What is a Wipebook?
You know how creative people use whiteboards to generate cool amazing ideas? What if we were to tell you that we've taken that whiteboard experience and converted into a notebook that helps you generate great ideas where ever you go! Not only that, but you'll never have to waste a single sheet of paper ever again when you have a half baked idea you just want to scribble down somewhere. We call this product the wipebook and we think it may just be the last whiteboard you ever buy!
People seem to be getting mixed up in the rewards and I don't blame them! This is our first kickstarter so I drew this little drawing to explain:
Unlike typical stretch goals, we have decided to created special rewards for early backers. As the number of backers increase, we will try to have a special gift at every 1000 backers. The earlier you pledge, the more bonus gifts you get!
Kickstarting Wipebook 2.0
Our original Wipebook was a great validation test, and we managed to collect a ton of feedback from initial users. With this feedback, we've developed our new Wipebook 2.0! However, to keep costs low, Wipebooks need to be manufactured in huge quantities of 300 or more, which is why we are trying to raise 4000$ in pre-orders to develop this new batch. But you may ask, what's new with Wipebook 2.0?
No more ghosting! With this new version, you can use a dry erase solution like a correctable marker without ghosting! The rough texture of the original Wipebook left subtle ghosting on the pages which wasn't ideal for re-usability. This new version is specifically made for dry erase and correctable markers, instead of water soluble markers!
Smoother Surface! The original Wipebook had a slightly rough texture to the pages. Users told us they wanted something that was as smooth as a typical whiteboard so that's exactly what we've done. Our new UV gloss solution makes each page especially smooth.
Easier to erase! The added smoothness of Wipebook 2.0 makes it especially easy to erase. No more scrubbing on the pages to wipe the correctable markers off the page.
More sustainable! With the original plastic laminate, people didn't necessarily agree that our product was eco-friendly, so we switched the laminate for a new UV gloss that cuts down on the amount of plastic used for the book!
Check out this video to see the differences between the original Wipebook and Wipebook 2.0
How is the Wipebook made?
Now the first prototypes of the Wipebook were made by taping up some good old transparent clear acetate sheets together,sandwiching them with a sheet of lined paper and binding them in a portfolio. This wasn't exactly the best prototypes but it worked. But when we wanted to produce them on a mass scale, we needed to go out and find someone who owned a print shop (had the basic glossing, laminating and binding machines) and would allow us to test various glosses that worked with water soluble and dry erase markers. We searched far and wide, but all the print shops we found would charge us an arm and a leg. That's when Toby (one of our co-founders) brought in one of his close friends Jimmy, who owns a print shop in downtown Ottawa (http://www.allegracarling.com/). As Frank designed the individual pages of the the book, Jimmy was then able to work very closely with us to fine tune the gloss, and produce the first large batches of the original Wipebooks. This is pretty much how the process went :
With Wipebook 2.0, the process will be very similar but we will be using a UV gloss instead of a laminate. This means a light spray will be applied to the pages and cured instead of melting sheets of laminate onto the pages. We have found this new technique to work extremely well with the books, and the best part is that it uses conventional printing technologies that are available at standard print shops. This makes the books extremely easy to mass produce!
What will we be doing with our funding?
First, we'll be mass producing a new batch of Wipebook 2.0 That's our number one priority. Secondly, we've been told time and time again that entrepreneurs need to validate their ideas with real customers before investing time and money and this kickstarter is that validation test for us. We really want to see if there is a widespread demand for our product before continuing the development of new versions. Some customers have asked for smaller versions of the book, others have asked for versions that include a grid patterns. As much as we'd like to offer these new versions, we can only keep the price down with economies of scale, and we need to validate that demand justifies this scale. So with extra funds, we will work towards developing new versions of our product.
Also, we'd like to become a distributor for staedtler correctable markers, because there is no Wipebook without a great writing tool. We consider the staedtler correctable markers to be the best writing tool for the Wipebook because its like a blend between a dry erase and permanent marker, which provides the best writing experience. However, we need to invest a considerable amount of money to become a distributor, so this kickstarter will enable us to distribute their great products.
Who are we?
Team Wipebook was created on a late Tuesday evening in February, 2013, in an entrepreneurship course at the University of Ottawa. The MBA professor asked his class to form groups, with the primary objective of coming up with a business model that could be validated over the ensuing 6 weeks of the course. Little did we know that 6 months later over 150 wipebooks units would be sold; exclusively by word of mouth.
The Inventor: Frank Bouchard
Frank, the creative torque of the group, initially came up with the wipebook prototype. He completed his Masters in Engineering Management at the University of Ottawa while working full-time for the school’s Adventures In Engineering program. The final wipebook product “feel” was heavily influenced by his laid-back, easy-going attitude. Team Wipebook really hopes that you can enjoy the smooth flow of the marker on the wipebook's pages as much as he does.
The Strategist: Thomas Sychterz
A hard to win-over skeptic, Thomas initially brushed off the wipebook's utility and product appeal. This perception changed quickly when he couldn’t stop using the prototype Frank lent him, to the point where Thomas became slightly annoyed when Frank wanted it back to lend to others. He’s back in Montreal after having graduated from the Engineering Management program at U of O this spring, and hopes to make a wipebook splash in the “Région Métropolitaine” using his pedal to the metal approach.
The Wise Man: Toby Maurice
Every successful life venture needs a sagacious, experienced old man at some point or another, to come into the picture and provide intangibly powerful advice. Unfortunately, Toby’s cousin wasn’t available to help us out with that role, so we had to settle for the "patent pending," Professional Engineer/Project Manager. He’ll do just fine though, bringing his wealth of knowledge and experience to the wipebook table. It’s worth mentioning that his daughter, Elsie, has dibs on Thomas’ wipebook shares, bearing he dies driving through a snowstorm.
Testing the Wipebook:
Will the ink smudge between the pages, and whats the difference between a correctable and dry erase markers?
Here is a scrub test to see what happens when the book is scrubbed between the pages:
In summary, the book works pretty well to keep all your ideas in one place. The only time where things have erased for me was when I accidentally put a written surface against my pant leg while I was writing on it, and my pants acted like an eraser. Also, using dry erase markers makes it more likely that you will accidentally erase your pages, so we suggest a correctable!
Also for those who want to know if the book can be scanned:
For those who want to know what markers can be used on he wipebook 2.0:
For those who wanted to know how fast it takes to unbind and rebind the spiral binding, here is a little video:
I also got a very cool request: Can you print on a Wipebook sheet?
Yes but there are some limitations as indicated in this video:
Also if you want to know how long the ink can stay on the pages before getting hard to erase, check this video out:
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk with the Wipebook is with the consistency of the gloss. When making past batches, we've noticed slight differences in the material from order to order. Luckily, we've been able to resolve this issue, but it is uncertain if similar issues will arise with the new supply chain of Wipebook 2.0. However, we are committed to offering the product as advertised, so our worse case scenario is that it takes us longer to deliver on Wipebook 2.0 until we mass produce a version that is identical to our prototype.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)