Launching a successful start-up is not easy but the attendees of the exclusive event Gathering of Titans make it look so. Starting in 1989, MIT began hosting a yearly symposium of the savviest thinkers of business. An offshoot of their graduate program, and a partnership with INC magazine and the Entrepreneur Organization, this private, invite-only conference has grown into a meeting of 100 of the country’s greatest minds. Each spring the group meets to discuss fresh ideas and share best practices. Team Bamboo placed units of our latest technology with this year’s crew, and were inspired by the entrepreneur’s reactions to and uses for Bamboo Spark. This smart notebook saves handwritten notes digitally, so users can capture, shape and share their sketches and notes on the go. We followed up with these elite CEOs to hear about their journey to success, and their ideas on workflow.
First to test this newly released device was Wacom friend Mike Maddock of Maddock Douglas, a vocal proponent for creating efficiency anyway he can. For him, Bamboo Spark is “an insurance policy,” providing him with confidence that he’ll have access to his saved notes no matter where he is. “There is emotion caught with handwriting that isn’t captured with a keyboard,” he says when advocating for the tactile feel of Bamboo Spark. “Let’s bring back the napkin,” said Maddock, “There is a reason that so many businesses start on napkins.” Like the ubiquitous napkin, Bamboo Spark is portable and readily available, allowing you to jot down an idea quickly, and then bring your sketch or note with you. Unlike a napkin, the Bamboo Spark saves your work digitally so you can access it later, encouraging you to continue the conversation by converting your handwriting to text or adding your work to a folder accessible by your team on the Wacom Cloud.
Jewelry designer Lori Bonn of Lori Bonn Designs was next to give us a call with her thoughts. As kind as she is savvy, she was delighted with the simple set-up and easy use of Bamboo Spark, calling the smart notebook “refreshing.” She continued, “There is something nice about handwriting your notes and having them captured for later reference.” Writing with a traditional pen and a paper is already part of her routine, making work with the Bamboo Spark “nice and natural,” as she is a “creative person who likes to take notes the old fashioned way.” The professional feel and weight of the pen was innate to this ideator. That an everyday pen with included but hidden technology could take her work and make it digital was magic to her.
Bamboo Spark is currently in its first iteration and is growing in tandem alongside customers, with regular updates happening in the app as users request them. As partnerships grow, the app is updated to allow for more features accessible to users in real time. Peter Laughter of Wall Street Services enjoyed using Bamboo Spark. His suggestion for calendar and to-do templates in the Bamboo Spark app that integrate with offline systems he currently uses were listened to and considered. He also advocated for easier ways to update paper notes that you have kept in analog state, but creating real time changes in the digital cloud. These suggestions are with the Engineering and Product teams here at Bamboo, and just might hit the app in the coming months. Jason Eckenroth, President of ShipCompliant Divisions said when asked his thoughts on Bamboo Spark “I liked the device for keeping me in an analog state.” His feedback was on the orientation of the device – it wasn’t clear to him that you can optimize easily your device for your handedness preferences. We have noted that for future product onboarding as all Wacom devices, whether in our consumer or creative line, are agnostic of handedness and easily molded to one’s preferences. Bamboo Spark’s set-up is simple – with one touch of a button you can mold the device to your fancy.
Our work allows us to meet makers, students, educators, creators, and movers and shakers: from around the world. It’s inspiring and motivating to a part of this crowd as they are the best in the business and leading the charge in the creative endeavor of their choosing. The Gathering of Titans is one of the most connected groups in business, and we were fortunate to be allowed to briefly pick their brains on technology and collaboration. We look forward to creating devices and tools that help support their work and make their days faster and more efficient.