Working as a sales executive at Salesforce.com, co-Founder Joe Lemay forgets to pack the correct notebook for an important sales meeting. #meetingfail
Most of 2014
Looking for a solution Joe tries out electronic pens and smart notebooks. Nothing feels quite right. Joe wonders if there might be a need to create a new product.
At a local pub, Joe meets up with buddy and product developer Jake Epstein, pitches the idea for the “cloud connected paper notebook that keeps us organized”. Jake and Joe get to work the next day.
Rocketbook announces the microwave-to-erase Rocketbook while at the 2015 Launch festival. During rehearsals, famed angel investor Jason Calacanis scoffs at the product, says to Joe, “Who do you think you are, the Elon Musk of notebooks?”
While on stage, Jake and Joe launch crowdfunding for the Rocketbook Wave which goes on to raise a total of $1,889,030 between Kickstarter and Indiegogo. IndieGogo funding used to build the first books, the app and integrations with Google Docs, Dropbox, Evernote, email. Kickstarter funds used to build second batch of books, plus integrations with Slack, Box, iCloud.
The Rest of 2015
Following a successful raise of crowdfunding dollars, Jake and Joe refine the Rocketbook Wave materials and hire firms to conduct extensive QA testing. It starts to become clear that it will be a lot harder than Jake and Joe believed to refine the product and deliver a notebook that erases properly and safely in various microwaves around the world.
Rocketbook announces to backers that Rocketbook Wave deliveries will be later than estimated. Backers respond with a mix of encouraging comments and death threats.
5 months later than the estimated ship date, the first Rocketbook Waves begin to ship to 28,000 IndieGogo backers. R&D challenges are over, but the team now needs to hustle to fix major glitches with manufacturing, fulfillment vendors.
With all manufacturing and fulfillment glitches fixed, Rocketbook launches a Kickstarter campaign to finance the second batch of Rocketbook Waves and integrations for Box, iCloud and Slack.
Rocketbook Waves are shipped to Kickstarter backers 4 months early. It feels awesome.
Rocketbook graduates from Techstars Boston startup accelerator.
The first Rocketbook web site launches, and Rocketbook Waves and other products are available for general sale online.
Rocketbook becomes available on Amazon.com.
Rocketbook sees orders from corporations like Pepsi, Accenture, Hubspot and Genentech requesting custom branded Rocketbooks for giveaways at events and employee productivity use cases
Jake and Joe get kicked out of a national office supply store while filming the legendary Everlast video.
Rocketbook climbs to be the #1 selling notebook on Amazon.com, beating out brands such as Moleskine, 5-Star and Mead.
Rocketbook is a popular Holiday gift. Techno Claus features the Rocketbook Wave on CBS Sunday Morning, blowing away all sales predictions. A week before Christmas, all inventory is gone.
The Rocketbook Everlast raises over $2.5mm in pre-orders, breaking Wave records as the #1 office/school product in crowdfunding history.
Rocketbook Wave is featured on the hit ABC show Shark Tank. The Sharks call our idea "brilliant", "wacky" and "crazy". This is how we responded.