Basic communication Featured

1:32pm EDT July 5, 2011
Basic communication

As a seasoned entrepreneur, Jim Marggraff has mastered the balance of knowing when to be patient and when to challenge the status quo. Marggraff, founder and CEO of Livescribe Inc., sees things differently than the average businessperson.

Livescribe is a developer of a low-cost mobile computing platform that enhances productivity, learning, communication and self-expression for anyone that uses pen and paper. The company’s Echo and Pulse smartpens revolutionize the act of writing by recording and linking audio to handwriting.

Marggraff saw potential in creating technology that would make handwriting and speech accessible, searchable and shareable in digital format. He took his idea to the Sweden-based company Anoto and after some difficulty, managed to get the company to back him.

Livescribe was officially born, and since then, he has raised millions in funding for his business during a time when venture capitalists were skeptical of consumer technology products. As the first product of its kind, Marggraff not only had to overcome tough market conditions but also push past financiers and retailers asking for comparable and similar successful technologies, which didn’t exist.

Marggraff took a second look at the challenges he was facing and decided to reframe the way people were looking at the situation to highlight the vision, potential and opportunity his smartpens encompassed.

The approach worked and his first line of Pulse smartpens saw great success. In July  2010, Livescribe introduced its second-generation pen called the Echo smartpen, which is a computer that records and syncs audio with handwriting, allowing people to access details easily and quickly without having to wait, search, fast-forward or rewind. Instead consumers simply tap on their written text to hear the audio play back at the exact time the ink was written on paper.

Livescribe has sold more than 660,000 smartpens to date and expects to hit 1 million by the end of 2011. Marggraff is committed to advancing the way people communicate, learn and even think and is always looking for ways to improve his products.

HOW TO REACH: Livescribe Inc., (510) 777-0071 or