otaku / おたく

(oh-tah-kooh) — a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests

I'm obsessed about...

Web Design


Web Design

For the past 10 years I've been obsessed with the internet and building web sites. I love the creation process.

In 2001 when I created nzflatmates to help university students find better flats and flatmates. Newspaper classifieds were the media of choice back then, so building a web site seemed like a good idea. Over the past 10 years nzflatmates has attracted over 100,000 members. The site received a major upgrade in 2012 and has (I think!) been restored to its former glory.

In 2005 I started online auction site Zillion and set out to create a viable alternative to Trade Me. I can't say it was the huge success I was hoping for, but it provided the greatest challenge and the most learning opportunities out of all the projects I’ve been involved in. In 2006 Zillion won the award for “Best New Website” at the NetGuide Web Awards. In 2010 Zillion was sold to Sella Ltd and both the members and listings were transfered over to Sella and the site shut down.

Since 2009 I've been working with Simon Barton and the team at Mighty Ape building a world-class online shopping site for New Zealanders. Mighty Ape is an exciting business to work on because of its leadership position in the online retail space. Over one million New Zealanders visiting the site every month.

In 2014 I started Twosome which is a social networking site that connects you with like-minded New Zealanders looking for dating, new friends and relationships. Building a site like Twosome has been a dream of mine for a long time and I'm excited to have another great project to spend my time on.

Read more about: nzflatmates, zillion, mighty ape, happysheep

Ultimate Driving Machine


Ultimate Driving Machine

When I'm not obsessing about web sites, I'm usually trawling the internet for BMW news or parts for my 1987 E30 M325i. I love the old-school BMW ownership experience, the friendly wave from other E30 drivers, the design language, the lightweight chassis, the period wheels, the analogue clock, the inline 6 engine, the houndstooth interior, that distinctive 1980s BMW smell. I also own a 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe (aka 1M) and admire BMW for sticking to their roots: two doors, 6 cylinders, real wheel drive and 6 speed manual.  

I’m also a big fan of the BMW MINI. I've obsessed over the “new MINI” since it first broke cover in early 2001, and was one of the first to line up, without a dollar to my name, to drive a demo car when they arrived in the country nearly a decade ago. It would be another six years before my dream of MINI ownership would come true. Like BMW, I love MINI’s commitment to a design language - the ovals, the short overhangs, the two-tone paint. I’m a daily reader of Motoringfile and follow the development of the MINI brand with great interest.

Read more about: bmw, mini, cars




I’m a self-diagnosed Apple fanboy. My apartment is overrun with shinny gadgets. iMac, MacBook Air, Time Capsual, Apple TV, iPod, iPad, iPhone...you name it, I went broke for it. I admire Apple’s commitment to world-class design in all aspects of their business from hardware, software, retail, point of sale, advertising and so on. Apple products make me happy.

Read more about: apple, ipod, mac, iphone

Childhood Obsessions


Star Wars, LEGO and Super Mario Bros

I love my childhood obsessions as much today as I did when I was a kid. Star Wars and LEGO have always been close to my heart, conveniently coming together in the awesomeness that is my Star Wars LEGO collection. I love the characters, the story telling, the adventure. I love that LEGO lets kids be creative and experience building something from nothing. I spent hours and hours of my childhood building LEGO yachts, spaceships, castles and more. Fun times.

My love of Mario started with the NES and reached its peak with Mario 64, which I still regard as the best video game ever made. It was through Mario 64 that I also met Simon and Vicki, when I bought one of only four N64s to arrive on launch day at their retail store, Gamezone, on Symonds St.

Read more about: star wars, lego, mario, nintendo

Share my obsessions? I’d love to hear from you