New website is now live, and other updates

This morning, we launched the long awaited update to our website. Not only is the site brand new, but it also is the first time we’ve shown pictures of our updated iPad clipboard to the public.

About a week ago we were in a town just outside of Pittsburgh, PA visiting the manufacturing facility where Clipboard+ is made. We met with the people in charge of our project and went over the final details necessary for getting our product from their plant and into your hands. After a tour of the facility we went back to the office to nail down exactly how our products need to be packed for shipment to the fulfillment warehouse. I included some pictures from the trip at the bottom of this post.

We finalized our packaging design over the weekend and the boxes should reach our manufacturer in two weeks. We will send out an update once the product is ready to ship. In the meantime, always feel free to send me an email with any questions or comments you might have at kevin@clipboard-plus.com

A view outside

on the floor

work in process

Clipboard+ Release Update

A few weeks ago we received what was supposed to be the final prototype iteration from our manufacturer. Unfortunately the functionality and quality of the product we received didn’t meet our standards so we sent it back to the manufacturer to be reworked.

Yesterday we received the revised prototypes, and we were very impressed with what we saw. The first thing you’ll notice when you pick up the new Clipboard+ is how solid and secure it feels in your hands. The iPad bay is perfectly tight enough to securely hold the iPad, yet it’s also not a struggle to insert and remove the device. The good news for everyone awaiting the release of the our newly updated iPad Clipboard is that we now have a much better idea of when the Clipboards will ship. Right now we are anticipating to ship in October. In the meantime our product will be photographed for packaging artwork, then the packaging will be manufactured and packed with our product before being sent to our fulfillment warehouse.

Please feel free to reach out to me directly at kevin@clipboard-plus.com with any questions or comments you might have. Pictures to come soon.

New Product/Website Update

After shipping the Kickstarter orders, teams are faced with taking the next steps for their product. Right now we are in that post-Kickstarter phase.

We knew that in order to go forward with Clipboard+ we would need to:
-Update the product
-Switch to a new manufacturer who could reliably produce our product
-Create retail-ready packaging
-Set up a network for distribution
-Overhaul the website to better represent our brand and our products
-Switch from self-fulfilling orders to an outsourced automated solution (Amazon Fulfillment)
-And a bunch of other stuff that I will lump together collectively as “Miscellaneous”

Anyway, for a little bit over the past month, Clipboard+ has been working out of Denver on all of these things. We successfully partnered with a new manufacturer based out of Pittsburgh who made improvements to design. We are super excited to be working with them and we are currently waiting to receive the samples of the new model. We decided on packaging for the product. The website (currently just a holder page), is done except for product photos of the product we are waiting to receive. We set up fulfillment through Amazon, which is something I am most excited about because it will save a ton of money, and more significantly save us a ton of time running to the post office. As far as “Miscellaneous” goes, you probably don’t want to read about “Miscellaneous”, but it’s going good.

There was an unexpected delay with the material used in our shock absorbant foam liner, so right now we are shooting to have our product available in early September. If you have any questions, send me an email at kevin@clipboard-plus.com

-Kevin

Spending The Summer in Denver

For about the last six weeks, myself and the rest of the Clipboard+ team have been working out of Denver, Colorado. I packed up my car in early June and drove out from Philadelphia for my first venture west of the Mississippi. Today is my last work day before I head home, and I sit at my desk thankful that I decided to try something new this Summer. Why Denver? Well, two of the other CB+ founders graduated this year and decided to move out here to work on their start up College Gym Tracker. They provide custom applications and attendance analytics for university fitness facilities. Check them out.

So I had an opportunity to come out here and live with them, or work remotely with the rest of the team from Philadelphia. In retrospect, it was an easy decision. While we’ve been out here the team has been focused on a rebuild of our website, and preparing for the release of our new product this September. We also got the opportunity to network with some awesome people from the local Denver/Boulder entrepreneurial community. One of the highlights was meeting Brad Feld at Galvanize.

I am a huge outdoor enthusiast, and beyond all of the great entrepreneurial networking and Clipboard+ work we’ve been getting done, living in Denver is like living within short driving distance of the Disney World for outdoor activities (the Rocky Mountains). We’ve been river tubing, hiking, mountaineering, camping, trail running, and a slew of other fun things that you can’t do in the Philly suburbs. We climbed Mt. Elbert (2nd highest mountain in the lower 48 states, highest in CO) and decided to bring Clipboard+ to the summit.

Mt. Elbert

Anyway, I guess my take away is that you should be willing to try new things, whether its a new city, new food, new sport, whatever. Getting outside of your comfort zone is the only way to grow, and I can promise you will be glad you did it. I got to eat some amazing mexican food out here, climb some amazing mountains, experience some amazing weather, and who knows, maybe I’ll end up moving to this new city that I never would have experienced otherwise.

-Kevin

Spring Update

Hello everyone, now that the founders have returned from France and the world of public accounting we are getting back to business with Clipboard+.

