A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week:
What: Displayware, Seattle
Who: Joel McConaughy, 49, managing partner and founder
Mission: Create a platform where consumers can directly download digital content to portable devices.
Carryout: The company develops Windows-based software that runs in a kiosk in a public place. Customers plug in their iPods or similar devices to snag a certain piece of digital content. If they hear a song they like in the store, then they can run a download and can be listening to it as they walk out the door.
Most Read Business Stories
- REI picks new satellite office ‘surrounded by trail networks’
- Judge upholds Seattle eviction regulations, rebuffing landlords' lawsuit
- Fry's Electronics executive accused of embezzling $65 million
- Funky electronics chain Fry's is no more
- Alaska Airlines ordered to pay $3.2M to family of woman who died after escalator fall
Employees: Four full time, four contractors
Financials: The private company expects to generate revenue through software licensing, hosted services and professional fees. Self-funded until now, it is holding its first fundraising round.
Saving manual labor: While the target customer is someone who craves instant-entertainment gratification, the technology will support more educational applications. It can offer product comparisons and how-to guides in a retail store or provide medical documents in a doctor’s waiting room. “Our customer can be in Home Depot to buy supplies for a project,” McConaughy said. “They can download a ‘how-to’ video they can take home to guide them through the process.”
Local connection: There is an operating kiosk in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in the Inmotion Entertainment store, with plans for 23 similar locations nationwide. Most of the machines will bear client names, but McConaughy has discussed the idea of installing Displayware-brand kiosks in local high-traffic locations.
Save it for later: This instant gratification doesn’t carry a penalty, as customers receive an e-mail link that allows them to download the on-the-road purchases to their home computer. “This is all about consumer convenience,” McConaughy said. “To allow people to get what they want, where they are and be able to watch it whenever they want.”
— Charles Bermant