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Out of the box

INTERVIEW: The ChatBook, a book of your Whatsapp conversations

Written by Adriana

In ShBarcelona we love to chat with entrepreneurs who have managed to carry out a successful, innovative, original and relevant project, especially in these times of crisis. Iratxe and Xavier are two 29 years old engineers who meet those characteristics, and by far! If you are trying to find an original gift for a special occasion and for a very loved person, they have the best solution you could imagine: how about a book printed and excellently edited of your Whatsapp conversations for you to remember all the moments you “virtually” lived with someone? Know a little more about what The ChatBook is…

What is The ChatBook and how the idea to start this project came up?

We recover WhatsApp conversations with a mobile App using a program or desktop, and print them in an album format designed by the user, including dialogues, photos, and emoticons from the first HELLO!

The first date with your current boyfriend or girlfriend, six months of talks with your family during an Erasmus scholarship, or an thechatbook5organized event with a group chat. All that is content that deserve to be immortalized! The ChatBook allow you to do it, within 5 easy steps, and a more than affordable price, collect all this information and give it to that special someone.

The business idea was born a year ago through the marriage proposal story of a friend: her current husband recovered and printed Messenger conversations when they were teenagers and gave them along with the engagement ring. This girl was so excited that we were almost crying the next day. At that time we understood how important can be the contents of conversations, but without a tool like ours or the patience of a loving boyfriend would be lost in oblivion.

“It’s an original and emotive gift”.

Then we link it with today, with WhatsApp and the importance of recovering the entire conversation. Other ideas for group chats surprise parties and bachelor parties came later, after some friends requests!

The strength of our idea that separates us from other potential competitors are basically two:

1- we recover the whole conversation on the mobile device (which has not been deleted, of course) from the first Hello! All other similar applications have thrown the easy way, using a simple emaling method (a standard feature that Whatsapp includesthechatbook4), but due to limited space, conversations tend not to be entirely sent, but only include the last 3-4 months. The more videos and photos have the conversation, less text you can save up! For us, the most important is the story behind, it is where the magic is. For this reason we have been thinking for an year… and we found the solution! You need only enter the website and press the button GET TO WORK (MANOS A LA OBRA). You can get your ChatBook in 5 simple steps.

2- The second strong point is design. We don’t offer a book, we offer an album! We have introduced a 15 × 17.5cm design, with newspaper size, padded hardcover, very durable, nice and comfortable to hold. We also believe that the cover and contents are very important, so we offer very personalized covers, with endless to-use templates for the occasion. You can adapt the title, and even upload a photo!

Who is behind The ChatBook and what is your background?

The founding partners are Iratxe Perales and Xavier Contijoch, both engineers, 29, and boyfriend and girlfriend now. Both are employees of a company of technological innovation, Ateknea Solutions. In it, we are in touch with entrepreneurs and start-ups, so the inspiration comes quickly!

thechatbook3We currently combine the two jobs (as we can) and live together! Sometimes you find yourself cleaning dishes, talking about the color of a ChatBook, and others making the bed, and talking about a new system of wastewater treatment… we share everything!

How is ChatBook creation process from start to finish?

The process of creating a ChatBook, has 5 simple steps. The first step is to register on our website giving a name and an email account, and then the users receives an email to their account with a link to start the process. The second step includes everything related to the cover design: using templates according the person that is getting the book, choosing the title they want and choosing a photo. Once the album is designed, they have to send the chat to our server, using an Android App (Play Store), an iPhone program or from their desktop. In this way, we managed to extract 100% of the conversation, including photos and emoticons.

Then you can edit all the content on the computer, where the chat is displayed in full, so that they can remove what they don’t want to be in the book.

Finally, they have to write down the shipping address … and in 5-8 working days, the customer will receive the Chatbook at home!


What kind of clients do you usually have?

The feedback has been very good, people think this is a fun and innovative idea! Still, we have seen that this is a product aimed at very young audience, between 15 and 40 years, because from there, using WhatsApp and Apps the percentage declines somewhat. Our customers are usually couples, because there are more events and special dates to celebrate and is more emotional, but people that want to give an original bachelor party gifts are now very usual as well! It’s fun to show someone the secret conversations they had about your party preparation.

Can you tell a story in relation to the creation of one of your books?

thechatbookThe first ChatBook Iratxe made was for a hen with her friends, and I recently gave it away to the bride. He loved it! It’s great fun for the bride or the husband to discover step by step how their friends have been preparing everything for the wedding, photo sharing, ideas… You can edit the conversation during the ChatBook creation process, so all “economic” topics can be removed, something that worries many people, of course.

Furthermore, if from the start you know you’re going to give away the ChatBook for the bride’s wedding day, you can keep talking in Whatsapp during the bachelor’s party and have this day pictures there, and of the next day’s hangover…

How have you lived the experience to create a new company or business in times of crisis?

The biggest challenge was undertaking without leaving the current job. Iratxe is chief of operations of its current work, and Xavier’s Business Line Manager. Obviously, time is short in our lives! It’s been a tough year, with many sacrifices, not only economic but in a personal level. It’s hard to subcontract tasks and follow them closely when you can’t take care of it for the time lack. We have also seen that founding a company in Spain is not easy, as it involves a lot of paperwork and payments not everyone is in a position to assume. The freelance taxes, even without billing anything and being less than 30 years, is very high for an SL, as bonuses disappear for members who are administrators.

We’ve got over them with many enthusiasm… and some savings, of course! The most important thing is to surround yourself with good people who meet your expectations. Sometimes cheap means expensive in a long term.

Can you tell us something in the near or distant future of The ChatBook that nobody knows yet?

Well… We’re working on having promising collaborations!

About the author


Adriana is a writer, content & community manager, web designer, media analyst and tireless traveler.

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