Daniel Mckinnon is the di­rec­tor of Appfactory, the longest-run­ning spe­cial­ist mo­bile and now voice soft­ware com­pany in Aus­tralia which is based in Mooloolaba.

He has spent more than 20 years de­vel­op­ing in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions in Aus­tralia and the UK.

He is now fo­cused solely on build­ing tech­nol­ogy that makes peo­ple hap­pier and health­ier and does a happy-dance every time some­one stops star­ing into their phone screen. You can catch him swim­ming The Spit to Mooloolaba most lunchtimes.

1 Favourite time of day and why?

Early morn­ing. Whether it is a crack-of-dawn ocean swim, one-on-one time with my early-ris­ing six-year-old girl, or a fo­cused start to the work­ing day, it’s when I feel most en­gaged and ac­tive. My 20-some­thing self would never have be­lieved it.

2 What ex­cites you?

Watch­ing peo­ple use our tech­nol­ogy to help them achieve things they thought were pre­vi­ously im­pos­si­ble. The day we made it pos­si­ble for a deaf-and-blind lady to in­de­pen­dently phone and talk with her mum for the first time, through a world-first app that linked a Braille ma­chine and a con­ver­sa­tion re­lay of­fi­cer, stands out.

In my per­sonal life, it’s swim­ming out the back in big surf, an All Blacks try from 60m out, and hear­ing a new song that grabs you by the heart. 3 Favourite sport? Player or spec­ta­tor?

OK, I’ve given this away: as a spec­ta­tor it is rugby and the All Blacks all the way. For a Kiwi, that ob­ses­sion with the black jer­sey never leaves you. As a player, I love squash and the in­di­vid­ual chal­lenge that it pro­vides – but it is a very hot sport to play in Queens­land.

4 Best child­hood mem­ory?

So many. I never forget walk­ing down to the beach in Auck­land through the horse pad­docks and let­ting the horses lick the salt off my poly­styrene surf­board. As an older kid, I have fond mem­o­ries of sit­ting on the hill at Bal­ly­more Sta­dium in Bris­bane watch­ing the rugby on a Sun­day af­ter­noon.

5 Where were you born?

Yep – Auck­land, New Zealand. I have been fairly no­madic since then. We left NZ when I was 12 and moved to Bris­bane where I fin­ished high school and stud­ied IT at Grif­fith Univer­sity, right be­fore the dot­com boom. Straight af­ter that, my (fu­ture) wife and I moved to Lon­don for eight years. Then we moved to Syd­ney for an­other eight, be­fore mak­ing the move to the Sun­shine Coast be­fore the ar­rival of our sec­ond child.

6 Where would you like to hol­i­day?

Any­where I haven’t yet been … with the ex­cep­tion of a few old favourites. The favourites to re­turn to in­clude Italy, South Amer­ica, Colorado, US, and al­ways New Zealand. Some­where with good snow al­ways helps. 7 Cats or dogs? Do you have a pet?

Cats, although the cats I had grow­ing up were more like dogs.

We have no pets now due to our travel sched­ule and some fam­ily al­ler­gies. The Prepet pet-chal­lenge app that Appfactory de­vel­oped (with a cou­ple of lo­cal fam­i­lies) is the clos­est our kids have man­aged to get – much to their dis­ap­point­ment.

8 Who are your he­roes?

As an old skate­boarder and tech-guy, I have been in­spired by Rod­ney Mullen all my life. He is the god­fa­ther of street-skat­ing who epit­o­mised what can be achieved through pur­pose­ful prac­tice. He is now an in­flu­en­tial speaker and his TED Talks are bril­liant (even for non-skaters). I’ve sent his agent an in­quiry about get­ting him to come out to Aus­tralia and speak but no re­sponse yet. I might need some fel­low skaters to help me with the speak­ing fee.

9 Dream job?

I love my job and the work we do, so am loathe to say oth­er­wise. How­ever, if some­one of­fered me the chance to be a for­mula one driver, I wouldn’t need to think for too long.

I’m not a rev-head but I love the com­bi­na­tion of speed and pre­ci­sion re­quired on a race­track.

10 What will you be do­ing in 10 years? I’ll still be build­ing tech­nol­ogy that makes peo­ple hap­pier and health­ier. I’ll be laser-fo­cused on one project at a time.

The kids will be teenagers, so I might spend a lot of time wor­ried and con­fused.

I’ll be swim­ming in the ocean and kiss­ing my wife every day.

11 What’s the best thing about liv­ing on the Sun­shine Coast?

The at­ti­tude of the peo­ple here.

I am con­stantly amazed by the pos­i­tiv­ity and “get-it-done” ap­proach of our com­mu­nity.

This re­gion has a big fu­ture and I en­cour­age ev­ery­one to be part of shap­ing it.

And, of course, be­ing able to jump in the ocean every day – the cure for any ail­ment.

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