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+”


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!

Contest: 101 Uses for Clipboard+

The Gestalt Theory, which can be easily understood in regards to art as well as philosophy, is the idea the “the whole is other than sum of its parts” (As I’ve found out, its often mistranslated as “greater than” but still…)

Clipboard+ isn’t just a clipboard.
And it ain’t just an accessory either.

It is more than a clipboard that can hold your mobile device.
Its a way to mobilize your desk. A way to change the way you work.

And there’s more!

The Clipboard+Smartphone’s suction cup technology is ideal for chameleon-esque utility-shifting for whatever situation you’re in.

Need to study while headed to the shower? Clipboard+ShowerCaddy.

Need to go over those presentation notes while spending time outdoors? Clipboard+Baseball Mitt.

Gotta double-check that write-up and grab your pal a brew?
Clipboard+Party Time

 Reviewing your notes while getting yourself fresh in the morning?
Clipboard+Deodorant Applicator

The Contest

We’ve come up with plenty of these ideas for out-of-the-box uses for Clipboard+, plenty of them silly, and a few of them practical.
What other ideas can you think of? We’re trying to count as many as 101 uses for the Clipboard+ and we could use all the help we can get! Please comment, tweet (@clipboard_plus), or post your ideas on our facebook page.

Great ideas will be rewarded with a shout-out on the blog including a picture of the Clipboard+Your Idea in action!
In addition, all creative, original ideas new ways to use the products will be judged by the Clipboard+ team, weekly champions will win a free Clipboard+Smartphone!
Once you have it in your hands, I’m sure you’ll find great use for your Clipboard+, whether attaching your smartphone, hanging a masterpiece on the wall (the suction cup makes the Clipboard+ an ideal temporary picture frame!) or anything you can imagine.

Thanks for reading! We can’t wait to see what we’re sure will be some incredibly creative submissions!

Kickstarters with Practical New Apps (Day 4)

Just 3 days after the launch of our own Kickstarter crowd-funding project, Clipboard+ has already recieved shout-outs from popular blogs like App Advice and Business Insider In the spirit of mutual back-scratching and good karma, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight a few of our favorite peer projects, just a few of the innovative, practical ideas found on Kickstarter that we will soon see changing the way we work.

I’d also like to present my pick for the most entertaining (if slightly ambitious-the investment goal is upwards of $21,000,000) Kickstarter promotional video for a moon-bound recording artist whose mission is “to be the John Denver of Space Folk


Android tablet users will love this application which provides a personalized and easily customizable tablet experience. Chameleon lets tablet owners create beautiful displays and easily navigable home screens which adapt to your needs related to what’s important to you when, and where; A morning screen when you wake up, with widgets for news, scores from last night, daily reminders and today’s weather. An office home screen where your emails, industry updates, datebooks, spreadsheets and presentation applications are front and center when you walk into work (via GPS settings). An evening home screen with facebook and twitter updates, what’s new on Netflix, games and ebooks. These are just the listed examples and only a few of the ways in which Chameleon can personalize, enhance and simplify your tablet experience.


Created by Teknision Inc., a Canadian design company, this is Chameleon’s second fully-funded Kickstarter release, the first being cancelled due to payment complications, a result of team members not having American citizenship. With 12 days left of their 20-day funding, Chameleon has greatly surpassed its $30,000 goal, and a $5 investment is still the quickest way to recieve the app before it is released on the Google Play Store.

Pressure Sensitive Tablet Drawing Styli

For designers, dreamers, doers and doodlers, the advent of pressure-sensitive writing styli will be a welcome site, compared to the frustrations of original digital drawing tools where the drawing function was merely either on or off. At present, there are three similar models in different stages of funding and production. These are very innovative tools and are extemely useful for anyone trying to create, edit or share images on a tablet.

The jaja, whose kickstarter raised over $65,000, claims to be the world’s first pressure sensitive iPad stylus. Without Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections, this pen literally speaks to your device to capture the pressure of your pen strokes. Jaja emits high-frequency sound waves, too high for human ears, that communicate with your device’s microphone.

The jaja- an Australian import- like its peers, enhances drawing on tablets by enabling precise, pressure-sensitive penstrokes

Adonit’s Jot Touch, which uses bluetooth connections, works great with pressure-sensitive Apps, and for non-sensitive Apps, users can utilize its own pressure-sensing disk to get precise readings and perfect lines.

Another current Kickstarter stylus project, PressurePen, created in North Carolina by web developer Charles Mangin, is an inexpensive, battery operated device, designed to last through hundreds of hours of use. The way it works will remain a mystery for now, as the technology is currently being withheld due to licensing ambitions.

Further changing the way you work with an iPad is the Collusion App, a virtual whiteboard which combines a stylus with cloud capabilities to create a collaborative brain storming app to increase team productivity from anywhere with an internet connection. Created by the Collusion development team, this fully-funded Kickstarter project has already seen praise for its use in design team collaborations, inter-office meetings, and executives digitally co-signing documents in real time.
Collusion App: Real-time collaboration to increase productivity of meetings, designing, and note-taking.

Thanks for Reading!

