Behind the Domain: Kody Willnauer of MobileLyre (mobilelyre.com)
At Hover, we’re pretty lucky to have the customers we do. Our customers are incredible entrepreneurs who start their own businesses and turn their ideas into a reality. So, we thought, why not feature some of these talented and hard working founders and explore the person and the business behind the domain name?
For our first edition, we spoke with Dan Fallak of Adulting FTW. Our second story of Behind the Domain, is an interview with Kody Willnauer, school teacher and inventor of the MobileLyre.
Kody Willnauer is the owner and creator of MobileLyre. He is a public school music teacher by day and music entrepreneur by day and night. He is a self-starter since he started teaching music lessons back in high school. He first started MobileLyre in 2013. He loves to create his own journey, which he shares with Hover below.
What initially sparked your interest in launching your business?
I have always wanted to bring more to the students I teach. After finishing college I began teaching music in an elementary school in 2011. A few years later while performing music I had the desire to use my phone on my instrument. I thought ‘if I could benefit from this, I bet others could, too.’ And the journey of MobileLyre began.
Why was there a need for MobileLyre?
Musicians have long been performing off of paper and plastic folios but our mobile devices bring so much more to our rehearsals and performances. With our devices we can bring the power to read sheet music, keep time, learn drill, play in tune, and so much more! MobileLyre serves as the way to securely affix your premium device to your instrument. And when you’re done performing, the case detaches from our lyre and slips easily in your pocket to go about your day.
How did you come across your domain name/what made you choose it?
I wanted a domain name that cleanly described our product. I thought about variations but worried they would become wordy or confusing.MobileLyre.com easily describes what my product does and how it can be used. Hover’s domain available lookup search features were easy and simple. It provided me many different TLD ideas. I also use Hover’s custom email domain services. It helps give my communication a professional touch and keeps organized in my various projects.
How do you start your day?
We have a 5 month old baby girl and 5 year old boy who keep my morning routine interesting. Combined with a good cup of coffee I feel like my mornings are pretty great.
What’s the most exciting thing about running your own company?
I think the first day I saw my product come off the production line it felt very special. From an idea to a tangible product takes a monumental amount of patience and persistence.
It feels amazingly humbling to get emails from customers describing their appreciation of MobileLyre in their music making adventures. We’ve shipped our product around the country and around the world. It’s also important to have a team who you can work with to facilitate design and production.
What’s the most challenging thing about running your own company?
It never stops: Keeping track of production, shipping logistics, and customer outreach- but this what makes it interesting, too! Traction on a brand new product is always hard but with more customers all the time we feel that the merge of mobile tech and music is happening faster. We will be ready!
What’s the most incredible thing you’ve been able to do/person you’ve been able to connect with thanks to running your own company?
As we first got started and needed technical assistance, I began asking around for who could help. Sometimes it was a coffee meeting where a person would say they knew someone. That would lead to another meeting where I found help but realized I needed assistance in other aspects, too! The connections you make with other business owners create a web of talent and knowledge that I feel pretty lucky to have met. I can imagine most business owners see someone starting out and remember how it felt so they do what they can to assist. I know I try and do the same thing as well.
My first meeting was in a diner with a person who pointed me in the right direction and put me in touch with people to make it happen. That person didn’t have to help me, but wanted to. I will never forget that moment. That moved the dream into reality.
What do you do to step away from work and relax?
Sitting down at the piano to write music is a chance to unwind. Besides music, home roasting coffee is my go to spot for a little caffeinated creativity and solace.