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Interview with a tech entrepreneur

British and 26 years-old. Blimey

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TechScape Richard Stubbs speaks at a mile a minute - unusual for an Englishman, I’ve found. He also a self-admitted “tech geek” who’s managed to learn social skills and network through music, hanging out programming and hacking at uni and keeping his finger on the pulse of technology.

And there's another unusual thing about Stubbs - in his case the geek finally gets the girl.

Sitting with two laptops balanced on his knees, two external hard drives on the floor between his legs and his Dell PDA on the table in front of him, he’s a master juggler of high-tech chainsaws.

While he’s installing Fedora on one laptop, he’s furiously surfing the net and showing me different interesting sites, new technology and commenting with insults or praise in equal measure.

This young man is amusing - at first I wasn’t so sure that a complete lack of focus on anything for more than 30 seconds was a good thing, but it turned out to be infectious and liberating.

Richard Stubbs is a fun guy to be around. It’s because he’s so interesting, so interested and so passionate.

He may also represent an example of the most important economic demographic for the future of the UK: the homegrown technology entrepreneur. If the UK churns out more local brainpower like Stubbs, the economic and financial future of the UK within the EU will be bright.

Take Ireland, for example, which turned its economy around from 19.8 per cent unemployment to a surplus of jobs. How? Simple - just ensure there are enough tempting posts for graduates so they don't run off abroad and "brain drain" the country into recession. Provide decent housing and facilities for your tech community and there you have it - economic growth.

And Britain must do the same; with intention and commitment.

Stubbs, of course, has no idea I’m positioning him as Cool Britannia’s future, he’s just rambling on about the coolness of Netcraft and how many of the world’s websites with the least downtime are running on FreeBSD.

So, just what has Stubbs contributed to the UK economy so far? Well, he joined his first board of directors at 19, but more of that later. Here's how the whizz infant got started and eventually became the whizz, er, young man he is now.

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