It is not the guitar lying in a corner, or the poster celebrating iconic British rock band Radiohead, that sets this office apart. It is not the curated collection of artworks—including a whimsical painting by a former employee, an ephemeral, black and white figurative print and a playful, Indianized take on the classic Birth Of Venus painting by Italian artist Sandro Botticelli—that grabs my attention. It is not even the life-sized replica of the Darth Vader mask, the fictional antagonist of the Star Wars franchise, that I find compelling.
It is the selection of books that is most intriguing. Stacked on the desk, they look like they belong to a university student in a library rather than a chief executive officer (CEO). The Industries Of The Future by Alec Ross, a business book, sits next to The Course Of Irish History, edited by T.W. Moody and F.X. Martin. On a shelf above the desk is Night School, a thriller by Lee Child, and The Poetry Of Pablo Neruda, the Nobel-winning Chilean poet, amongst several other titles. The books suggest an occupant with a Renaissance approach, blending business, art, literature, history and technology. The objects reinforce this perception, pointing to someone with an evolved sense of aesthetics as well as a taste for popular culture.