Founded in 2014 Handwrytten is the global leader in automated handwritten notes. They use robots to write out the notes in real pen, in the handwriting style of the client’s choice, on their stationery. Clients can include gift cards or small inserts, such as their business cards.
They have nearly 100 robots currently, and are continually adding new machines.
Their service is available via web site, handwrytten.com, mobile apps for iPhone and Android, Zapier, API, Hubspot and their app for Salesforce, available from the app exchange.
In an interview with Mr David Wachs, CEO at the company, let’s discover their journey since the inception.
1. What were the initial challenges you faced?
• Education. What we do is not really done by many other companies. As such, nobody knows to ask for it. We need to educate our clients so they know they can leverage us in the future.
• Technology. Our initial handwriting machines were purchased from another company, and did not serve us well. They were expensive, prone to error, and required a lot of oversight. It took us over 2 years in development to release our first handwriting robot,
but now it has enabled us to cement our standing as the market leader.
2. Which was that point that triggered the growth of the company?
Releasing our own robot. It has allowed us to offer new capabilities (custom fonts and signatures) as well as reduced the expense of adding machines. As we can add machines for much less of an investment, we can scale quicker.
3. How have the company graphs changed since the foundation? Can you share a few statistics?
Our sales has grown at 300% year over year since inception.
4. What is the reason behind your company’s long-standing success?
Never giving up and building a platform instead of a web site.
5. What are the products/services the company focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?
• We are the largest provider of this service by several orders of magnitude. Our difference is our platform approach. With apps for iphone and android, Zapier integration and our Salesforce plugin we allow you to send notes however you want,
• Our robots provide the most authentic handwriting available. No other robotic handwriting company has the same level of variation of characters or attention to detail.
6. How do you decide to take the company a step further in terms of your services?
We allow our clients to insert items with their orders, such as business cards and gift cards. We are now moving into fulfilment, allowing people to send books and other larger items with a handwritten note.
7. Is there any new addition to the list of products/services? Anything exciting you would like to share?
Fulfillment (mentioned above) is a big new push. We see real value in being able to fulfil larger products with handwritten cards.
8. What do you think are the responsibilities of an entrepreneur?
Develop entirely new products and services. Coming out with a
copy-cat product or service makes you a business man but not an entrepreneur.
9. What are the key achievements of your entrepreneurial journey?
Selling my last company, Cellit in 2012 to a major marketing company (now part of Merkle).
10. How do you look after your employees? What makes your team unique?
We have a very flat organization, with only one manager between the CEO and any employee.
We allow all employees to spend 10% of their time on pet projects. Hoping this spurs innovation.
11. Is there any special experience with your clients you would like to highlight?
A lot of our clients get lots of Instagram and Twitter viral photos of our cards! We don’t mention most of our clients, but one, VNYL allows us. They’ve seen substantial growth in viral mentions due to people receiving their cards, taking photos of them and posting them to Instagram and Twitter.
12. One person who you admire the most?
I am sure you get this a lot, but Elon Musk. He built PayPal, then Tesla, and now Space-X. What can’t he do?
13. Constant vigilance- a need or a strategy? Please share your views.
Constant vigilance. If you have an idea you believe in, stick with it.
14. It’s a rat-race out there. How do you cope with that?
It’s very hard. Knowing you’ve got a great product that serves a true business need helps, but I’m not going to lie: the stress is there.
Mr David Wachs – CEO at Handwrytten Prior to Handwrytten, David founded Cellit, a mobile marketing platform and mobile agency. Under David’s leadership, Cellit became a leading player in the mobile marketing space and invented the concept of mobile customer relationship management (Mobile CRM). Cellit developed one of the most robust and widely-used mobile marketing platforms in the world, delivering millions of SMS and MMS messages to consumers on a daily basis. With a marquee client roster including Abercrombie and Fitch, Toys R Us, Sam’s Club, Chicago Tribune, For Rent Media Solutions, Pizza Hut and more, Cellit was recognized as one of the top 500 fastest growing companies in America, as #262 on the Inc. 500 in 2010, delivered many award-winning mobile campaigns, and built one of the best teams in the mobile industry. Cellit was sold to HelloWord (f/k/a ePrize) in January of 2012.
David is also a frequent speaker on mobile technology and has presented for the Direct Marketing Association, South By Southwest, Advertising Research Foundation, and the National Restaurant Association. David has been interviewed by FOX News, Direct Marketing News, Crain’s Chicago Business, the American Express OPEN network, AMA’s Marketing News, Bloomberg Radio, and “Tech Talk with Craig Peterson” and has been quoted in numerous articles, including The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, Variety, Startup Nation and US Banker Magazine.
David writes for Inc. Magazine with his column “Stepping Away from the Day to Day”. He holds a BS in Economics (Concentrations on Finance and Entrepreneurial Management) from Wharton School at UPenn and a BS in Computer Science Engineering from UPenn as well.