Happy Thanksgiving! A time to give thanks.
I know it’s insane to name names in a thank you note, and everyone will advise against it and it will be loooooong. Thankfully this is a blog post, and not a stage speech that would bore the hell out of a captive audience who can’t really leave. A blog post you can search, skim through or just click away So as long as we have your attention, let me begin immediately… take a seat, it’s a long one, here we go.
Kickstarter 2013 Nov - Dec
It was exactly one year and two days ago that ROCKI first announced itself to the world with the launch of our Kickstarter on Nov 25, 2013. With the awesome support from early backers, ROCKI blew through its funding goal on the very first day. Thank you early supporters!
Thank you to the ROCKI Kickstarter team - a team assembled out of friends, family, ex-colleagues and well-wishers - it still gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling each time I look back at how everyone of you chipped in your expertise, from the awesome video (everyone is still praising how well crafted it is, and it still grows on me each time I watch it) to patient and relentless answering of messages, and the wave of press outreach efforts - powered by your blood, sweat and passion. Paula Stevenson, Harro Heijboer, Tiago Nascimento, Shann Ng, Celeste Yeow, Li-Chiang Wang, Francesca Antonlucci, Shane Golden, Tom McNamara, Nathan Scialom, Oscar Valdivia, Eric East, Chris Daly, Danielle DeLisle, Skip & Die, Karl Oliver Goedicke aka D.O.N.S. / The Warp Brothers - Thank you!
With a fast and furious 20 day campaign, ROCKI was officially Kickstarter funded on December 20th with $220K, our biggest thanks to each and every backers.
Thank you Kickstarter for creating the amazing platform and supporting the community.
CES 2014 Jan
Thank you everyone at Pepcom, and all the press we met there at Digital Experience CES 2014 Jan in Las Vegas - specifically thank you to The Verge and Engadget who were extremely quick to break the news of ROCKI straight from the event.
Thank you Lorna Blount, Neal Leavitt, Shaun Saunders, Shann Ng, Oscar Valdivia for helping us out at CES Las Vegas. We had a ROCKI’n good time, didn’t we?
Thank you to the industry leaders who took the time to meet us (Dennis & Nick), the two happy cheery-eyed founders of a little start-up 10-day fresh from their Kickstarter success. You literally opened up our world and vision. It was from then that we realized that ROCKI will be more than a garage company - the Life After Kickstarter we originally planned for :-). It was here that we realized that there’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for ROCKI to be a company that makes an impact.
Shipping 2014 Mar
Thank you to all the Kickstarter supporters (yes, again) for patiently waiting for ROCKI to ship. Thank you to our production and shipping teammates who worked hard to iron out the nitty gritty details of getting ROCKI PLAY to ship…. They worked all night to ship ROCKI We managed to ship in March, a little behind our original plan but still a relatively decent accomplishment of shipping ROCKI PLAY within 3 months of the Kickstarter funding. Thank you also to the ROCKI PLAY+ supporters for your patience, contact us should your patience be wavering - we’d love to thank you one-on-one and also work out what we can do for you.
Events 2014 Apr - Jun
Thank you to all the founders, organizing team and sponsors of these events, supporting the crowd movement and start-up community. Thanks for inviting and having ROCKI at your events to demo and speak - the “show and tell” format, and the meetups really works, love it.
Crowdsourcing Week Global (Singapore)
SXSW (Austin) - thanks Shaun Saunders, MPress Records, Rachael Sage
Crowdsourcing Summit (Brussels)
SHIFT Split (Split, Croatia)
TNW Europe (Amsterdam)
Bright Day (Amsterdam)
CE Week (New York)
Tech OpenAir (Berlin)
Techstars 2014 Aug - Nov
Thank you Techstars Founders David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, Jared Polis for creating Techstars. Thank you everyone at Techstars for the awesome network of brilliant people, for cultivating the spirit of positivity. It’s an ecosystem, a family!
Thank you Semyon for believing in ROCKI and especially believing in the team, and sticking your head out for us - we will always remember and appreciate it very much.
