Engineering a modern-day typewriter in which less is more
Adam Leeb '07 is not a writer, but he's devoted a lot of the past decade to improving the writing process. For him, it's about designing products to increase focus and productivity, which is exactly what the modern-day typewriters created by Astrohaus do, he says. After a successful campaign in 2014 through global crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, Leeb and Paul set about creating a prototype for the product that could combine the best features of all previous writing tools, with the addition of modern technology. The company has since launched a few versions of the device-the Freewrite, the Freewrite Traveler, and three special-edition Freewrites-and sold tens of thousands of the writing tools to more than 50 countries worldwide. They are specifically designed for creative writers in the drafting phase-a process that is about writing without pause-and are unencumbered by the thousands of other tasks a computer can be used for, including email, Slack messages, or searching the internet. The intention is to focus solely on writing, with editing to come later using a regular laptop. "People have shared that drastically improves their writing productivity, which was always the goal-we've had people say it doubles their word counts."