App Sandwich, Galway city, Co. Galway, Ireland

App Sandwich is an award winning app development company based in Galway, Ireland. Set up in 2011 by Vinny Coyne, among the company’s accolades are being awarded 2011 Best Developer at the Appys, which aims to celebrate the best in app development and innovation.

Who are you, where are you located and where do you work from?

My name is Vinny Coyne. I run an app development company, called App Sandwich. We’re located in Galway at the Innovation in Business Centre on Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) campus.

Do you have employees? If so, how many work in your business?

It’s just myself at the moment, but we occasionally bring employees and contractors on board as needed. We are currently working with two Irish-based contractors on a couple of projects.

What is unique about what you do? 

My goal with App Sandwich is to build quality, world-class software products, in the form of in-house apps (such as Muud.io), as well as our consulting work.

Is your location important to your creativity?

Location has been of great importance to me, and it’s been a conscious decision for me to stay in Galway. We’ve had great support from both the Galway City and County Enterprise Board, as well as the Enterprise Ireland support via the Innovation in Business Centre. Having such close ties with both GMIT and National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) has helped us recruit students for a number of projects, including software development, marketing and research.

What inspires you, and do you have creative role models?

I’m inspired by technology and in particular technology products that simplify or improve a person’s lifestyle. I’m constantly falling in love with design and the process of designing a product for consumers. I would consider Apple’s Steve Jobs and Jony Ive as role models – they have consistently surprised and delighted the public with beautifully made products like the iPhone and iPad.

How did you learn and acquire the skills you use to make your business successful? How do you continue to grow and learn?

I studied Electronic and Computer Engineering at NUIG, which gave me a great foundation from which I could begin my career. It also helped me realise that while I enjoyed toying with electronics, programming was something that I could really grasp. I try to constantly learn from my peers about the challenges and solutions facing each project that I work on. I think it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of the whole project, not just the app that I’m working on. I like to build smaller projects in new languages too. For example, I built the Muud.io web service in Ruby on Rails because I wanted to learn a web-based language.

What is your biggest business challenge?

It can be difficult selling apps on a store that is flooded with free alternatives. I think it’s important to put a fair price on our apps, and differentiate ourselves by offering a superior product, and personal customer support should the need arise.

What are your plans for the future?

I would like to continue building exciting products, but with a greater reach. I’ve already started work on a project for a company in the US, which has potential to reach millions of users around the world, so I’m quite excited about that.

If you had to do it over again, what, if anything, would you do differently?

If I could go back in time and tell myself one thing, it would be to start a business earlier than I did. It’s been such a rollercoaster, but I’m having a lot of fun!