corporation, and was unfortunate enough to be a blip on the balance sheets – therefore our rural Essex venture was axed. I then moved into design consultancy, eventually going alone in 2002 and the rest is history.
Your top 3 favourite Podcasts/Books/Blogs?
I find it hard parting with cash for digital downloads, so when a solar flare wipes out every processor on the planet, I will sit in my chair and read a book from my library.
Working all week in front of a computer negates the desire for blogs and digital platform media, so my three favourite books are:
- A short history of nearly everything by Bill Bryson
- 10 books that changed the world by Melvyn Bragg
- And third place will be different every time you ask me but at the moment it is Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, as I used this as a basis of my trip to Rome following in Robert Langton’s frenetic footsteps across the ancient city.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Family and friends form the core of my downtime, whether at home or out, spending it with good people is the key to a good time.
I am particularly interested in military history and hunting down artefacts and researching the history of the people that used them is a very rewarding pastime, specifically from the Reign of Queen Victoria to the end of WW1.
Editors note: this article was originally published in October 2019 and has been revamped/republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.