AIB is Backing Brave – We meet Aidan and Kevin Doolan of StoryToys

Picture of StoryToys Aidan & Kevin Doolan owners looking at a screen.

11 Mar 2015

Posted in:  Business Support

We recently chatted to Aidan and Kevin Doolan of StoryToys as part of our programme of initiatives specifically for Small Businesses. We discussed the inspiration behind the idea for StoryToys, the benefits of working with your brother as your business partner, key insights and their plans for the future. Here’s what we found out.

“We make Apps that make kids Smile” – Aidan Doolan

StoryToys has been producing innovative children’s apps with ‘wow factor’ for the past four years. They combine storytelling, rich illustration and great design to create digital games and books. With every app the company creates they try to add a little bit more technological advancement. However, staying true to their original releases and their unique aspects and design is always their top priority.

From App Developers to Company Developers

Coming from their coding background as Application Developers, the bravest decision for Kevin and Aidan came when by hiring their very first employee. This was the leap that transformed them into a business, their definition of true enterprise. Since then, the company has grown to over twenty employees and the biggest challenge has been transitioning from App Developers to Company Developers.

The brothers now have a team that develop their digital products and technology. Whilst remaining very much ‘hands on’, Aidan and Kevin have had to learn how to develop skills in management, training and other disciplines such as graphics, artistic direction and human resource development.

From Twin Brothers to Business Partners

Working as both brothers and partners gave Aidan and Kevin some business advantages. As twins, they could communicate in shorthand. Nevertheless, each brother brought a fresh perspective to the table. An open, clear and honest exchange has facilitated their creative decision-making.

It Starts with the End User

The inspiration for the business came from first-hand experience, a real world problem Aidan had to overcome. Their first pop up books were largely based on exercises Aidan had created for his daughter when she required help with instruction and sequencing skills in school. They were able to take this experience and put it directly into their products. In terms of their own experience, the popup book Gulliver's Travels given to them by their Father was a source of magic to the brothers. It is this magic that the now try and instil into their own products for children.

“Creative freedom is the best thing…The ability to follow your dreams” – Aidan Doolan

The best aspect of running their own business for Aidan and Kevin is the creative freedom it offers and ability to truly follow their dreams. As the classic phrase goes, Kevin really feels that they’ve found something they really love and following this passion makes it very easy for them to give StoryToys their all. It’s important for them to maintain this feeling and not get lost in the more mechanical aspects of their business.

The future plans for StoryToys will come as a result of their extensive research and development. Their aim is to stay true to the core of StoryToys and build on their loyal user base. Their next strategies will leverage this success to date but not necessarily take the same shape or form.

To see the full chat with StoryToys, simply watch our video below.

Learn more about how We’re Backing Brave and could be supporting your business, connect with AIB on Facebook, LinkedIn and follow @AIBBiz on Twitter. Listen to the Backing brave conversation here #backedbyAIB.

Aidan and Kevin Doolan are customers of AIB. Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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