Thank you Techstars Boston team of Semyon Dukach, Rohit Gupta, Tuan Pham, Rosa Hsu, Eveline Buchatskiy for everything you’ve done to support our growth. Thank you Hackstars & Associates Ben Burrage, Evan DiLeo, Kim Plude, Rene Chen, Tushar Mital, Ben Kroop, Sean Lowen, Peter Tuan, Matt Hurley.
Techstars Alumni, thanks for the support!! We met some of you at the Techstars Boston office, and hung out with some of you at Techstars Foundercon, partied with you in the Demo Day after party - looking forward to more good times.
To everyone we met at Olin College of Engineering, you ROCKI my socks off! Love your passion, your creativity and positive spirit. ROCKI on!!!!
To all the sponsors and supporters of Techstars Boston, Techstars and Techstars Foundercon, thank you for supporting!! We’ll absolutely pay it forward.
Hey you Techstars mates, yes you… loving every single minute we spent together. Now go forth and be proud. I know we will always be in contact and will always be friends.
Mentors & Advisors
And the mentors, and mentors and mentors and advisors… can’t thank you enough. It’s impossible to name everyone of you, and it’s your collective voice that has shaped ROCKI to where we are today “after Techstars”. Ask any potential investors and business partners who has spoken to us before and after Techstars and they will all tell you - congrats, ROCKI has grown, the difference is significant and it’s been only 3 months. Imagine what more we can achieve, now that we’ve been “power-upped” with your experience, wisdom and your continued support. I must single out these mentors who helped very much, such as guiding our business plan, advising on advisors, simply holding our hand and even specific things like google analytics, … and “Music You Love, Speakers You Already Have”… you know who you are! Mark Atkins, Ty Danco, Michael Nicholas, John Hill, Mike Dornbrook, Aron Schwarzkopf, Ajay Gallewalle, Ayikundy Sri Srikanth, Dan Deac, Oliver Steele, David Sturman, Shannon Bator, John Routhier, Ken Zolot, Keith Hopper, Adam de Sola Pool, Richard Ellert, Dan Lothian, Robert Heiblim, Samina Rind, Renitia Bertoluzzi You inspire us. THANK YOU.
Techstars Demo Day 2014 Nov
And the big day!! Thanks to everyone who helped us prepare, incl. Katie Rae, Reed Sturtevant, Bob Mason, Michael Anthony, Keith Hopper, Aron Schwarzkopf, Mark Atkins.
Thanks to every hackstars and associates, and volunteers, and the staff of House of Blues.
Thanks to everyone who came to support Techstars, our Techstars mates and ROCKI.
Karl, a big big hug from us for flying in from London to Boston, to introduce ROCKI on stage and support us. Also for spending the 2 days with us mapping out some awesome roadmap together - that’s precious. Looking forward to working with you very much.
If I forgot to name someone here, please forgive me. My very blunt excuse is we upgraded our skills much but still searching for that magic photographic memory potion. My apologies.
And that brings us to where we are today. What a year!!
Thanks for using ROCKI. Thanks for reaching out to us when you have a problem with your ROCKI (rather than keeping silent). When you reach out to us, it gives us a chance to sort it out for you, as well as learn from it, making the company and the team stronger with accumulated knowhow. Thanks for filling your home with music via ROCKI. Thanks for telling your friends about ROCKI. You are who ROCKI is built for. Thank you.
Thanks for supporting and telling everyone about ROCKI. Thanks for every Add, Like, Follow, +1, Share. A special thanks to the team at CitizenM Times Square & CitizenM Amsterdam, the Dutch startup community - Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (Dutch entrepreneurial agency) & Agenschap NL - as well as the Boston startup community. We’ll have more in store in terms of engaging with the community and our role in the community - APIs, partnerships, hackathons and even simply sharing our experience and paying it forward.
Hey guys/ladies, thanks for writing about ROCKI. Some of you have huge audience, some of you have specific audience, and some of you new. Every single word written about ROCKI is a ripple in the pond. Thank you for using your “gift of writing” to tell everyone about ROCKI. To borrow the words from an editor : You’re “fucking cool”.
