Tom Berry: CEO, Chameleon

Tom Berry is CEO of Chameleon.

What do you love most about Your City?

London is a city that defies organisation. If you go to any of the major European capitals, they are all ordered into neat boulevards and sculpted gardens. There’s nothing wrong with that, but London has built itself over the centuries – defying the designs any one grand architect. You only need to get lost in the maze of alleys, streets and lanes in the City of London to realise that this seemingly structure financial centre is based upon the higgledy piggledy, beautiful mess constructed in the weeks after the Great Fire. Getting lost in London is one of the great pleasures of living here – and I still get lost regularly after 25 years as a resident.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

When I’m at work I tend to have breakfast at the office, which is generally fruit, carrot juice and coffee. At home, I make my girls bagels (one with butter, one with Vegemite) and then take bites out of each of them. It’s a kind of breakfast Dad Tax. If I am going out to eat then I love Borough Market near London Bridge. So much choice.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Making coffee downstairs and listening to the radio. A couple of times a week I will then go out for a run with a couple of mates before I get the train. Both Soraya (my wife) and I work, so we split the morning routine of getting the kids ready for school depending on who is most awake and energetic.

10:00 AM - I work best in the morning. Just ask my team – I’m pretty useless and distracting after 3pm. So the morning is when I do all my writing. I tend to sit on the sofa at one end of the office with my headphones on and get stuff done and out of the door.

12:00 PM - Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?

My first question would be what is a Power Lunch? That aside, I tend to have lunch with clients or am out and about in London visiting prospects. If I have lunch on my own when out, then a naughty trip to Wong Kei in Chinatown is a real treat. I’ve been going there since 1994 and always order the same: cold roast pork on hot rice with gravy, feisty chilli oil and jasmine tea. When I first started going there it was £2.70p. Now it is over £6 – not massive inflation for over 20 years. I feel a part of that place. They are still massively rude to me, though, which is rather comforting.

7:00 PM -  I’ve usually just walked through the door at home at this point. I don’t work in the evenings or weekends unless I absolutely have to. Home is for family. My usual routine is to talk to Soraya about our respective days, chat to the kids, have an early dinner, listen to a record or two, read my youngest a book and go to bed.

11:00 PM - I am fast asleep by then. My usual bedtime is 9:30 or 10 at a push. I can’t stay up any later.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Black coffee and beer. I used to drink 10 or more strong coffees a day, but have that down to three or four now. I also love a lunchtime pint. I know it isn’t very fashionable to do so any more, but a pint offsite with a piece of writing to do or some emails to read keeps me focused and allows me to think. I have a short attention span, so I need a constant change of scenery. I hardly ever sit at a desk.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

I use a combination of Reddit, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, depending on what I am posting and to whom I am talking. I also love YouTube as I don’t watch TV, but do love video. On Instagram, a friend at another agency has set up an account for their poems, which are excellent: @obillyriddle 

What should everyone try at least once?

Saying yes to everything asked of you. It yields interesting results. 

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

London, as in my first answer. Guess I should have read all the questions through before I started answering. That’s why I suck at exams.

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