2015-08-03

The Spark Notebook from creator Kate Matsudaira

I received my Spark Notebook. What is the Spark Notebook, you may ask.
The Spark Notebook combines form and function. The Spark Notebook project raised funding on Kickstarter too.

The way I see it, the Spark Notebook is an agenda (a 6-month agenda) with additional features. These features include (from the guide) the yearly planning pages, accomplishments, the monthly planning pages, the weekly planning pages, the inspiration pages, and the note pages. The monthly planning pages include something called the 30-day challenge. According to creator Kate Matsudaira, the 30-day challenge feature is useful to help start (or break) a habit.

The Spark Notebook comes with a guide. On this website, some of the text is white with a background image which makes it hard to read. For example, consider the screenshot below.







How did I learn about the existence of the Spark Notebook ?

One of my hobbies consists in watching videos on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) YouTube channel. I like these videos because they are usually easy to understand although the subject may be a bit abstract.

In particular, I watch the videos about AWS products. One example of this is the video called Introduction to Amazon S3 which explains in 3 minutes the general idea of the Internet storage service called S3 (Simple Storage Service).

The other types of videos that I like on the AWS YouTube channel are those about satisfied AWS customers. The customer experience videos are usually animated by AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr.

One of the videos I watched was Kate Matsudaira, CTO of Decide.com. I like the customer experience videos because they usually mention what the customer is doing with AWS (value proposition / business model) and also the AWS building blocks that the customer is using to make things happen are also listed.

So, in that video, I got to know more about Decide.com. Then, I continued my adventure. I searched for Decide.com to try their offering. However, I was not able to do so because Decide.com was acquired in 2013.

The next logical step was to look for the next accomplishment of Kate Matsudaira because I was not able to experiment with Decide.com because it had been acquired. That's when I found popforms.

The company popforms provides "bite-size career development
for the modern leader" through online courses. These courses are called sparks. I found this interesting, because I think self-reflection is important for improving who we want to be.

This company (popforms) was also acquired by a bigger fish (Safari Books Online).

At that point, I was thinking that this entrepreneur probably has a secret sauce, and that perhaps she shared it in the form of a book. This is how I discovered the Spark Notebook.

Also, when I discussed the Spark Notebook concept with my significant other, she said that she has been reading Kate Matsudaira's blog for years. So, Kate Matsudaira is an entrepreneur, technologist, creator, and also a role model.

I think that the Spark Notebook is a great product.

Product: Spark Notebook
Price: $US 28.00
Purchase links: Manufacturer or Amazon
Score: 9/10

Pros:
- innovative form, impressive function
- compact size
- self-contained / self-explanatory
- online guide at http://www.thesparknotebook.com/guide
Cons:
- expensive for a 6-month agenda
- only 6 months

1 comment:

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