Taking Notes is an ongoing series, powered by 7115 Paper Goods, where we highlight entrepreneurs we admire and learn about how they stay productive.
If the craving for a coffee has ever crept up on you during that afternoon slump then there's good news on the horizon. These two friends, and former room mates, have come up with a solution that will deliver that much needed cafe-quality cup of coffee without you even having to leave your office. Ilana Kruger and Kara Cohen are the dynamite duo and co-founders behind the Brooklyn based startup, Dripkit - a portable, eco-friendly, pocket sized pour over that promises the perfect cup of coffee.
Dripkit is the latest in a series of products disrupting the coffee industry. Riding on the wave of the specialty coffee movement, Dripkit makes pour-over quality coffee accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime. It's a method of making pour-over coffee that involves no grinding, no mess and no gadgets. All you need is a cup and hot water. Each packet contains a filter, a dripper and the perfect amount of coffee. Just tear, place and pour.
Earlier this year, Kruger and Cohen ran a successful Kickstarter which gave eager fans a taste of what's to come. The two are set to launch Dripkit to the masses at the start of next year. Their genius design has already received early praise from the likes of Elle, Inc. and Afar. We chat with the pair about their journey so far and how they stay on top of their workload as co-founders of a startup.
Can you tell us a bit more about how you two met and ended up as business partners for Dripkit?
We’ve always been a natural team ever since we first met — on Craigslist in 2011. We were instant friends. We broke into our mailbox together, strategized against a pigeon nest in the hallway and punched a window into Kara’s bedroom/glorified closet. We both always wanted to start our own companies, but never thought it would necessarily happen together. In retrospect it’s very obvious, we have complementing strengths and balance each other really well.
What does a typical day at Dripkit look like?
There is no typical day. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true. I think that’s one of our favorite things. One day we are stuck in traffic in Queens trying to get to a restaurant supply store before it closes, the next we are at a fancy party thrown by our law firm eating Gastronomy bites and trying to shmooze investors.
Do you have a morning routine that gets you into the groove at work?
Coffee, always! We like to listen to start-up podcasts on the way to work like “How I built this”
What is one challenge that you have encountered as startup founders and how did you overcome that?
Ilana and I are both analyzers, which can be really helpful, but can also hurt our efficiency. We’ve had to learn that sometimes you just have to make a choice and stick to it, even if it might seem to be the wrong one in the moment, it’s better to go forward with it and figure out a better solution in time than become paralyzed by options. Especially when it comes to launch.
Dripkit is partially crowd-funded. You launched a successful Kickstarter project for it earlier this year. Can you reflect on what that process was like?
It was a really great practice run for launch. We learned a lot about our earlier customers and how we want to sell and market our product.
No doubt there are always going to be new ideas and inspirations striking you. Do you have a special way of jotting down spontaneous thoughts and ideas?
We like to write down ideas and thoughts in our notebooks. We also like to play 60-second brainstorming exercises where we write down as many ideas as possible on sticky notes and then pin them all on the wall and go through them. The rapid fire ideating really helps us get our creativity pumping.
You wear multiples hats when you run your own business. How do you stay organized and on top of your tasks?
Ilana. She is very organized. Also, organizational apps and google spreadsheets. We also like to have monday morning status sessions where we talk about the week ahead and plan out/strategize the best path forward.
Are there moments where you feel stuck creatively? And if so, how do you push through those moments?
Sometimes we will just throw out completely insane and silly ideas until we stumble across something that actually might work. And even if we don’t, it’s fun.
Where do you go to feel productive?
We try to take one day a week where we work from home in the morning and do a 3 hour work spring.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone looking to dive into running their own business or start-up?
Everything is harder, takes longer and costs more money than you think. That said, if you are persistent and hardworking you can do a lot more than you ever expected.
To learn more visit the Dripkit website or follow their instagram @dripkit.coffee. Shop the 7115 Paper Goods line here.