We have been listening to all of the feedback we have received from our backers, along with all of the emails we have gotten from people interested in our products. We have taken this feedback and decided to refine the iPad clipboard from a polished prototype to a full version product. Over the next few months and into the Summer we will be to source a new manufacturer that will be able to implement the changes we want to make, along with setting up full scale production and fulfillment for the new product release.

In addition to the refined version, we also have some exciting ideas for a completely updated version of the smartphone clipboard, along with new designs for the iPad clipboard and an iPad mini model.

Happy 2013 from Clipboard+

Happy New Year to everyone from the Clipboard+ team!

Things here at Clipboard+ are going to be temporarily slowing down over the next few months. Kevin Merlini will be working full time in an Audit position at KPMG, and Eric Reale will be studying in Paris, France.

Sales of our products will continue through our website, and we will still continue to work on Clipboard+ during our spare time until later this Spring when we can focus our full attention back on the company.

In the meantime if you have any questions or would like to contact us for any reason, please email info@clipbaord-plus.com

We’re Funded! Thank You!

Well, it took a strong finish thanks to the help of friends, family, and individuals from around the world, but we have successfully surpassed our $10,000 goal and the 30-day Kickstarter campaign has finally come to an end! We could not have done this without all of your help and support, it has served as both encouragement and inspiration throughout the process. Your optimism emboldens us to continue working hard at providing products that can truly change the way you work.

We’d also like to thank Kickstarter for providing us with the platform to expose our product to a wide audience, get the ball rolling with our company, and to receive diverse feedback on our ideas. We are so pleased to have been able to participate and succeed with this project. We look forward to hitting the ground running now that Clipboard+ has been successfully funded! Image

Supporters, backers, friends, Romans: we thank you for all of your feedback and suggestions thus far, know that we value each and every comment we receive. This next part is where the true work begins, the Kickstarter campaign is through and we have our work cut out for us. In addition to fulfilling the rewards, we will be spending the next few months looking into implementing design improvements, marketing plans and much more. We will keep you posted on major developments as you are all valued members of the Clipboard+ story.

Again, thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts, we are so happy to have completed this campaign successfully and we know it wouldn’t have been possible without you. Don’t forget to keep an eye on this blog, Changing the Way You Work, and our website for updates!

Sincerely,

The Clipboard+ Team

Great Minds Think Alike

I had the single greatest round of golf in my life last week. As a sub-par (meaning poor, mostly WAY, WAY over par) golfer, I have only broken 90 twice, both at the Penn State golf courses, an 88 and an 89. Last Friday, I played with my father at a course in New Hampshire I hadn’t seen before, Laconia Country Club. Fortunately, my best-ball partner for the day, a buddy of my dad’s friend who had set us up with the tee-time, was a member of the club and knew the course well from playing multi-weekly rounds. With his detailed knowledge of the course, its hills, bunkers and doglegs. I had myself something similar to a professional caddy.

Normally I have to make observations, suggestions and corrections myself, in my head; Ok, its uphill so take an extra club, maybe the 7 instead of the 8 iron. Its breezy, make sure to ‘swing easy’. Usually, that doesn’t work. But last Friday, everything Craig told me to do, I did. That seems easy but in golf, a game as simple swinging at a stationary ball and trying to hit it forward into very large, nicely mowed lawn, nothing is harder. But each time Craig said “use your 7 iron here, swing nice and easy, you’ll want to be about 160 yds, the left side of the green is the safer shot, AND its where you’ll have the easiest putt”, or something similar, that was what I did. His knowledge of the course, my willingness to take his advice, and somehow, my clubs’ willingness to send the ball where I wanted it (for once!) combined to give me my lowest score ever, an 84.

Now I’ve told everyone I can about my incredible round. Its now out on the blogosphere as well. Unfortunately, before I could brag to a work associate of my dad’s, who is a scratch golfer (a ZERO handicap- meaning he’s like to get even par on an average day), he told me that he struggled yesterday, putted horribly, and shot a 76. So instead of boasting about the round of my life which was 8 strokes worse than his disappointing 4-over-par, we began to discuss the Clipboard+.

Mike turned the conversation right back to golf when he asked me if I knew who had invented the original clipboard. I had no idea, it seemed like clipboards just came to be. It solves a basic need for people working on their feet- a way to connect and organize papers, with a built in writing surface. A portable desk.

(Now, various sites online may have differing information on the inventor of the clipboard, some saying it was a man named “Clip”, or the inventor of the soap dispenser: George Henry Hohnsbeen, but as my dad’s friend Mike is a southern gentleman, the father of a Marine, the president of his company and recently carried my dad to a Member-Guest Club Championship with two consecutive scores of 3-under-par 69 this weekend, I’m inclined to trust his tale.)

