Pre-release – In Your Own Time Part #2


In Your Own Time – one year on

This post follows on from a previous post about the inspiration behind In Your Own Time. In this post I talk about taking the prototype that I created for my thesis and recruiting people who could help turn that idea into a reality.


I was really fortunate to have lots of people get behind the idea for In Your Own Time. A lot of incredibly generous people gave me a dig out at various points none more so than Shane Finan and Mick Cody without who’s help In Your Own Time would never have happened. Shane is a graphic designer, painter and all round tech wizard originally from Sligo. We first met in 2011 when we collaborated on a residency together. We kept in touch from there and I had described the project to him while I was working on parts of it. I asked him if he would be willing to come on board in August of 2012 and he thankfully agreed. Mick I met through Fionnuala Conway, who was one of my thesis supervisors. While I was finishing up the thesis I mentioned to Fionnuala that I was interested in taking the idea further and she put me in touch with him. He was dabbling with programming for Android for his own interest and agreed to come on board. We started working on the project together from about July 2012. The project got off to a good start with myself and Mick figuring out how to implement the ideas that I had pieced together for the prototype. We got stuck into pulling these ideas together and looking to use existing code, like preexisting pedometers, to speed up the process. At the same time Shane got started mocking up ideas for the app design. We plugged away working on the app but hit a bit of a road bump about October of 2012. We were all getting swallowed up in other things and the project lost a bit of steam. Shane was studying for a masters and Mick was working full-time. I got quite sick around November of that year and the project lost a bit of momentum. We started tentatively getting things going again early in December. Around the same time New Music Dublin was launched and they were looking for applicants to the Creative Labs programme. I applied for the programme, we were accepted and things geared up to get the app ready for the festival. Being in the festival would provide a small budget but more importantly would give a hard deadline for getting the app ready. You can’t underestimate the motivating power of a deadline.

New Music Dublin

In Your Own Time at New Music Dublin 2013 (pre release)New Music Dublin was our first chance to get the app into people’s hands and get some feedback. It allowed us to let the festival audience try the app in advance of it’s release later in the year. It was an interesting experience of me. I spent the weekend standing in the lobby of the National Concert Hall explaining to the idea to people and encouraging them to download the app. Disappointingly I spent some of my time explaining to iPhone owners that it was only available for Android. The rest of the time was spent identifying whether a person’s phone was a smartphone or not. The lesson for me was that if I wanted to release the app commercially I should have done it for iOS. iPhone owners seem to be much more engage with the technology whereas the Android owners didn’t seem to have as much of an interest in and knowledge of their phone. Luckily the project wasn’t a commercial venture. For me In Your Own Time was always about putting something out into the world and seeing how people reacted. It was a valuable lesson though and I learned a lot throughout the whole process. A knock on from being involved in NMD was that the Journal of Music recorded a podcast about the app. This was the first bit of press that the app got and was very exciting. It was amazing to get message from people who were interested in the project from all over the world.


One of the amazing things about the NMD festival was that it came with a budget. I used part of the money to cover my transport costs getting to Dublin and back for the weekend and then took Mick and Shane out for a nice meal to thank them for all the work they put into the project. I had a bit left over at that point and decided to use it to produce a video that could be used to promote the app.  I got Thady Kavanagh, a filmmaker, and actress Kim McCafferty to be involved to help with the video. Thady and I talked through what would be the best way to display the qualities of the app and the kinds of things I liked in similar videos. We put together an outline and I asked Kim if she would be involved. We spent a day out filming around Dublin and I used the rest of the budget to take the guys to lunch afterwards to thank them. Thady edited up the footage and put together a really nice promo. The video was then ready to help with the release of the app. It was a great way to get across the idea of the app in an engaging way.

Final Word

After the NMD festival we made a few more tweaks to the app and I started getting ready to push it out into the world. I settled on the 2 of April as a release date – it was initially to be the 1st but someone pointed out that I would have been launching it on April Fool’s day. Probably not a good move. In the next post I’ll be writing about the app release, the different ways I used to promote it and the response that I got back.