And thanks to Paula Stevenson, Shann Ng, Celeste Yeow, Li-Chiang Wang, Shaun Saunders and team, Neal Leavitt and team, and Green Room Social, Melissa Brown and team for organizing much of it.
Distributors / Resellers
A major thanks to Real Solutions Haarlem for sticking their head out and being ROCKI’s first ever reseller, at a time when we just finished our Kickstarter and you believed in us, the team to deliver. And today we’re happy to say thanks to every sales staff, support staff, management and everyone at ROCKI’s distributors / resellers - you’re all part of the ROCKI family : Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, The Grommet (USA), Power Forward Ventures (USA), SatSecure (UK), Planet Gizmo (UK), Shopmassive (UK), Wifimedia (Netherlands), Mobile-Harddisk.nl (Netherlands), Webhallen (Denmark, Sweden, Finland), Gandalf (Sweden), NTP (Germany), Pocket Media (Switzerland), Exhibo (Italy), Digital World (Bulgaria), LeFutur (Russia).
Suppliers / Business Partners / Potential Business Partners
Thanks for believing in ROCKI, don’t stop believing… (to borrow lyrics from Journey). The music and home audio space is so huge and booming, we’re all very lucky to be sitting right on the verge of a major generation shift. Surfs up!
Lawyers and Banks
Every startup needs lawyers and banks, but not every startup loves their lawyers and banks…. well ROCKI L-O-V-E-S you!! Thanks for your support. Matthew Eckert and Privthi Tanwar at Foley Hoag, and everyone at HSBC (esp. the New York City Sixth Avenue branch) and SVB (esp. SVB Boston).
Thank you Angel Investors! Your support means a lot, not just financially, also the mental support and the encouragement. It really does help fuel our passion.
To founders, partners, and associates at VCs, thanks for taking the time to hear about ROCKI and follow ROCKI’s growth powered by blood and sweat bootstrap to Kickstarter and through Techstars, and Angels. We’ll work on keeping your interest, documenting our path and we’ll meet soon.
I never would have predicted that we would have the chance to thank you, volunteers! You saw we could use some more hands, and you raised your hands. Hats off (it’s a dutch saying “petje af” expressing our respect).
Friends, family and loved ones
To all the friends and family, and esp the loves of ROCKI Team - we can’t thank you enough for your support. It’s been trying times especially bootstrapping - the uncertainty, the disappointments, thankfully there’s also the cheers and tears of happiness. It’s really that warm & fuzzy feeling no words can express. A shout out to the bunch of friends that really help get ROCKI started at the first idea and pre-Kickstarter days when it was nothing but a dream (only 1.5 years ago).
And finally the ROCKI Team - Simon, Ben, Sam, Alex, William, Wessel, Bas, Frank, Sander, Phoenix, Junhua, Luoyang, Jackson, Cecilia, Charles, Oscar, Eric, Luke, Mark, and Michael - thank you for your blood, sweat, sleepless nights and passion. The start-up path is never a straight one, we’ll get there. ROCKI on. And the “new blood” ready to join ROCKI… thank you for choosing your future with us.
We’ll continue to grow, in the very uniquely ROCKI way. It’s a global space, with globally mobile people. We’ve shown how we have been able to progress with our global “office without borders” and we’ll continue our global approach. “It’s different so we won’t do it” said no entrepreneur ever. What we’ll be doing to fortify the global approach, is to develop a nucleus right here in Boston, with the help of everyone we’ve met and will soon meet, in a very supportive and positive ecosystem wonderfully suited to scaling, accelerating from accelerator.
This is the beginning. And we’re raising the bar. “Life after Kickstarter” led to Techstars and now “Life after Techstars” begins. ROCKI on!
Party ROCKI In The House Tonight. We Will We Will ROCKI You. You ROCKI my socks off.
Your ROCKI founders,
Nick, Dennis & Grace