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Meet Dan Pass, Chief Technology Officer

Behind Perenna is a great bunch of people. Meet them here. 10 December 2021 by Casper Arboll

Meet Dan, our cap-wearing tech-guru and CTO! Stemming from a line of drummers, Dan is an avid musician who can play the guitar, bass, violin and, of course, the drums. We could have lost him to a career as a rockstar before Perenna started. Luckily for us, another upcoming Devon band, Muse, stole the local spotlight and rose to become international megastars. Thank you, Muse, for leading Dan down a career path to becoming our CTO. We’re not sure what we’d do without him.

 

Quick Questions

Who is your favourite musician/band?
I have a broad music taste – it can vary from Hans Zimmer to some Jazz/Blues to Heavy Metal. It all depends on the time of year, my mood and whatever’s happening around me. Today, I’m listening to Archspire, a Canadian technical metal band. But I could be listening to something very mainstream next minute.

Apple or Microsoft?
I would have to say both! I’m a heavy Apple device user, but we’re in the middle of building some parts of our platform using Microsoft, which is the best option for us for now.

Steve Jobs or Bill Gates?
I would choose Steve Jobs every time. Mainly for all of his personality quirks. I’m aware that he wasn’t always the most pleasant person, but he cared deeply about his designs’ aesthetics and how people would feel about the products he was creating. Steve Jobs ensured that the product was the best it could be. I find him inspiring. Bill Gates developed Windows to solve a problem and get as much money as possible.

Who’s your favourite Star Wars character?
Han Solo, because everyone’s got a little bit of space pirate in them.

What three things would you bring to a desert island?
I would bring a guitar (with its lead and headphones), an iPad mini and a solar charger. As long as I’ve got solar power, I can power my iPad, read my kindle and record songs on the guitar. Someone could eventually come across lots of interesting music.

What’s your best purchase in the last year for under £100?
A home pod mini (Apple) that sits on my desk. It’s a good speaker, works with all Apple devices, is small and portable and just a great little thing.

How many hats do you own?
I own an excess of 40 hats; this includes caps, flat caps, beanies, trilby’s, genuine handmade Texan cowboy hats and a bowler hat. I couldn’t pick a favourite, but I tend to gravitate towards a flat cap. My hat collection continues to grow as I have two handmade hats on order.

What’s one thing we don’t know about you?
I was born and bred in Devon, and in my 20’s I gigged around there. We even got to gig with the guys from Muse. As everyone knows, they became global megastars. The band I was in wasn’t quite as successful! Our singer used to go to school with the lead singer (Matt Bellamy), and the bass player (Chris Wolstenholme) used to work in the music shop in Torquay that we visited frequently.

 

Why did you join Perenna?

I was keen on working somewhere with a mission that could positively impact people. Perenna’s mission, creating a nation of happy homeowners, is the one that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning, and I can see how it can fundamentally change the life of a large group of people.

We can fix things that are fundamentally wrong with mortgages at the moment, for example, people becoming mortgage prisoners getting stuck on bad products or even being rejected when they could afford it. Perenna’s offering will create a ground shift in the entire industry, and we can do it without lending our customer’s own money back.

When someone offers you something exciting where you can see its potential for making a difference to people, it’s difficult to refuse the opportunity! If you enjoy your job and where you work, it brings drive and means it’s easy getting up in the morning. The technical challenges are exciting too!

 

What led you to a career in technology?

I’ve always been fascinated with taking things apart, reassembling and improving them. Getting into computers allowed me to do exactly that.

I was attracted to the role of Chief Technology Officer because I enjoy supporting people to succeed with technology. I think it’s important to remember that tech expertise varies from person to person. I see it as my job to make sure that everyone across the organisation is comfortable using the available tools and operating as efficiently as possible.

 

What is your best travel memory?

Orlando Florida! I love it there and have been going back every year since 2015. For three weeks of the year, my wife and I forget about everyday life and go to the theme parks/soak up the atmosphere. I even got to fly the Millennium Falcon, which was a big bucket list tick! It’s easy to become bogged down with the pressures of life, but it’s essential to relax and have fun sometimes.

 

Could you give us a fun tech fact?

Technology is never perfect – imperfect humans designed it, so never expect a perfect product.