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Wise Words: A Kickstarter Project

“Why don’t we just build our own?”

This simple phrase has been the starting point for thousands of companies, and nothing has changed for the three guys behind Wise Words, a brand new Waterloo design project that launched on Kickstarter this morning at 10am.

Jordan Bishop, Michael Gagliano, and Josh Nezon formed a friendship around two common interests: an admiration for global leaders of past and present, and great design. Leveraging those two shared interests, the three discovered the opportunity to create something not yet available in the market: a well-designed postcard collection displaying 40 of the world’s great leaders’ and the core philosophies behind them. Not the type to waste time, they got right to work sourcing the images to use as a base for their designs and researching quotes that depict the leaders’ beliefs. The results, below, speak for themselves.

Wise Words

Wise Words

The postcards’ unique design and versatility of possible wall arrangements make them a highly attractive alternative to posters or other wall ornaments, but they can also be used as a conversation piece on a coffee table or displayed just about anywhere else. Before Wise Words even launched, the guys have seen an extreme interest from schoolteachers who want to use the postcards as learning tools in the classroom, as well as other university students in need of a fresh look for their bedroom wall.

Choosing the 40 leaders to be featured on the postcards was not easy, as Bishop explains. “Instead of just stripping Time’s list of the most influential people of all time or using another pre-established list, we applied lean startup methodologies and went directly to those people whose opinions matter most: our customers. We conducted polls, held personal interviews, and collected thousands of data points before even considering trimming our list down to 40.”

That’s not to say they didn’t take their own opinions into consideration when forming the list, though. Bishop continues, “Wise Words was partially born from my longing for a simple yet beautiful portrait of Ayn Rand that I could display on my wall as a symbol of the morals she stood for. There was no way she wasn’t making the list.” Other notable names include Leonardo da Vinci, Nelson Mandela, and Steve Jobs.

As for their $5,000 funding goal, the team is optimistic. As Gagliano says, “With the support of the Waterloo community behind us, we’re confident we can hit our $5,000 goal before our campaign ends on December 5th.”

Wise Words launched today at 10am, costs $25 at the currently available early bird price, and is guaranteed to arrive by December 20th. Get your collection of Wise Words here.


If you’d like more information about Wise Words, visit, email, or tweet @thecraftingshop.