“Honey, where are you? The baby’s coming!!!”
“I’m at the airport, honey, waiting to get my ticket. I’ll be home soon.”
“HOLY FUCK, where’s my wallet?”
It was March 2014. I was on a trip to Europe, my wife was about to give birth to my baby boy, and I was just about to get my plane ticket when all hell got loose.
Imagine for a second how you would feel in this situation. You probably remember the day when your child got born, right? I mean, how could you not? The moment when you held your baby in your arms for the first time, or when you almost punched the nurse because you thought she’s not handling him gently enough. Or when he squeezed your finger for the first time, and you just looked at him sooo proud of his strength.
Now imagine that you would have lost all these because as soon as you heard the news, you got so excited that you just left your wallet behind. Would this not be something that would have made you regret it for your entire life?
Imagine how disappointed you would feel, how guilty, how angry on yourself as you would literally be blocked in another country, unable to help her, unable to see and hold your baby...
That’s how I felt back then. I felt trapped, angry at myself and everyone else, disappointed, and ashamed of myself. I was desperate, and while I admit that I was fortunate enough to find it, that exact moment was my little trip to hell and back.
I'm the CEO of Wallor. I'm one of these guys who are always organized and who never imagined this could happen to him. Until it did.
Since I founded Wallor, I swore that I will build a company that does things differently. We want our company to be honest and transparent.
So throughout the next lines I'll tell you to the story of how we built together with people like you, the best smart wallet.
My research and what I discovered
Right after I arrived at the hospital, through that night, while watching my son sleep, I was contemplating about what just happened. And I kept asking myself if this happened to anyone else. So I started doing a little research and what I discovered shocked me.
First, although there are no official statistics, it is believed that around 1,000 wallets get stolen every two minutes in the US. And a lost and found survey discovered that every American is spending 2.5 days a year searching for their lost and found items.
2.5 FREAKIN' DAYS A YEAR. If you consider that an average life span is around 70 years, that's almost HALF A YEAR we're spending in our lifetime searching for misplaced items. Whether that's a wallet, or keys, or passport, or remote control, every little action like this is a waste of time for us. Time we can and should spend somewhere else.
Second, losing your wallet is more than just losing your money. Your wallet is like your silent companion, keeping all your valuables and secrets safe.
At least that's what people told me when I started joining groups and reading craigslist ads. I went all the way from ignorant people who thought they were kings, to people who were desperate and begging on public groups.
I even interviewed some of these people, and I asked them why do they want to find their wallet so much? I mean it's just money, right?
- No, I have a picture of my grandfather. It's the only picture I have of him, so please help me find my wallet
- No, I have my student visa there, and if I don't find it, I need to leave back and miss my exams. Please help me find my wallet
- No, I have all my IDs and cards there, and I don't even want to think what replacing them would mean. Please, help me find my wallet.
I even read the reactions of all the people saying that yeah, you lose your wallet and once it's lost, everything is lost. I watched people telling them that they hope this is not true or asking them why someone would need their ID?
I watched, and I realized that when this is not you, when this is not happening to you, it's easy to mock or to think you're the king and you will NEVER LOSE your wallet.
And this is normal, you should be very confident, and we should be like that since we're the head of the house. You provide for your family, you make your wife proud, you take care of them day after day. You're the one everyone's counting on.
But what if, one day, for just a second, you will get distracted and you will lose something. Your wallet, passport, some photo from your first love, a vital receipt, a business contact. What if something like this would happen? What if someone steals it from you?
Can you really afford this?
I bet you can't.
Competition? Yeah right...
Our next step was to buy and test every possible solution out there. Sadly, none worked as intended.
- Bluetooth beacons were removable and useless if your wallet had RFID protection
- There are no GPS solutions either, or if they were they were over 2" thick
- The other smart wallets on the market were also either not working, or not delivered or too BULKY.
And we asked ourselves, WHO THE HECK SAID THAT A SMART WALLET SHOULD LOOK LIKE A BRICK?
Kickstarter 2.0 or the future is here
Ok, so if you reached this point, I'm amazed. Like I said, your time is precious and the fact that you took time to read all these, it means that you want to eliminate any risk of uncertainty in your life and for that CONGRATULATIONS.
Kickstarter 2.0 came with Wallor on steroids or in other words full international business operations plus:
- Four worldwide delivery centers
- Kickass customer service center with fully personalized conversations. In other words, if you need help, we will be your friends, not your bots.
- Fully transparent communication. You'll see how we changed the rules of Kickstarter by some decisions that shocked our backers.
- Continuous upgrade throughout and after the campaign.
- A massive update to our Wallor System
I must thank you already. If you reached this point, you're probably thinking that this can actually happen to you and you're probably curious about what we did next. So for that, thank you very much, I hope you'll enjoy what's next.
This part of Wallor talks about the very early beginnings.
Fast forward to 2016, while on a trip to Shanghai, with all my research done, I started putting together a small business plan. I hired one of Chinese Economy Minister consultants and researched the leather market. I spent over three weeks learning about leather types, understanding what the difference between them is, what makes a leather special, how to choose the leather that ages perfectly.
I even spent two weeks in a leather shop and did a few wallets by myself. I learned what are the tricks for a great wallet, what do you need to pay attention to if you want perfection. Once this part was done, it was time for me to move forward to the technological side, and that's where the adventure began.
5 trips to China back and forth, working with our manufacturers on the wallet design, 6 months and $15,000 later, after organizing the first part of our team, we launched our first Kickstarter campaign. At this stage, our product was still just an idea, and we yet haven't decided on the final tech, so we went to Kickstarter and asked for people to give us their feedback. We launched the campaign, left it running for a month with ZERO MARKETING. Imagine our surprise when we saw that we reached our goal in less than two weeks.
Everything happened in the craziest month of my life yet to come. December 2016 marked the birth of my baby girl, the end of my MBA program, and the success of our first Kickstarter campaign. So, as every responsible man, I moved to Shenzhen on December 26th interviewing 5 companies for our GPS tracking solution.
Our first campaign delivery
By October 2017, after trips between China, Australia, Thailand, Spain and Romania and another $115,000 personal funds spent, we had our production finished. The first 2,500 were ready for market with 800 units pre-ordered and top priority customers.
Since everyone who pre-ordered is vital, I personally tested every wallet sent to them from China, plus everyone received a lovely handwritten thank you note from me and a ticket to our VIP club plus 30% discount on any future purchase.
And people were not disappointed. For our first generation our goal was to :
- Help you find your wallet in real-time if you left it behind, so we created a special chip with Worldwide GPS tracking. Oh and we made it really really thin, only 0.13" (3.3mm).
- Protect you from leaving your wallet behind so we connected your wallet to our special built mobile app with real-time notifications if you left it behind.
- Allow your wallet to connect to a cell tower and send the location through GPS so we included a Lifetime data plan in the package
- Help you charge your wallet and why not your phone, so we added One natural bamboo wireless charger.
How did it feel to receive our wallets?
Amazing, the moment when I held the first wallet in my hands was one of the best moments in my life. This moment came after over 10 months spent 30 feet away from the manufacturers, daily meetings with them, countless "no" from them and brainstorm sessions to help them develop the product the moment was finally here.
But in the end it was all worth it. I remember the day when I received the boxes in Shenzhen, in a very elegant hotel and the faces of the cleaning lady when she saw this room :D
But how did it feel to receive our wallets? Well... see for yourself ;)
Next we listened to your feedback
Good or bad we listened very carefully to everything you said and decided to work version 2.0.
Once all the wallets from version 1 were sold, we launched our new campaign and if you reached so far, you definitely need to see this ;)