The co-founder of Mr & Mrs Smith talks about her love of podcasts, her all-time internet hero and more in this week's guest edit.

Who doesn’t love a boutique hotel? We do, so it was great to catch up with Tamara Heber-Percy, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of the luxury online travel agent Mr & Mrs Smith. Tamara is an entrepreneur and technology strategist with a background in marketing. In 2002, she co-founded Mr & Mrs Smith – the travel club for hotel lovers – with husband James Lohan, and has been responsible for evolving the company’s digital infrastructure ever since. Today, Smith operates from offices in London, New York, LA and Singapore, and has more than one million members worldwide. As CTO, Tamara has overseen the development of its in-house booking engine and proprietary availability-management systems, as well as more recent innovations: the iOS app and global responsive websites for Mr & Mr Smith and sister brand, Smith & Family.

Her busy day doesn’t stop there; she is a mother of two; and mentors a number of start-up companies. She frequently speaks on the subjects of women in technology and business, and balancing parenting with career progression. In 2014, Tamara and her husband were awarded MBEs for services to the British travel industry.

My favourite app... Stitcher - I’m a podcast fanatic. Every morning I run to work and listen to everything from Serial to a16z. If you have an Android phone then this app is essential.

My blog of choice... Farnam Street - It’s given me so many tips on how best to practise mindfulness, how to develop new ideas, and alternative ways to find solutions to problems; big or small.

My internet hero is… Ada Lovelace - Founder of scientific computing

My most recent buy online... A customised t-shirt for my son with his band’s logo on it for his forthcoming gig. He’s only ten-years-old but he plays the guitar. They’re getting pretty good!

Book just downloaded/read – ‘Now We Are 40: Whatever Happened to Generation X by Tiffanie Darke.

Favourite tweeter… JK Rowling - Not only because she’s incredibly inspiring, but she’s also the absolute master of Twitter, whether it’s witty put-downs or thoughtful advice on life.

Favourite instagrammer… Garance Doré - I love how she curates and styles her feed. She showcases a mix of travel, fashion and food, all beautifully shot. Mr & Mrs Smith are about to launch an exciting collaboration where she’ll will be hosting a series of workshops in Marrakech.

Social media allowed me to meet… the fashion designer Olivia von Halle - She is one of the nicest people in the industry and my secret girl crush.

Most worthwhile newsletter subscribed to… Check out ’Proceed until Apprehended’ by Harriet Minter - I love the way she writes; it’s a perspective on life I find refreshing and there are always a couple of really insightful links.

Pet hate about life online… the distraction - I sometimes go down a rabbit hole and know I’m never going to get that 20 or 30 minutes back – it should have been used so much more productively.

Stand out online memory… Well, just recently a father tweeted about his son being bullied, and asked if anyone could wish him some words of support on his birthday. The response was remarkable – everyone from Russell Crowe and Dawn French to Ed Miliband and Stormzy got involved and it was very warm-hearted and generous. Social media at its best.

iPhone or Android? I’m responsible for Mr & Mrs Smith’s digital infrastructure, so I’m afraid it’s both!

July 2017