From Humble Beginnings to Tech Titan: How Nick Christou Revolutionised the Screen Industry and Built Europe’s Leading LCD Empire

In an age where the virtual realm knows no bounds, the real estate industry is at a pivotal crossroads where traditional marketing methods and digital innovation meet.

We spoke to Nick Christou, Managing Director of British Tech Brand, about life at Microsoft, how you setup a successful niche business, how to stay at the top of the game, and much more!

Nick, your journey from childhood to tech visionary is both unique and inspiring. Could you share with us some insights about your early years?

Nick Christou: Absolutely. My early years were a bit of a roller coaster. Being bullied at school wasn’t easy, and my dad leaving us when I was just a year old meant Mum and I were a bit lost, and moved around a few times. This added to life’s adventure! But, hey, I got to grow up in various places, from beaches to inland spots, thanks to my mom’s wanderlust. It was like being on a never-ending exploration, which, looking back, was pretty cool in its own way.

That sounds like a foundation for a resilient character. When did technology first captivate you?

Nick: Oh, technology and I go way back. I was five when I got my first computer, a Commodore Vic-20. I was the kid who’d rather hang out in the Junk Shops, marvelling at old record players and speakers, than do normal kid stuff. I even started setting up DJ rigs with whatever I could salvage. In those days you were allowed to go the tip, and climb up the huge landfill picking out hidden gems. I guess you could say I was a bit of an electronics junkie from the start.

You liked broken technology?

Nick: Well, I used to like to know how things worked and especially how to fix them. If I couldn’t find broken stuff to fix I’d break my own stuff and then try and fix it! Mum was horrified when she’d saved up for that expensive computer, only to see it in bits a day later!

It seems like your passion for tech grew with you. How did it evolve during your teenage years?

Nick: By the time I hit my teens, I was all in on computer science. I became that cheeky kid who loved to pull pranks on teachers. My masterpiece? A taxi radio simulator that I secretly installed on the teacher’s computer. It played random taxi calls, with nothing amiss on the screen. Imagine the confusion! Those were the days of text-based computers, so this kind of mischief was next-level.

That’s hilarious! Moving on, what can you tell us about your college years and early career?

Nick: College was a brief episode; I dropped out. I wasn’t sure how to start my career, but landed on my feet with a job at Fujitsu Networks Industry. I worked on something akin to an early version of Skype or Zoom, which was pretty ground-breaking at the time. It allowed companies with staff all over the world to hold meetings virtually. Without the need for travel. In the late 80’s this was next level. It needed a special hardware card and an expensive ISDN line, so it was expensive, but man, were we ahead of the curve!

How did you transition into your next job in the tech industry?

Nick: After my stint at Fujitsu, I joined Logitech. The ’90s were booming for them, and I got to work on mice, keyboards, and sound cards. I was already DJing in my spare time, and that’s probably around the time I got into music and started producing my own stuff. It was an era of immense growth and excitement in the tech world, and I was right there in the thick of it. It was a very creative experience that I was very grateful to be part of.

I heard that this is how you also got into the Web?

Nick: Well, the Internet didn’t exist back then, but we did run a few modems! I had my own Bulletin Board system called Herbal Remedy BBS, you could dial into it from anywhere in the world and access the information and services there. I got really into ANSI ART which I absolutely LOVE! I guess this was experience that I later used when the Internet arrived – I was one of the first with my very own Nick Christou website.

What was the Nick Christou website?

Nick: Mainly music I had written, art – DJ Mixes that kind of stuff J Nothing that made me any money unfortunately!

You also had an experience working at Microsoft. How was that?

Nick: Oh, Microsoft was a blast! Beta testing Windows NT 3, working on Windows 95—it was a geek’s dream. The quality of training and the insights I gained there were phenomenal. Plus, I got to be part of some of the most iconic projects in computing history. They even have their logo on the sandwiches in the canteen!

This must have opened some doors?

Nick: It was an eye-opener. I became hot property! I’d get head hunted for very high profile jobs, I finally landed a job Managing the IT infrastructure for a company called Macro that spanned the UK and Europe taught me the ropes of large-scale network management. Starting from the internal network in Slough, dealing with tandem mainframes, Netware, Windows NT servers, to the satellite offices all around Europe… It was a heck of a ride.

