1. It seems like you switch hobbies every year or so. Does that mean you are done with the old hobby or do you regret not spending so much time on them? (Aka: what happened to your lifetime supply of LEDs?)
I don't know why that is. It looks as if I made a hobby out of starting new hobbies. It's just that I seem to have a wide area of interest, and that I have both the means and the time to pursue various avenues of activities. It is true, I haven't touched a soldering iron in over a year. And I haven't brewed for a long time either (but that may be because I still have self-made beer in stock).
I think I have a slightly obsessive nature. I tend to latch on to things and do them -- I want to get to the bottom of those things. And when the next thing comes along... Well, it's not like I have forgotten about the previous thing, but I feel a need to get to the bottom of the new thing.
The life-long supply of LEDs is still there, and I'm sure I'll eventually return to it. But right now, I'm cutting stamps. Who knows what I'll be doing in six months?
2. What are the most important qualities a manager should have?
In short: a good manager is able to support his people in doing their jobs, and getting better at it.
3. Would you always get a new pet from an animal shelter?
Yes. There's many really sweet pets at animal shelters -- then why not get a second-hand pet? I don't feel the need for a 'brand-name' pet.
4. What is in your opinion the most important change/development/thing influencing anime in the last ten years?
Easy: the use of computers. 3D CGI has had a huge impact: instead of animating every single frame, you 'only' have to build a 3D model of the mecha and render that. It enabled studios to get more animation for the same money -- especially mecha and sci-fi shows now could feature epic space battles without it breaking the bank.
And now cell-animation is not made with cells anymore, but on a computer screen. That sped up the whole workflow: coloring neatly is easier with a mouse than with a brush, and you don't have to handle and film the individual cells anymore.
The computer has enabled small-budget productions. Some of those are really bad, but some of those are really great. "Voices of a Distant Star", for instance, was made by a single guy on his computer. And it's a really good OVA -- that wouldn't have been possible without computers.
5. As a manager, I'd imagine you spend more time interacting with people and dealing with others emotions than with the technical stuff. How do you feel about that?
So far, I don't miss doing the technical stuff. I thought I would, but I don't -- that's a bit of an eye-opener. (Granted, people still come to me for technical advice, so it's not like I'm completely out of the loop in that respect. I don't think I'll ever be, considering the type of company TNJ is.)
It's my challenge to keep my people happy and to enable them to do their job better (as I answered to your second question). The emotional aspect can be important in that respect: sometimes an emotion or a behavioural pattern forms a blockage that prevents growth. Finding out what the problem is an fixing it or providing a work-around is immensely satisfying, because you can see people regaining the pleasure in their work. Granted, I'm not a professional coach, but I've had a few successes (that also got me where I am now).