Your background, how did you get into what you do now?
My background is in R&D going back to my Phd days. I started out working in the connected car space which was a nice mix of technologies that are very prominent right now Mobile Wireless, Location-Tech, Internet of Things and Big Data. After my thesis I went to work for what is now The Insight Centre for Data Analytics, the largest big data research centre of its kind in Europe. While a Principal Investigator at Insight I tended to gravitate towards commercial or industry projects as I liked working on research that ended up being used in the wild. I got introduced to the mobile engagement and analytics space working on a 2-year project with Disney Research. We were looking at using mobile to engage with users in theme parks in away that benefited both the user and the park owner. After that I started a project with an Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation fund grant to develop some indoor location technology. I ended patenting that technology and spinning it out into Xtremepush where I’m now CTO.
1 minute pitch, what do you do and why is it awesome?
We help Brands with Apps understand their users, and communicate with them in new & exciting ways that benefit both the brand and the users. This improves customer retention and increases ROI.
It’s easiest to explain with an example –
Take a sports team that have a fan app like a Premiership football team or a European Rugby team. We help them understand when and where people use their app. Using our technology they can communicate with a user who comes to a match and goes and sits at the top of the terrace, before kick off. They can send this user a message rewarding them with an offer of pitch side seats on the half-way line at a reduced rate or maybe even for free if they are a very loyal fan. The fan can accept and go and move right there and then.
— XtremePush (@XtremePush) October 11, 2015
Have you been to the Dublin Web Summit before?
No, this year will be the first for me. We’re hoping to be exposed to a lot of exciting ideas, companies, tech and people at this year’s summit. It’s always great to share stories and ideas with people at events like this, learn from the experiences of others and hopefully be inspired by something you see or hear. Of course you want to uncover future clients and partners too, and if you can have a bit of craic at the night summit along the way well that’s a bonus.
— XtremePush (@XtremePush) October 14, 2015
What are you excited by at the moment?
The whole mobile space, it is moving at an incredible pace. It is a very exciting time to be involved in mobile and online marketing automation. We are operating in a multi-multi billion dollar global market that is still emerging and evolving daily – the opportunity in this market is enormous. The convergence of web and mobile with innovations like offline, to online retargeting is particularly exciting.
What sort innovations are you looking to introduce?
We will be looking to introduce more innovations that allow our clients to provide their app users great experiences. For example with offline to online retargeting, users who are visiting a brand’s locations such as stadiums, venues and retail outlets can be rewarded when they reconnect with that brand online.
How was the last 12 months for you?
The last 12 months have been really exciting. We’ve grown the business taking on a lot of new clients and adding to our team. We just recently announced a multi million euro deal with US marketing cloud giant Gravity4. We have a lot of positive momentum right now.
— XtremePush (@XtremePush) October 6, 2015
What are you most happy about?
On the tech side probably our location technology as we believe it is the best in class. Our location technology is unique in terms of accuracy, ease of use and scalability, you simply add our SDK to your app and can add thousands of locations on the platform later at your leisure. On the business side probably the deal with Gravity4. To be chosen in a competitive process by a billion dollar US company to provide their mobile engagement and analytics solution is huge validation of the work we have been doing. Especially when the tech was evaluated by former Apple and Amazon execs including the guy who did iAds for Apple.
Where do you hope to be in next 1 – 3 years?
We aim for the company to be a €100M business in 3 years and to be a leader in our marketplace with our product. I hope we can continue to grow our team in Dublin. We have an amazing team of 12 in Dublin right now. We will be looking to double that in the next year or so. We have been very lucky with the team we’ve put together, they are an amazing bunch. Growing the team won’t be easy as recruitment is one of the biggest challenges facing tech businesses. And if we can do that I plan to still be leading the the tech side of the business as CTO.
What tech do you wish was already invented and available to make your life easier?
A never-ending battery for my phone. Smartphones are revolutionising the way we live, work and play but battery life is a bit of a pain point at the minute. As someone who travels a lot for work and depends on my phone to stay connected you spend a lot of time looking for plugs to get an extra few percent. A breakthrough in battery life or battery charging that will dramatically reduce how often you have to plug in your device would be nice.
Life / work, online / offline, what are your strategies for managing it?
With the long hours involved in getting a start-up off the ground it’s difficult. You have to manage life and work as one and try to strike a balance. It is very important to realise that downtime is as important as time spent working if you want to stay fresh and productive.
How / where do you create time for yourself to be a dreamer and a thinker?
I try to fit in a good bit of cycling in my downtime. I find there’s nothing like a couple of hours on the bike to clear the head and get some good thinking done.
Xtremepush will be speaking athttp://iabireland.ie/event/iab-mobile-connect/ at the end of the month.