90 Second Chat Series for #IBYE

No such thing as overnight success, so be passionate about what you do, says #IBYE 2014 Finalist, Shane Byrne. 90 second Q&A with Shane Byrne of Showoff in County Wicklow.

 

“There is no such thing as an overnight success and if there is, it’ll never stand the test of time,” Shane Byrne of Showoff (#IBYE Finalist from 2014).

Name: Shane Byrne

Title: Co-founder of Showoff                                                                                                          

Company Founders: Shane Byrne and Philip Kirwan

Award Category: Best Established Business Category, Finalist at #IBYE 2014

For those that don’t already know, what exactly is ‘Showoff’, and who are your customers? 

Showoff is a software solutions-based company that specialises in native mobile applications for iOS & Android.

Since starting in 2012, we’ve created agricultural apps, social media apps, augmented reality apps in addition to health and medical apps. We’ve created over 60 apps in two and a half years, so we’ve been busy to say the least.

Our customers come from a multitude of industries, including dairy farming, health, medical and most recently, the takeaway sector with ‘Hungr,’ a German- based start-up headed up by Rasmus Wolff, the ex-COO of ‘Just Eat’.

Showoff made it through to the first-ever IBYE national final last December, representing #TeamWicklow – what was that experience like?

It was awesome to represent Wicklow on a national stage as it’s rare that Wicklow are in with a chance to win any form of an All-Ireland. But also for us, it was a testament to the work that our team and ourselves had done to that point.

It really gave us the boost we needed to move onto the next level.

What inspired you and Philip to come up with the idea in the first place?

Philip and I have been friends since we were 12, and had always talked about setting up a business together. We both understood that the mobile market was going to get bigger and better, and that’s the reason we choose to take on the mobile applications route for our business.

How quickly have you been growing?

Since this time last year, we have doubled our team and we now have 14 members in #TeamShowoff.

Obviously, mobile and web developers are the cornerstone of the business but we also have fantastic project managers and designers.

The long term plan for Showoff is to create 50 jobs over the next three years, with positions across the board.

You’re exporting your services to Germany – how is that going?

Brilliant! ‘Hungr’ launched last week in Berlin to rave reviews. It’ll be going live throughout Europe in the next few months and we’ll even get to see it live in Ireland soon.

Working with a company based in Germany was obviously huge for us from an export perspective, but getting to work with Rasmus Wolff (a.k.a “The Kingpin of Takeaway”) has been a great experience.

You’re also collaborating with another #IBYE finalist from last year, Rhona Togher from Restored Hearing – how did that all start?

During IBYE’s Finalist Bootcamp in Wayra in Dublin, I introduced myself to Rhona and the team at Restored Hearing.

We got talking about how they needed an app, and thankfully we were able to work together on their new iOS apps that will be coming out in the next few weeks.

It’s great working with IBYE Alumni, as these people represent the best that Ireland has to offer. So, every time the opportunity to collaborate comes up, we jump at it.

How has Local Enterprise Office Wicklow supported Showoff so far?

Shane Byrne at IBYE Regional Final

 

Wicklow LEO has been a huge supporter of Showoff. We have always used them as a source of information and we have benefited from the grants they offer to help make our vision a reality.

What are your ‘Top Tips’ for anyone thinking of starting up their own business, just like yourself and Philip did in 2012?

Do it! Take the chance! If you really believe in the product or service you have to offer, and to make it a reality at the same time, you need to be able to adapt and be agile, otherwise the market and your competitors will leave you behind.

Make sure that you are passionate about what you do, and realise that there is no such thing as an overnight success and if there is, it’ll never stand the test of time.

Have a very definite plan. You have to be flexible and open to change but you have to be dynamic and always be prepared to back up your options.

As you were in the #IBYE National Finals last year, what words of encouragement would you give to someone facing the judging panel for the very first time?

Be confident in yourself, your product and your team, and make sure to thank your team if you win. They’re the people who stood by you on the bad days as well as the good days.

Make sure that you are prepared and if you have a product or service and give the judges something that they will have to remember you by, once you have left the room.

What were the biggest benefits from entering #IBYE?

We gained huge media exposure which was obviously brilliant; we made great connections-some of which have become friends and even customers. It also allowed us to refocus our aims and goals to take Showoff to the next level.

IBYE is a fantastic initiative and for me, it’s a great place to see the ‘best of the best’ get recognised for the courage it takes to start up their own business and take a chance.

To find out more about Shane and Philip’s business, visit www.showoff.ie, or find them on Twitter here:@showoff_ie and Facebook here: /showoff.ie