Travel Tech Q&A: Zuora's John Ruthven

Summary:John Ruthven, vice president of Australia and New Zealand for Zuora, is currently based in Sydney, but he's previously worked in the Big Apple and isn't afraid to travel if he can't Skype instead. He gives us his travel tips.

John Ruthven, vice president of Australia and New Zealand for Zuora, is currently based in Sydney, but he's previously worked in the Big Apple and isn't afraid to travel if he can't Skype instead. He gives us his travel tips.

John Ruthven
(Credit: Zuora)

Zuora is a subscription billing service that helps companies charge their customers for products in a way that works for the particular company and clients.

What tech do you travel with and why?

Apart from the obvious iPhone, MacBook and iPad, my Bang & Olufsen earphones are essential. I have had them for maybe 10 years, they pack away into a neat leather pouch and are great for movies on the plane, music and the inevitable Skype calls at 3.00am from your hotel room.

What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?

Without a doubt — LinkedIn. It is just fantastic for a last-minute search of someone's profile that you are meeting, or trying to get an image of them when you are standing in a hotel lobby trying to locate them — if you are meeting them for the first time!

Personal travel advice/tip?

Travel as little as possible — use Skype, chat, whatever! You can never get the hours back spent in customs halls, airport lounges and checking in. If that doesn't work, then do not make eye contact with the guys that want to swab your carry-on luggage immediately after the scanners — just keep walking!

How do you deal with jet lag?

If possible, manage your schedule so that you can go for a 30 to 45 minute run as close as to landing at the destination as possible. Landing on early morning flights is ideal, with an early check-in and a run — then into the office.

What was your biggest travel disaster?

Considering the amount of travel I have done, I have been very lucky. But a few years ago, I did have a run of three consecutive long-haul trips where my luggage was lost, including one where they lost my luggage on the way there and on the way back. In fact, on the trip back, it took them over four weeks to get my luggage back to me, which had reputedly gone to a tropical resort without me.

Is there one thing that you must do before you leave home?

Pack as close to departure as possible — the ideal is, zipping up your bags as the car arrives to take you to the airport. Also, I make sure that my wife has a full copy of my itinerary with contact numbers.

What is your dream travel tech to have on planes/in airports/at hotels?

Ubiquitous wireless that does not require constant log-ins and is available for the duration of a flight. On a much simpler level, an Apple MacBook power supply that doesn't trip the Qantas on-board power supply ... or, alternatively, a battery that lasts the duration of a long-haul flight.

Favourite destination city to work/visit and why?

San Francisco — I love the energy of the place, and you can almost feel the technology in the air. It has and still does set the technology agenda for the world.

Which airport would you prefer to be stranded at and why?

Short answer is none — they are soulless places. But if that is not an option, probably Singapore. Its lounges are great and the retail is OK. Also, if you have several hours to kill, it is very practical to leave the airport and go into Singapore for a few hours.

Topics: Apple

About

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for t... Full Bio

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