Date of Birth: 5th February 1975
Marital Status: Married to Sinead Horgan
Children: Ewan Griffith (2/6/2006)
Date of Birth: 5th February 1975
Marital Status: Married to Sinead Horgan
Children: Ewan Griffith (2/6/2006)
As I have always had a very keen interest in computers and programming, not just from a business and career perspective, I love to learn new programming languages whenever I can. In the past, I have found that I learn well by studying on my own and using sample projects as test-beds for the new languages.
One of my other passions is cooking. All kinds of food, using all kinds of ingredients from many parts of the world. Some of my personal favourites are Italian and Asian food as well as some of the more close-to-home dishes from Ireland and Spain. In the past few years I have delved into the art of home-made pasta which I really enjoy, as do those that are allowed to partake in the eating of it!
I love to travel and visit new places and experience new cultures, particularly their culinary offerings! I have visited more than 100 cities in over 23 countries and have lived in Ireland, Spain, USA and Australia.
I love to read and I have a particular interest in topics such as self development, spirituality, psychology and the mind. I have also begun to take more of an interest in economics in recent years as there have been such huge shifts in this area. I like to keep up with the world news and current affairs.
I am also a keen golfer, having taken up the sport again in 2011.
I have had a real interest in Kinesiology too for many years, as my father has been a practicing Kinesiologist for 30 years and I have seen many remarkable healing results from it. I would love to train in order to practice this myself at some stage and be able to help people with their health.
Self-sufficiency and quality organic food are very important to me also, hence the development of the apps and software to manage the watering needs of our polytunnels, which are also fully powered by the sun.
Born and raised in Ireland, I have been working in the I.T. industry for 20 years with a background in systems analysis, software engineering, programming, database design and implementation as well as hardware and software support, including helpdesk roles. I have a keen eye for detail (if somewhat of a perfectionist!) and always give 100% to every project. I am flexible and a strong team player, leading by example. Having had many management roles, I have a lot of experience to bring to any business and I pride myself on being structured and organised.
I have also travelled extensively from which I have gained a real insight into the social differences between countries and even continents. I have spent time in the U.S.A., Australia, the UK, Ireland and Spain and I have visited 23 countries. From October 1998 to October 1999 I spent 1 year on a working holiday visa in Australia where I spent time working with Compaq on the Y2K project.
I have a broad range of skills and I am a fast learner. I have the ability to learn new skills easily and I am a "show me once and I've got it" type of a person. I'm always keen to increase my skill set, in whatever area it may be. I also have the ability to effectively communicate ideas with others and to train them on new technologies.
Having trained as an iOS app developer, I'm currently in the process of building an iPhone/iPad app to interface with a personal project of mine which is to build an automated water system for our polytunnels. The app will interface with a Raspberry Pi running a custom-built python server to control electronic valves and to provide software timers for the watering process.
Most recently I have been developing a web-based design and development business mainly using contractors to design and build custom websites for clients. I provide hosting and domain services also.
I have been personally studying Web Design & Development including CSS, Ruby on Rails and Photoshop. I have completed a 6 week course in iOS Development using Objective-C so that I can design and build my own apps.
At present the main business is in the design and development of websites which I contract out to a development team. I handle the translating of the customers requirements into specifications for the developers.
Having invested in ComputerNET at the beginning of 2006 and merged with the ipodshoppers.com business, I set about organising and developing ComputerNET with the intention of selling the business within 5 years.
I developed a system to manage the entire business, including a job management system to manage the repairs coming into the workshop. All of this had been badly managed on paper up to this point. The system for managing the workshop called SolveIT was built using Apple's WebObjects Java frameworks which was 100% HTML and web based making it accessible via any browser. Having completed the software, I then set about implementing it and training the staff as to the importance of using the system correctly. It took about 6 months for it to be properly adopted, as a result of which the efficiency of the workshop increased dramatically.
