In a recent Newsletter we introduced readers to LIMOR the next evolution in social media. We had a fantastic reaction to the article and now we want to introduce you to Shane Monahan the man behind LIMOR.
We asked Shane to give a brief description of LIMOR. You can log into the website to see more about LIMOR here
LIMOR is the next evolution of social media. It combines the best aspects of social media with short audio content and traditional podcasting – LIMOR is Social Audio.
LIMOR allows the user to record, edit, share and listen to audio content and traditional podcasts instantly from smart devices.
With LIMOR you can talk directly to your followers and listeners via our innovative voice commenting section sparking REAL conversation.
The social nature of LIMOR means that a user’s audio content can go viral instantly.
“Great design comes from solving problems and when it comes to design less is more (LIMOR).”
How did you get the idea/ concept for LIMOR?
A conversation with my father in December 2014 sparked the idea for Limor. My Dad was involved in a voluntary group and was finding it difficult to spread the word about the great work they were doing. I suggested that he start a podcast to do so. At that period of time he had never heard of a podcast before, I explained to him what they were and showed him some examples. He immediately loved the idea of creating his own traditional podcast. The problem arose as soon as he was confronted with the massive amount of equipment, workload, and time required to do so. He went from I love the idea and want to make a podcast to I’m not interested as its too much work and don’t know how in seconds. This is when I got the idea for Limor. An app that allowed my father or anyone to instantly record and share their voice and or traditional podcast with the world by removing all the barriers to entry that faced my Father.
Give a brief account of your education background.
My secondary education was in St Olivers Community College Drogheda followed by studying for my Product design degree at Dublin Institute of technology.
Did you always know/ever think you would become an entrepreneur when you were younger?
No, from the age of 12 I wanted to be a professional rugby player and that was my entire focus. Although I was always aware that I needed a plan B if the rugby did not work out and knew my education was very important. That is why I studied for my product design degree, which in my opinion is the ultimate entrepreneur degree you can get. I was however always exposed to entrepreneurship as my father ran a family run retail store and I was selling clothes on the shop floor from an early age. My Dad also started his own clothing Brand in the early 90’s so the entrepreneurial spirit is definitely in my blood.
Is entrepreneurship a common trait in your family?
Yes Definitely. My grandfather Gerry Monahan was a very successful entrepreneur and businessman in the retail sector and my own father Peter followed in his footsteps, so I learned a lot from him. My mother Michelle also thought me a lot, although not an entrepreneur she was a nurse and thought me a huge amount about work ethic, which is essential for success as an entrepreneur.
Did you have prior knowledge of the industry before setting up your company?
My Product degree education gave me a great foundation to begin my limor journey as I understood the full life cycle of a product. Before starting Limor I had a broad knowledge of both the podcast and app development industry. Podcasting is still in its infancy in terms of growth and statistics so when I started there was not very much information to learn from. Besides what I wanted to do and am doing is very different again, what I am doing is creating a new genre and industry in itself, Limor social audio. To be able to write the language of a new industry is very exciting.
What was your previous work experience (if any)? Do you think this gave you an advantage when setting up your business?
I was a professional rugby player for 10 years playing at the highest level of club rugby with teams such as Leinster, Connacht, Rotherham, Gloucester rugby and Munster rugby
How did you initially fund your business? (self-funded, government funding, etc)
It was a combination of self-funding, government priming grant investment, investment from friends and family as well as investment HNW individual investors.
Looking back, would you have changed the method of funding you chose?
Looking back, there are Definitely things that I could have done better in the early days but that is the nature of entrepreneurship it’s a learning process. The company is in the strongest position it have ever been in to date and that is because of the journey I have taken to get here mistakes and all.
What difficulties, if any, did you encounter when securing funding?
Getting people to believe in Limor and see the opportunity of investing our voice, podcasting and social audio platform has been difficult at times. Credit must be given to all of my investors as they too recognised the opportunity and potential market growth which is now becoming a reality. I was selling Limor product to investors in 2015 for a market that would not really begin until 2020 that’s a hard sell so we experienced a lot of scientism and closed doors, that’s all starting to change now. Investors and the world at large are waking up to the potential of the podcast market and the voice markets as a whole. The whole voice industry is experiencing exponential growth which excites investors. I am very positive about securing further funding moving forward.
Did you encounter any financial difficulties in the first year of operation? If yes, what did you do to surpass them?
The company did very well in securing initial funding and we kept cash burn at an incredibly low rate. We have continued to do so and that is a big reason why we are still alive and kicking today. Definitely lessons we learned in terms of expenditure that we would do differently now and do have nights when you are awake to the early hours strategizing what to do to solve problems but that is the nature of every start up, tech in particular. Having an extremely experienced board has been as massive help in regard to this. Board chairman Graham Beegan ex KPMG chartered accountant has a brilliant mind for numbers and business strategy. Having Graham in the team is massive advantage for the company. The recent addition of former group treasurer for Ryanair Cian Blackwell gives another example of the personalities behind the operation of this company.
What characteristics do you feel benefited you most when starting your business?
My experience of building a career in professional sport. Rugby in particular tested physically and mentally to your limits. You understand what it takes to be a winner you need absolute belief in yourself and a ridiculous work rate to succeed. You also learn that even if you give everything you have this does not guarantee success, so learning how to handle defeat and keep moving forward is a massive skill set to have. Also being surround by some of the best high-performance people in the world not just sport definitely teaches you lessons, learning from these high performers teaches you about leadership and the importance of having a great team around you. I have brought as much of this experience into the Limor team environment as I can.
To what do you attribute your company’s success/growth to?
There are a lot of reasons, many that are outside of my control like the market that we are going after, it is in exponential growth which is excellent for success and growth. The first reason that is within my control is of course the Limor product offering. Great design comes from solving problems, Limor solves many problems. At its core Limor solves the problem of easy access to creating, sharing and interacting via audio and podcasts. This is not easy to do, Limor makes it easy. If there is a need for something, people will adopt, use and pay for it. Another thing within my control is belief in what I am doing and perseverance. As I touched on earlier one of the major reasons for Limor’s success to date it the strength of the team involved in the project.
What is your opinion on the importance of a professional network for an entrepreneur?
A professional network It is essential for an entrepreneur. I for one would not be where I am now if it were not for my network and the network I have built since retiring from Rugby. The importance of a good network comes back to one of the main points in this interview, the importance of having a good team. The people and organisations in your network have the potential of becoming members of your team. The bigger your network the more potential you have of finding the right teammates which will in turn aid your business and help you achieve your goals. Having a good network is very important for your belief system also, you have to surround yourself with positive, like-minded people that will encourage and support your endeavours and vice versa. This is something that the IIBN offers in spades.
Do you think entrepreneurship has changed in recent years?
I have only been an entrepreneur for a relatively short period of time so it’s hard for me to tell, but I think that there is massive change on the horizon as a result of the Corona pandemic. Due to the need to isolate people have been forced to become more self-sufficient and rely more on technologies that they may never have been exposed to under circumstances, such as zoom and of course Limor. This have given people more confidence in the digital space and I foresee a massive increase and shift in business towards SASS homebrew industries and a massive rise in entrepreneur led businesses.
Would you ever consider starting another company or involving yourself in new start-ups again?
If you had one piece of advice for a new entrepreneur, what would it be?
I never say one thing as that is too limiting. My advice would be to have self-belief in what you are doing. Have a real passion for what that is. Work hard, which is easy to do if you have passion for what you are doing and finally surround yourself with strong, positive, like-minded people – your team.
“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”