Kickstarter’s a go for launch – Creating Freewrite, Part 5

  • July 5, 2017
Kickstarter’s a go for launch – Creating Freewrite, Part 5

The decision to create a Kickstarter campaign was made (read more in part 4). But when? And how?! We needed a deadline. We also needed to figure out how to do a Kickstarter campaign with some chance of success. Neither of us had done anything like this before! There were a huge number of decisions ahead of us, how much to set our goal at, how much to price the Hemingwrite (scary!), how to get a video made, and the list goes on. I felt a ton of pressure to launch the Kickstarter as quickly as possible in order to keep what momentum we had at the time. If we waited too long, people would start forgetting...

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The Path to Kickstarter – Creating Freewrite, Part 4

  • May 23, 2017
The Path to Kickstarter – Creating Freewrite, Part 4

In the last post, Part 3, I discussed the process of building the Hemingwrite prototype. It was an arduous process made more difficult given the time and budgetary crunch. Nevertheless, we got it done and the final result was all too real. Without too much hand-waiving, it looked and felt like a real consumer electronic device. The overbuilt aluminum housing gave the device a lot of rigidity. The keyboard felt amazing and all the basic features of the device worked. You could 'turn it on' by pressing the red button. You could type on the amazing mechanical keyboard and the letters would magically...

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Haute Route Trip Report – April 2017

  • May 11, 2017
Haute Route Trip Report – April 2017

The trip on the Haute Route is 7 full days from Chamonix, France to Zermatt, Switzerland. It’s one of the most famous touring routes in the world and is on many mountaineer's bucket list. I found myself on the trip after an old friend of mine mentioned that he was putting a trip together with his friend and a local guide. This was a discussion over drinks about 5 months prior to us leaving. Initially, we were just talking about our former and future mountain pursuits; there was no talk of me joining the trip. After talking a bit more over the coming weeks, he (another Adam), asked me if I had any interest...

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Haute Route Equipment Guide

  • April 13, 2017
Haute Route Equipment Guide

A few days ago I got back from a successful trip on the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. We left Chamonix on the morning of Monday, April 3rd 2017 and arrived to Zermatt on the afternoon of Sunday, April 9th. While preparing for the trip, I found some equipment guides but all of them were quite old. In this post, I will lay out exactly what I took on the trip and some commentary that may help future travelers. The Haute Route is one of the most famous ski mountaineering traverses. For good reason! It was truly incredible. Equipment Backpack - Dakine Poacher 36L (3.1lbs) - This pack was perfect....

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Building a prototype – Creating Freewrite, Part 3

  • February 9, 2017
Building a prototype – Creating Freewrite, Part 3

In Part 2 I discussed why and how we got to the point of moving forward with the Freewrite concept. The idea for the project was clear and both Patrick and I were committed to seeing it through to the next step, a working prototype. We wanted to create a distraction-free writing tool with a mechanical keyboard, E Ink screen, and a connection to the cloud. The deadline for the competition was closing in fast and we needed a working prototype to show in a video for the submission. The normal prototyping process for a new product looks something like this: Determine basic feature set by talking...

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Great software

  • January 30, 2017

It's painful to see how short this list is. The unfortunate reality is that most software is lacking in either usability, features, reliability, or performance. Thankfully, software is constantly evolving and I am very encouraged by the crossover that is occurring between web technologies and native apps. Below is a list of the software that I think is great and some that I frequently use Excellent software Everything Search Engine (Free) - If you use a PC, you should download this tiny utility immediately. It will change your life and make you wonder why every Windows open or save dialog box doesn't...

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Brand and company watch list

  • January 19, 2017

Best brands - There is no true fundamental or technical analysis here, just a gut feeling from a combination of news about the companies corporate strategy (new products, divestment, new focus areas, capex, etc.) and personal product experience, if applicable. If there is a relatively constant stream of news that I think represents good management decisions, the brand is likely to make the list. Patagonia - This is a mass market company ($600mm revenue) that makes market leading outdoor gear while also maintaining incredibly progressive values. Doing this at a small scale with success is commendable...

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My favorite things

  • January 18, 2017

This is a list of my favorite things. I will try to keep it updated as time goes on. To qualify to be on the list, there is only one requirement: I must be reminded of how awesome the product is every time I use it. There is an internal voice that says 'damn I love this thing'. I put the things into two categories, Super Favorites and Favorites. Super Favorites - these are things that I would replace immediately if I lost or misplaced. Kindle Paperwhite ($119) - I hard sell virtually everyone I meet on the amazingness of the Kindle. It is a life-changing device and no I am not kidding....

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The good stuff sticks – Creating Freewrite, Part 2

  • December 29, 2016

In the last post, I told the origin story of the idea for Freewrite. At the time, it wasn’t called Freewrite; it wasn’t even called Hemingwrite. It was just an idea. Time went by, as it tends to do. From February until July of 2014, Patrick and I both sat on it. I wrote down the idea on my Projects List in Evernote and continued working on SunDaily. But the good stuff sticks.(1)(A) This idea for a distraction-free hardware thing churned around in my mind despite my energy being spent elsewhere. To set the scene, in Jan 2014 I had just recruited an old friend and former roommate of mine to join...

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The Freewrite is not a typewriter – Creating Freewrite, Part 1

  • December 22, 2016

The story starts at the end of winter, 2014. Patrick and I were both working in the Bizdom office space in Downtown Detroit, doing our best to get our startups off the ground. Patrick was building Gridpar and I was hammering away at my nutrition startup, SunDaily. We had both been through a very traumatic experience in the Bizdom accelerator program but continued working in their office for a few months after it was officially over. It was only happenstance that Patrick and I sat near each other. I had a friend that worked for Bizdom before coming into the program and he strategically set the seating...

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