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Patrick Buckley

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DODOcase: Our iPad Case Saves The Jobs Of Local Bookbinders

Posted: 10/15/10 12:00 PM ET

In many respects, I was predisposed to starting my own business because I'm not what many would describe as an ideal employee. I am not good at following orders and I've always been a bit of a daydreamer.

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The catalyst for starting DODOcase was the Build-A-Business competition that Shopify and Tim Ferris sponsored at the beginning of 2010. Having the invisible motivation of other competitors and a finish line to aim at was very helpful. For me, it was similar to signing up for a marathon, which provides motivation for going on a daily run.

As DODOcase grew, my motivation evolved and changed. On day one, my principal motivation was my need to pay my bills! And my co-founder Craig Dalton, who'd recently lost his job when we started the business together, would agree that we really needed to prove we could make money quickly. After we achieved that basic need, it was possible to think more carefully about what we wanted DODOcase to stand for and what greater good we wanted to achieve as a business.

Today, DODOcase's mission is to protect the art of book binding from extinction. We make iPad and tablet cases using traditional bookbinding techniques. Our products are made by local San Francisco master bookbinders, of which there are only three left. We are very proud of the workmanship of these true artisans who have decades of experience practicing their craft, and we're thrilled that DODOcase is helping to save the art of traditional bookbinding.

Besides helping to keep traditional bookbinding artisans employed we also really enjoy helping bridge technology barriers for people. We find that, because the DODOcase feels just like a book in your hands, many people feel much more comfortable using an iPad that is DODOcase-clad. One such person is Ella Schuler, a Kansas woman who is 113 years old. She uses a DODOcase with her iPad. Ella is the 12th oldest person in the world and likely the oldest iPad user.

Our DODOcase users are as young as Ethan Madonna (my 2nd cousin), who at age 3, plays on his iPad with the protection the case affords. And then, of course, there are thousands of people of all ages carrying their DODOcase-clad iPads all over the world including Demi and Ashton, Dita Von Teese, Martha Stewart, Jane Goodall and Hillary Swank who was recently photographed with DODOcase in hand.

It is really an inspiration to have created a product that appeals to such a wide audience. We have great artisans who make the DODOcase, a warm community of friends who work together and wonderful customers who, thankfully, appreciate our work. We start our business anew everyday and are grateful for it all.