Between January 2006 and December 2008 we increased our turnover from 80,000€ to 350,000€. We had expanded the business substantially, building a new custom workshop to handle the large volume of business from our 4,000 clients in the local area. My business partner was bought out in 2007 by a sleeping partner which left me free to make the more important decisions from that point on. My plan to build and sell the business by the end of 2010 was moving nicely in the right direction. Then the recession hit Europe very hard at the end of 2008, taking many businesses with it through 2009 and 2010. We barely managed to survive this period and suffered badly as a result of the decline in sales and the drop in expenditure by our clients.
In 2011, we finally took the decision to close the retail outlet and focus mostly on the repairs and maintenance side of the business as that was the most profitable and sustainable part. In the last quarter of 2012, I made an agreement with an acquaintance of mine to take over this part of the business, leaving me free to move on.
In May 2005, I got together with a colleague of mine to build a new online business called ipodshoppers.com. The project was to build an online store to sell all things iPod. All kinds of skins, cases, accessories etc. as well as the Apple iPods themselves. We further developed the software that I had built for ThinkingAdvantage.com, modifying it to suit the needs of the business. We invested in stock and began to sell online. Within 3 months we had achieved a Google rating of 6 and we were selling to many parts of the world. It became obvious that we were going to need some storage and packing facilities so we finally decided to merge the ipodshoppers.com project with my colleagues existing I.T. business called ComputerNET, which provided sales and service for PC users. This seemed like the most logical step as ComputerNET already had premises available. I invested in ComputerNET, purchasing a 50% stake in the business and we merged the two businesses into one at the beginning of 2006.
In January 2004, I was contracted to develop a database driven website to facilitate the sale and distribution of the ThinkingAdvantage range of products. These products were developed by two well known kinesiologists and were to be distributed worldwide via local distributors in various countries. The site had to be multi-lingual as well as handling multiple currencies. It also needed to manage a complex discount system and a loyalty program. I worked as part of the management team to develop the distribution strategy, as well as completing the systems analysis, design, programming and testing of the software.
I chose to use a Java based framework system developed by Apple called WebObjects to achieve this. The entire system was developed within 6 months and was then fine tuned over the following year. The site provided a back-end management system, as well as a web-based distribution system for each distributor to manage their own orders. The site was provided in 6 languages and handled various currencies, depending on the country you were buying in and also provided live stock availability on the public website.
The system worked so well that I then developed it further for my next project, ipodshoppers.com.
Together with a colleague of mine, I developed a top quality 3D Virtual Tour system for providing interactive property tours for real estate agents on the Costa Del Sol. We invested a lot of time in researching the available tools and we produced a very sophisticated product which would permit any agent or vendor to show their properties to a prospective client without ever having to leave the office. The concept was to save both the client and the vendor a lot of time and expense by permitting them to only view properties in person once they were sure that it held an interest for them. Unfortunately, the property market was at its peak and agents were not prepared to spend the money on the product as they were finding it so easy to sell property at that time. At the end of 2004 we decided to end the project as we realised that the potential revenue simply couldn't justify the time outlay and the project was clearly ahead of its time.
In January 2000 I started a bespoke software development company which designed software using RAD tools such as Omnis Studio for clients in the Irish market. We also supplied hardware into some businesses and universities such as the multimedia department of Dublin City University.
I developed software for businesses such as PC Boyd Construction, DBS Computers and Dublin City University. I also worked on a contract basis with the Powys Council in Wales to troubleshoot and update their existing Omnis based software applications. These were not originally designed by me, so I had to take the systems apart, find the problems and fix them. This was a particularly interesting and challenging project.
In 2002, I decided to move to the south of Spain as I had seen a unique opportunity in the Real Estate market there which I was keen to develop.