Be sure to follow @Clipboard_plus on Twitter, and if you haven’t yet, check out our Kickstarter project, and fabulous new webpage!

Clipboard+ featured on Business Insider’s Coolest Tech Projects on Kickstarter (Day 3)

Coolest Tech Projects on Kickstarter

Check out the recent post on Business Insider about Clipboard+ being one of the coolest projects on Kickstarter. Thanks to Dylan Love for including Clipboard+! Below are some of the other Cool Tech Projects on Kickstarter.

Trygger Camera

iPhone photographers will love this — a polarizing filter you can slide over your iPhone lens, built directly into your case.


Lose your keys often? You’ll want Hone, a Bluetooth-enabled key fob that blinks and makes noise whenever you trigger it with your iPhone. It has a range of 150 feet, so you’ll have a hard time losing your keys for good.

The cord-cutters out there will want to take a look at Simple.TV, a box that connects to your TV to help you watch and record live HDTV for free.

Arctic Flight

Your awful coach class flight will never be the same — this stand mounts your iPad at the perfect height for watching a movie and passing the time.


Elphi is a hardware/software combo that puts your electrical outlets on the web. Turn devices on and off from anywhere in the world. You can even set timers to make things happen automatically, like having your coffee ready exactly when you wake up.

tPOD1 – thermoelectric Power On Demand

One little tea candle is enough to generate electricity using this thermoconductive device. Power a light or charge a battery that can in turn power your USB devices.

Thanks for Reading!

Make sure to follow us on twitter @clipboard_plus or shoot us an email at


Seth Godin Drives Traffic (Kickstarter Day 2)


Clipboard+ has only been up on Kickstarter for two days and already we have over $2,000 in funding from our beautiful backers! If you haven’t had the chance to support us, check out the Clipboard+ :: Changing the Way You Work Kickstarter Project for more information. Every dollar helps!

Seth Godin

Our posts at Changing the Way You Work have evolved since our inception earlier this month. We have focused on things like productivity, technology, and innovation. But, one constant in all of our most popular posts have been the presence of this man, Seth Godin.

Seth Godin

Our only theory is that Seth Godin must be driving traffic to Changing the Way You Work. This makes perfect sense because of his recognizable name and all of the fantastic content provided by Godin on his blog, books and TED talks. If you want to get an idea for just how big his following really is, go to Seth’s Kickstarter page for his new book, The Icarus Deception.

In honor of Seth Godin’s ability to attract attention, we have posted our favorite Seth Godin books, TED talks, and blog posts. Enjoy!


TED Talks

[ted id=538]

[ted id=28]

[vimeo w=500&h=375]

Seth Godin at Gel 2006 from Gel Conference on Vimeo.

Blog Posts

Thanks for Reading!

With 33 books, 2,500 blog posts and multiple videos online, Seth Godin has something for everyone. Be sure to let us know about your favorite stuff by Seth Godin on Twitter @clipboard_plus or comment on this post.


Clipboard+ Launches Kickstarter

Today, Clipboard+ launched our Kickstarter campaign to crowd-fund $10,000. For those of you unfamiliar with the recent crowd-funding craze check out, Simplfy Reality’s post, Kickstarter Explained. If you have any additional questions about Kickstarter or Clipboard+ products please feel free to comment or email us at

Thank you

SparkPlug@Penn State

Kevin Merlini – Founder of Clipboard+ posted on SparkPlug@Penn State this morning about our recent launch. Below is an excerpt from his post.

“It is definitely a relief to have our project go live, I’m really excited to see how things go from here. In the meantime we will be focused on promoting our project and trying to get the word out to as many people as possible. If anyone would like to talk to me more about my experience with this project, or is interested in pursuing a Kickstarter of their own, I would be happy to talk to you. Just shoot me an email at”

For more from Kevin about his experiences with Kickstarter and founding Clipboard+ stay tuned with Changing the Way You Work and Sparkplug@PSU’s blog.

Lion Launch Pad

The Lion Launch Pad was an integral part in the success of Clipboard+. A special thanks to Liz Kisenwether and Robert Macy. Below is an a description of Lion Launch Pad.

The Lion Launch Pad (LionLP) is a business accelerator program for Penn State undergraduate students and student teams.  Based at Penn State University‘s University Park Campus, our program was created to help undergraduate student entrepreneurs convert innovative product and service concepts into viable start-up companies. Our vision of success is to have a team develop product, get revenue or funding, and move to next-level incubator programs.

Learning Factory

The Learning Factory helped Clipboard+ bring the initial designs for the Clipboard+ iPad and Clipboard+ Smartphone to life. Below is their mission.

“Our mission is to help bring the real-world into the classroom by providing engineering students with practical hands-on experience through industry-sponsored capstone design projects. In 2010/11, we completed a record 126 projects for 80 different sponsors and nearly 600 out of the 1460 engineering students that Penn State graduated participated in such a project.”

Pennsylvania State University

As students of Penn State University, we feel it is very important to thank the institution that gave Clipboard+ a chance for higher education. Thank you to all professors, peers and alumni for your care and support! We Are!!!

Make sure to follow Clipboard+ on Kickstarter and stay up to date with Changing the Way You Work. Thanks for reading!