Your background, how did you get into what you do now?
My background has been in Mechanical Engineering and Project Management. In recent years I had become fascinated in the way people were using social media to be part of a community online and I wondered how that might be bridged with a real world community. I felt there was a gap in the market for a Community Social Network App that had the ability to GeoFence messages within a specific radius – ie a social platform that also involved local and real contact. I used my previous business skills to find the software developers that would build the App the way I designed it. I managed the process step by step and also surrounded myself with the right team to bring the business along in other areas.
1 minute pitch, what does do you do and why is it awesome?
Yapping connects the dots between online community and real local people. Our members drop their home pin and then can see people and activities and news in a radius of up to 50km or less (members get to choose how local). It’s an open forum – a bit like an ongoing 24/7 tweetup for people in your area. Just choose what interests you.
— Irish Yapping (@IrishYapping) October 20, 2015
What are you excited by at the moment?
We are excited about the reaction that people have made at our Pre Release and the positive feedback. We really feel this App has the potential to change how communities interact on a global level.
Any of these that will help in your day to day work also / what sort innovations are you looking to introduce?
Our Yapping App is going to link communities on a personal level, while also allowing businesses to provide relevant services and products to local customers. It marries online with offline in an elegant real time platform.
— Irish Yapping (@IrishYapping) October 19, 2015
How was the last 12 months for you?
The last 12 months have been busy but exciting as Yapping has evolved. We have taken a simple idea and built a very powerful App. We are in pre release with great feedback already. More features are being added daily. It has been a busy twelve months.
What are you most happy about?
We are most happy about the potential Yapping has to bring communities together – especially the Irish and other diasporas scattered across the world. Often ethnic groupings are unaware of other potential compatriots when abroad – this makes it easy to link up. We have real interest already from a number of communities based in Africa and other geographically dispersed areas.
The other very exciting feature and one that makes us very happy is the ability to scale rapidly – the holy grail of all popular apps.
Anything you would do differently if you could?
There will always be things we should have done differently but this development has been a journey and an exciting one.
Where do you hope to be in next 1 – 3 years?
We hope to be rolling out Yapping across the main English speaking countries in the next 3 years as well as targeting interested communities – from all areas.
Have you been to the Dublin Web Summit before?
No, although I have heard lots of good things.
What will you be speaking about when you attend this year / who might it appeal to?
We will be speaking about the scalability of Yapping and its global potential.
We hope to speak to potential partners in the social media area along with VC`s and investors.
What tech do you wish was already invented and available to make your life easier?
Not sure on this one – maybe a machine to slow down time so I can fit more into every day!
Life / work, online / offline, what are your strategies for managing it?
Our strategies are on the model of Richard Branson (Surround yourself in good people and just do it) that’s why we have brought together a strong team of professionals from developers, PR & marketing, finance and commercial advisors to drive the company forward. My good wife keeps me in check with the family and we allocate quality time for us and the kids. To be honest I had to spend many years working away from my family and I appreciate the time I have with them very much.
How / where do you create time for yourself to be a dreamer and a thinker?
I create time for myself to dream and think a lot when I’m traveling, I often just go for a drive in my car just to fix something in my designs. To be honest my mind never really switches off from designing and strategizing but it’s something I really enjoy, it’s just the way I was built I suppose. Sometimes when I am with my family I have to make myself switch off and enjoy my quality time with them. I talk to many entrepreneurs and they all say the same: they just can’t help it but it’s what they enjoy.