A.W. TillinghastThe man who I was told invented the clipboard was A.W. Tillinghast, “Tilly” to his friends, though his golf-related accomplishments greatly overshadow almost all mention of this invention. Tillinghast was a one-time professional golfer who became one of the most prolific golf course architects of the early 20th century. His courses have been the sites of numerous professional and amateur championships, and his design style “The Course Beautiful” was applied to “produce something which will provide a true test of the game, and then consider every conceivable way to make it as beautiful as possible.”

As they say: necessity is the mother of invention.

Apparently, surveying countless lands, designing and redesigning over 250 golf courses, writing short stories of fictional golfers and hundreds of golfing articles and course design handbooks over a 30 year career, the guy needed to keep his papers in order. And thus (allegedly) the clipboard was born.

Kevin MerliniSimilar necessity brought Clipboard+ founder and all-around good guy Kevin Merlini to design the Clipboard+. With modern mobile technology increasingly useful for our work, using a clipboard and a mobile device became the problem Tilly had with his papers (unless you want to clamp down on your iPad, scratch the glass and have it fall out, I suppose).

But these aren’t the only similarities between the two clipboard innovators.

Tilly was born in Philadelphia in 1874. Kevin was born and raised just outside of that very same City of Brotherly Love. Tillinghast designed famous courses like Winged Foot, Baltusrol, Bethpage and Shawnee (as well as consulting or surveying over 700). Kevin caddied at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, an old hangout of Tilly’s youth, and a course he redesigned in 1922. Kevin also learned how to play the sport at Tillinghast’s Cedarbrook Hill Golf Course in Wyncote,PA, and has played at a number of the courses in the Philadelphia areas Tillinghast was involved in designing.

Tillinghast Plays

In 1904, Tillinghast lost his US Amateur match to fellow future course architect, Chandler Egan, when Egan’s ball took a lucky bounce of a tree at Baltusrol. When Tillinghast designed the new courses at Baltusrol in 1918, one of his first acts was to remove that same tree that had cost him his match. In golf, it always pays to be patient; to wait for the wind to die down, take a second practice swing before a big putt, for a wife to not be upset when her husband played an extra nine, etc. Now, maybe I’ll have to become a course architect, that way I could go back everywhere I’ve played and chop down all those goddamn trees that have gotten in my balls’ way.

(If you have any additional information- especially if it contradicts what I’ve written- on the clipboard’s true origins, please comment below.

Like most people, I love to be corrected)

Related Posts

How Close Are You To Success?

A wonderful post by Roger Osorio about success. It features an interview with Kevin Merlini, founder of Clipboard+ about the struggles of starting a company. Check out Roger’s blog and make sure to back Clipboard+ on Kickstarter and share this link on your social media networks!

Why is Clipboard+ Changing the Way You Work?

If you are like me and work on a computer, I am sure there are times when you want to get away from the desk. Since people who work on the go use a smartphone or iPad, the only thing that is missing is a flat surface.While coffee shops and libraries can be great places to burn the midnight oil, here at Changing the Way You Work, we would much rather operate from a comfy LuvSac. Clipboard+ finally solves this problem and makes working from a couch, the floor or even outside in the grass a simply effortless experience.

Mobile Professional

As a mobile professional, my life is run by apps like TweetBot, Sparrow, Zite, Instapaper, Tapatalk, Analytiks, and Launch Center Pro. I can know Clipboard+ will infuse new energy into your routine and completely change the way you work. The above apps are the cornerstone of my digital presence, but I find that paper is still an essential tool for making lists, outlines, and quick sketches. By combining the power of paper and your favorite apps, you will get more done in less time. Many technology blogs feel the same way and written about Clipboard+ on Kickstarter. Check them out below.

What People are Saying:

App Advice:

“A functional, yet inexpensive solution for anyone that needs an iDevice and a clipboard to get their job done.”

Business Insider:

“Analog meets digital in this redesigned clipboard that can hold your smartphone or your iPad.”

Unleash the Phones:

 ”While smartphones and tablets have definitely changed the way we work today, the Paper hasn’t really been replaced entirely just yet. And if you cant beat ‘em, join ‘em which is where the Clipboard+ comes in.”

Gear Diary:

 ”Let’s face it: you cart around your mobile phone with you everywhere. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could somehow attach your phone to a clipboard, so that you can also scribble down handwritten notes? Clipboardify Your Smartphone or iPad with Clipboard+”

#ChangeYourWork

If these reviews don’t convince you think about the direction of mobile devices. iPads are becoming integrated into many levels of enterprise from hospitals to education to construction. With this impending explosion of iPads in business comes an opportunity to become more efficient with our current technology. According to this infographic from Column Five media, 72% of US enterprises are using tablets and by 2014 1 in 5 consumers will own one.

With this massive tablet expansion it is time we become more efficient with our technology! In line with this theme we would like to share another very cool Kickstarter project. Robert Stoeber’s mission is to build an app called, Work Smarter and Save Trees with iPads and WordPress, that will enable anyone to do serious programming work! Check out their video and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

By supporting Clipboard+ you are investing in a better future for all mobile professionals. Back the Clipboard+ project today and Change the Way You Work!