Excerpt from "Founder Interview with Brian Min, the Founder and Creator of the Qwerkywriter!"
I was obsessed with my desktop experience. Specifically, I wanted more out of my computer devices than what the big electronic companies were offering at the time. During the early 2010's, Apple's brushed aluminum and Microsoft's beige plastic was pretty much the only game in town and it was just a huge bummer, you know? I spend so much time on the computer, I wanted something more interesting, more personal. Nowadays, personalization is everywhere, but back then, it wasn't as prevalent.
Salvaging typewriter keys for the first Qwerkywriter Prototype.
The idea for the Qwerkywriter came when I wanted to customize the desktop to my own personal tastes. Instead of something futuristic and too minimal, I wanted something a bit more classy and timeless. It could be a little ornate, a bit "blingy" without being tacky. I think the Qwerkywriter is exactly that. But not at first for sure. Definitely had to iterate many many times on design. Then we had to figure out how to make it, and make it reasonably priced. This is really hard but I found away through sheer grit, you know?
The very first Qwerkywriter Mark 2 Prototype made from old typewriter parts.
Making a keyboard out of typewriter parts seems so natural. So that's what I did. Then it dawned on me that the Qwerkywriter could be a kind of a super cool retro future creative instrument, if you will, for professional writers and enthusiasts a like.
I posted a pic of several keyboard mods online, and to my surprise, people really liked it. Like immediately, I was getting requests for me to build them so they could buy it.
Viral picture on social media with millions of views within days.
One of the great innovations at the time, although things have kinda become cynical these days with the harsh realities of the hardware business, was crowdfunding. Kickstarter was truly revolutionary, and like the Qwerkywriter and the typewriter, it was a match made in heaven for startups and indie developers. I put the Qwerkywriter on Kickstarter and I was able to raise enough money to somehow build it to scale to sell.
Original Kickstarter Qwerkywriter Prototype.
We're approaching almost 10 years in our business and I'm so thankful I get to still do what I do. I can still be creative but have this independent business to support my efforts. Our business used to be about just survival but now we think constantly about what we can do to compete at the highest levels, to consistently produce quality products and increase brand awareness. It's about execution now. There will always be challenges, but we focus on what we can control, and not stress about things we can't. I still believe, that if we stay lean and hungry, we can continue to get stronger. That was the recipe for success almost 10 years ago, and that remains true today.
Qwerkywriter Prototype featured on the Wall Street Journal .
Brian Min, Founder & Creator of Qwerkytoys/Qwerkywriter
To learn more about how the Qwerkywriter and the Typewriter Mechanical Keyboard revolution started, you can visit the original 2014 Kickstarter Campaign here.