It sounds like you travelled a lot with the company. What was that like?

Nick: Traveling was part of the gig. Connecting satellite offices back to Slough, using VPNs and remote desktop solutions—it felt like we were living in the future. Don’t forget back in the early 90’s this was before the Internet was a thing. Offices were connected via ISDN lines. Like a dedicated phone line that cost 10k a month for each site! Those experiences were invaluable, really set the stage for everything I did afterward.

You’re famous for developing some innovative tools. Can you elaborate on that?

Nick: Sure, one of my crowning achievements was the Instant Network Boot Disk. It made setting up new PCs on a large scale a breeze by automating the network setup and Windows installation. And guess what? I gave it away for free online. It even got featured in a best-selling book called Windows Server Hacks by O’Reilly in 2004. I was all about sharing the knowledge, not just cashing in.

Speaking of sharing knowledge, tell us about Qual-IT London Limited.

Nick: Qual-IT was my venture into the IT services space in London. We offered top-notch VPNs, internal LANs, virtual servers, you name it. It was all about bringing enterprise-level tech to businesses without the enterprise-level costs. And yes, we continued the tradition of rolling out cool tools, like Q-Backup for offsite backups and Q-PBX, a VOIP product that was so user-friendly, anyone could set it up.

Those tools sound incredibly user-friendly and ahead of their time. How did you manage to keep innovating?

Nick: I always looked to bring the cutting-edge tech I had experienced at the corporates to a wider audience. Virtualisation was a game-changer for SMEs. Imagine consolidating multiple servers onto one machine—Netware, Windows NT, all of it. No more need for an expensive, climate controlled computer room.  It streamlined everything, from management to backups with Q-Backup.

And how did this lead to you becoming the CEO of Laptop-LCD-Screen?

Nick: Well, by 2006, my business was evolving, and I kept running into the same issue: Companies had tons of broken laptop screens. The market for replacements was a mess—long lead times, customs delays, quality issues – you name it. There was (and still is) a lot of 2nd hand displays on the market being sold as new. I saw a gap and went for it. A year later, was born, and we hit the ground running, quickly becoming Europe’s go-to for LCD screens.

Facing competition must have been tough. How did you manage to stand out?

Nick: Our secret sauce? Stellar customer service. Cutting edge technology. Bespoke systems and software. Essentially everything I’ve learned rolled into one. We focused on making every interaction with us a positive one. Our online reviews are a testament to our dedication. Plus, our operation might look small, but thanks to some nifty automation I’ve been working on for 2 decades, we punch way above our weight and our website experience is one you won’t find on other sites in our class.

Your website has become a treasure trove of information on screens as well, with many tech sites and electronics sites referencing the information you have. There’s information for beginners all the way to screen cable pinouts and soldering diagrams. How did you achieve that?

Nick: We wanted to be more than just a shop; we wanted to be a resource. So, we filled our site with tons of videos and info. It’s all about empowering our customers with knowledge, while others want to hold onto their knowledge – and customers seem to love it!

What would you say is the ethos of your company?

Nick: “We guarantee a working screen or your money back!” That, and our insane warranties, really sum it up. We’re all about customer satisfaction and making sure they’re covered, no matter what.

With everything being so high-tech behind the scenes, have you embraced AI as well?

Nick: Absolutely. We were among the first in our industry to leverage AI, not to replace staff but to augment their capabilities. It means they can focus more on what matters most—our customers.

Finally, Nick, what’s next for you?

Nick: With me, you never know. I’m always looking for the next big thing, the next challenge. Let’s just say, keep your eyes peeled. The best is yet to come.

Nick, your journey is a testament to innovation, resilience, and a bit of cheekiness. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Nick: Thanks for having me. It’s been a pleasure reminiscing and sharing a few laughs. Here’s to the next adventure!

Nick Christou’s blend of humour, ingenuity, and technical prowess not only makes him a standout figure in the tech industry but also a compelling character in the narrative of modern entrepreneurship.