Watch RocketBook launch on stage here.
This interview with RocketBook founder Joe Lemay was conducted by the Job Portraits team during preparations for the LAUNCH Festival.
What you guys are doing? What’s the pitch?
We’re launching RocketBook, which is a seemingly ordinary paper notebook — just like the one you love and enjoy — but with cloud capabilities. Now you don’t have to choose between the utility of the digital world and the pleasure of a real notebook.
Tell us why you chose this problem, and why are you the right people to solve it?
I founded Rocket Innovations with the idea of bringing the cloud to all writing surfaces. We started with whiteboards, but as we were developing that we began to feel the pull of the notebook, which, just knowing myself as a user, is a very personal medium. Notebooks are still the most natural way to get ideas out of my head. I’ve tried some other solutions out there, but they all had at least one fatal flaw: They needed charging, or had a weird interface, or were just expensive. It’s our belief that the best thing an interface can do — especially a new one — is get out of the way. So we’re building a technology platform that does some amazing things, and if we succeed, nobody will even know it’s technology. People will simply do what comes naturally.
At LAUNCH, suddenly a bunch of people will know what you’re doing. What are you hoping to learn or achieve from that?
Having an opportunity to be here and launch on stage is just personally exciting. Businesswise, we’ll be using the excitement we generate here to drive momentum for our Indiegogo campaign.
Explain to me what you’re launching, and why does it need funding from Indiegogo?
All of the core technology is fully developed and works, but we need to finish up the development of our app, especially an integration with Evernote and other services. In a way we’re using Indiegogo as a preordering platform to harness the momentum from LAUNCH. We’re excited to get these books into people’s hands, and having them try and use the product is the obvious first step.
You know, we’re selling these notebooks, but it’s not our goal to lock you into some proprietary system. We’re building tools that are very open—there’ll be free PDFs for you to download online, for example. You’ll buy these notebooks from us if you love the notebooks. For us, it’s really about creating a community and an ecosystem around the value of taking notes.
Want to hire great people faster? Job Portraits helps startups hire smarter through storytelling.