Taking The Big Risks: Joey Cofone

Joey Cofone is the CEO and Co-Founder of Baron Fig, a company that has succeeded by perfecting a simple tool crucial to the creative entrepreneur: the notebook.

Launched in 2013 with a massively successful Kickstarter campaign, Baron Fig has gone on to expand its offerings and its business, but simplicity remains a common theme in both Joey’s business and his life. Joey spoke with Chris from his home in New York City to let us in on what keeps him going.

Designers are often equipped with the same tools: a laptop and a notebook. The laptop--based on Joey’s observation--is usually always a Macbook. The notebook, however, is always different. The brand, the quality of the paper, everything about their notebooks is different from one another. It seemed as though the designers and artists from his art school were in search of the perfect notebook.

It wasn’t until one night where Joey and a friend of his were having dinner, talking about this weird notebook phenomenon that was going on at Joey’s art school. Flustered by this situation, Joey and his friend decided to create a notebook--the notebook--for designers and creative professionals alike.

Joey quit his freelancing gig, gave away his clients to friends, and went all in on Baron Fig. The very first thing he did was take a look at all of his sketchbooks. He noticed he, himself, was going through the journey of finding that perfect notebook. He had all the sizes and brands. He conducted an inventory. He then went on to email over 500 thinkers around the world and asked them, “What do you like in a sketchbook or notebook?”

Out of the 500 emails that went out, over 400 people responded. Using what he learned from his 400+ conversations, Joey went on to design the first notebook, called The Confidant notebook, and put it on Kickstarter. In just 30 days, his Kickstarter notebook pulled in a whopping $168,000.

So what’s the magic behind this notebook? You’ll just have to tune in to this episode to find out, and be sure to check out Baron Fig notebooks if you’re in search of your perfect tool.

This episode of The Futur was sponsored by the all-new Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card.