Paul Brown is co-founder and CEO of DisplayNote Technologies which was formed in 2012 and is based in Belfast. Prior to founding DisplayNote Technologies, Paul was the managing director of Qwizdom, which he established in 2003 and grew the organisation to be a market leader within the student response sector in the UK market. He also served as sales managers for Randox, Edge and Texthelp Systems.
DisplayNote Technologies Ltd builds solutions that allow people to share connect and collaborate on their mobile devices.
DisplayNote is the inaugural product from DisplayNote Technologies. It helps presenters share and engage audiences effectively during a presentation. Audiences can capture slides, make notes and share their screens to the presenter and room display.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you share how the inspiration for DisplayNote came while looking at Sony’s PlayStation devices during a conference?
Paul: While this conference set the initial wheels for DisplayNote in motion, it was ultimately a combination of factors that helped form the company overall. At a handheld learning conference in London about six years ago, Sony employees were trying to position the PSP as a learning device, when in reality it was a gaming device. It did not gain traction in schools but it was amongst the first handheld consumer devices that saw the opportunity in education. Only 18 months later Apple developed the iPad and the education industry grasped the possibilities. We then saw the potential for taking the content that teachers had created on their computers and delivering that content from the computer to a set of iPads.
BusinessInterviews.com: How long did it take from first having the idea to getting it to market? What were some challenges that you encountered along the way and how did overcome them?
Paul: The process took about nine months. Some challenges included finding the local people who could execute so we didn’t need to outsource and potentially lose control of the project. We knew we had a product idea that would solve problems for teachers and display manufacturers, but our technical challenges revolved around ensuring that we had the right people to deliver a product quickly.
BusinessInterviews.com: When did you realize that DisplayNote would be a great tool in both business and educational settings?
Paul: The association between DisplayNote and the interactive display has always meant it would be a perfect fit for education. However, recently, business customers are really embracing the “Bring Your Own Device” initiative which means businesses are now rolling out new technology quite quickly after it has been introduced. As such we have organisations such as car manufacturers and the prison service using DisplayNote in their meeting rooms and training rooms.
BusinessInterviews.com: How did you manage to sign up three major manufacturing partners before officially launching DisplayNote?
Paul: I had a number of relationships from a previous business and when I chatted with them about the idea, they were keen to invest themselves in the project. It’s a great example of making sure that you build what your customers want. We are still learning from and listening to our customers.
BusinessInterviews.com: What are some trends that you’re excited about or think that our readers should be paying attention to?
Paul: Bring Your Own App (BYOA) is a very exciting trend at the moment. There are some very useful apps on the market at the moment and it is empowering for staff to be able to use these in their teams in order to inform future company policy.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you share how you’ve been gearing up for the launch of your new app; Swoodle?
Paul: We initially previewed Swoodle at the Dublin Web Summit in early November. The reaction was overwhelming from individuals and businesses that saw how they could use it to work together and have faster communication. We are opening our beta period in December in order to gain valuable feedback and polish up some features ahead of launching in early 2015. We have been working hard on social media, developing videos and working with early adopters on the specific ways in which they can use Swoodle.
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