Innovators. They come in many forms. They dream big but they aren’t just dreamers. They form raw ideas into cool products with disruptive business models. They shatter entire industries and leave established leviathans running scared with their tails between their legs. The Innovators interview series connects you with the most driven people on the planet. What makes them tick? What advice do they have for tech founders? What tools do they use to get the job done? Read on to find out.
Dave Kearney is a founder at Fluid Software, whose first SaaS product fluidui.com launched on the 4th of July this year. Fluidui.com is a cloud based mobile app prototyping tool for designers, developers and product managers which allows them to create and test an idea for an app live on a phone in under 15 minutes. The company has grown from 2 to 6 full time employees this year and is looking to expand further over the coming months.
Prior to being involved with Fluid UI, Dave was involved in creating web, telecoms and interactive entertainment products with Modeva Interactive and Splash Designs for over 10 years, serving as a developer, project manager and head of development during that time.
What do you enjoy most about your work and why?
What I love most about being in a startup is the incredible energy created when a group of talented, motivated people come together to create something amazing. Every member of the team has a key role to play in choosing what the product will be, what the company stands for, what direction it will take and whether it succeeds in growing past those early stages. The sense of accomplishment in seeing it all come together just can’t be matched.
Where does your passion come from? What drives you, inspires you, excites you?
The most important thing to me is people. I love working with an absolutely brilliant team, I love hearing feedback (good and bad) from people and I love when people use our product to share their ideas and communicate with each other. In order to reach those people, it’s our job to create products that excite and inspire – things that people love. Combine a product like that with the crazy global nature of the net and I know our work can affect people positively in any place in the world at any time of the day or night. That’s more than enough to get me out of bed with a spring in my step every morning.
Someone reading this wants to start a tech company. What’s your best advice for them?
Reach out. If there isn’t a vibrant community of startups and other like minded individuals where you are, move to somewhere there is. Starting a tech business takes a huge commitment in terms of personal time and offers massive highs and lows. The more like minded people you have around you, pushing you forward, understanding your pain, sharing the same experiences and broadening your network, the more likely you are to succeed.
What are a few tech startups that you’re really excited about right now and why?
The Irish startup community is exploding now and there are going to be some massive and incredibly successful businesses coming out of it in the next few years. Enterprise Ireland are doing a great job in providing early stage funding, and more and more US and international VCs are setting up shop here too. The recently opened Dogpatch Labs in Dublin is incubating some of the most promising companies such as Logentries, Profitero and Scrazzl, as well as being the home of the growing international CoderDojo movement.
What tech tools (websites, apps, gadgets, etc.) do you rely on both for work and in your down time?
As myself and my co-founder live in different countries, we rely heavily on internet based productivity tools. Skype is our most important tool, followed quickly by Dropbox and Google Docs. Support is important to us too, and we’ve used Google Translate to help out with French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese support amongst others. I’ve also recently moved from iPhone to android and am still exploring the app ecosystem there. It’s nowhere near as deep, but I prefer the phone, so I’ll be sticking with it for the time being.