This month’s "Meet the Member" features drummer enthusiast, marketing wizz and self proclaimed bad sailor James Webb.
Tell us a little about yourself
I'm James and I'm the business and marketing manager for www.beatbalance.co, which is an app for drummers, which my very talented friend Neil has written. I've been working in the corporate world for years and when I got made redundant last year it coincided with Neil looking to launch BeatBalance commercially so he asked me to get involved. I've been living in Ipswich for about ten years with my wife and two boys, I'm a drummer, a guitarist, and a very bad sailor.
When do you feel most creative?
There's an energy that comes from having talented people in a room together, and that talent doesn't have to be something traditionally thought of as "creative". I've been in technical project meetings where lots of different people are problem-solving and working together to make something that is more than the sum of its parts, and that's an amazing feeling. There's also that epiphany moment you get when working in a group where you go "yeah, we got this, we've made something together" which is really hard to replicate when you're working on your own.
How did you find out about Unicorn Studios?
So my friend Jon Wright from Radio Suffolk told me about you guys a while ago. My wife and I are both self-employed and were looking for reasons/excuses to leave the house and get some of that "office banter" feeling again, so we decided to give it a go - and we haven't looked back. Being able to discuss my work with people with different experiences, knowledge and skills helps me to make better decisions, especially as I'm working in a field that's new to me.
While working at home what is your guilty pleasure?
I shouldn't really feel guilty about it, but after years of corporate office jobs, it's a real pleasure to just be able to work to my own timetable!
Have you had any embarrassing Zoom moments?
Lots of people have pet stories, but I was impressed with my cat when she turned her butt directly in to the camera when I was on a call with a colleague who I didn't see eye to eye with. A convergence of arseholes, you could say.
What is your hidden talent?
I don't hide my talents - they're meagre enough as they are! We've all got so many sides to our personalities, so some people will know me as an IT trainer, some as a musician, some as a dad. Probably not many people know that I speak a decent bit of Russian....
If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?
Learning. If you're good at learning, you can do anything. There's very little in this world that is intrinsically difficult to do if you can apply yourself and you're open to learning.
What’s one of your favourite memories from 2020?
We managed to get away to the Norfolk Broads last summer, one of my favourite places in the world. We didn't have a TV on the boat so we introduced the kids to "Norfolk Broads TV", which involved sitting on the foredeck and watching the world go by. I was stunned when they actually really enjoyed it!
What are you most looking forward to doing when the world gets back to ‘normal'?
My world isn't going back to "normal". I'm done with normal - which for me meant turning up to a job that I liked but didn't love every day, and having the same discussions (generally about the value of training) year after year.
What would success look like for you in the future?
I've got a really good balance now between my home-life and work - if I can make that pay too, then that's got to be a win, hasn't it?
Would you rather be a tiny unicorn or a giant hamster?
Hamsters basically sit around thinking about eating and sleeping, which would suit me pretty well. I think being a unicorn - of any size - would be an ongoing exercise of self-justification: everyone would expect you to be doing magic and stuff, when sometimes you just want to roll around in some sawdust. So yeah. Hamster.