I was contracted to Compaq for 4 months working in the Optus tower at North Sydney. The position involved maintaining detailed records of the Y2K Compliance status of all software used by Optus on their Macintosh computers network across Australia. A survey was conducted of all the software in use, following which my job was to update the Y2K compliance status on a daily basis. I was also assigned the task of Risk Management for the project which was to be completed by the end of November 1999. I was forced to resign my position in late October as my working visa expired. I was offered sponsorship to remain with the Compaq team in Australia but unfortunately I had to leave Australia at that time due to family circumstances.
Prior to joining the Y2K compliance team, I worked on the Compaq rollout help-desk where I remotely assisted the employees across Australia to install a new product that Optus were rolling out.
I worked as a bartender for approximately 3 months at Shennanigans Irish Pub in the Westfield Marion Centre in Adelaide to supplement my funds as part of a working holiday visa in Australia.
Whilst working for Nature's Way Ltd. in Kilkenny, I also had a contract (by agreement with Nature's Way) with Enterprise Computer Solutions Ltd. (now Stream Solutions Ltd.) based in Cork to provide a maintenance and support service to their client base in the south-east of Ireland. Enterprise Computer Solutions were one of the largest Apple Centre's in the country, providing Apple sales and support to the south-east and south-west of Ireland. They felt confident enough in my ability that they left the entire south-east solely in my care. This would have consisted of clients such as the larger newspaper publishers and other printing businesses. We jointly ended this contract in late 1998 when I decided to leave for Australia.
Nature's Way (taken over by Holland & Barrett in 2000) is Ireland's leading retail health food business. At the time that I worked with them, they had 13 shops around the country as well as a mail order business and a large warehousing and distribution centre based in Kilkenny. I was responsible for managing the entire I.T. requirement of the business including everything from hardware and network management to software design and implementation.
Initially I redesigned the entire office network, implementing a large scale CAT5 network throughout the distribution centre and upgrading all of the hardware (both computers and phones) in support of this. The business was primarily based on Macintosh computer systems and included up to 30 Macintosh terminals as well as various Windows based PCs. Each shop was fitted with a Mac and a modem which could connect through to a remote access dial-in system at head-office. We were one of the early adopters of email in Ireland and took advantage of this to eliminate much of the paper that was being wasted.
I then took this a step further and designed an internal stock control system (using Omnis Studio RAD) for the distribution side of the business which not only managed the warehouse but also permitted each shop to place their orders directly into the system, where they had been using paper-based order books which had to be faxed to head-office up to twice a week.
Once this system was installed and functional, I set about the Business & Systems Analysis of the newly constructed manufacturing arm of the business known as Nutricare Ltd. Taking the project all the way from systems analysis through the design and development stage and right up to the testing and implementation, the system revolutionised the way the business operated and added a new level of efficiency and accuracy. The manufacturing facility was based on strict clean-room standards and pharmaceutical level process control. Each and every batch produced could be traced through the system back to each of the elements that was used in that batch, which in turn could be traced back to its origin. This traceability was key to the manufacturing process and many of the existing work practices had to be modified to integrate with this new system.
Towards the end of 1998, I decided to take a year out to avail of a working holiday visa in Australia. The manufacturing control system worked flawlessly for the entire period and the management were very pleased with the results.
I worked for a year as an installation and service engineer for Typetec Ltd. who are one of the largest Apple retailers and service centres in Ireland. I was responsible for the delivery and installation of the majority of the new equipment they sold, as well as providing on-site service to their customers including the Royal College of Surgeons and many of the local hospitals and universities. I was involved in designing and implementing networks of all sizes and I gained a great deal of experience in this time and I thoroughly enjoyed working as part of the service team.
I completed only the first year of the degree course at DCU. My real interest was in programming and systems architecture but the course was too general, incorporating many subjects that didn't interest me. I achieved a high score in the software engineering section of the course. However, I decided to leave the course after one year to look for a more programming focused course.
I completed my Leaving Certificate at Kilkenny College, Kilkenny in 1993.
A1 in French
B1 in English
C2 in Maths
B3 in Geography
B2 in Biology
B3 in Business Studies
C3 in Irish