How to make Lean and Disruptive Business Cards!

Lots of people are adopting e-business cards in some form – and lets face it – there’s nothing leaner than a business card that costs literally nothing (LEAN MACHINE WIN!). Infact, there’s hundreds of cool apps that allow you to share your contact details, and for those who want a faster solution – sharing vfc files is just as convenient.


BUT… (there’s always a but)


there is one major thing we sacrifice when we use e-business cards, and that is the experience factor and subsequently, the recall factor.


When you make contacts in person – particularly at networking events when you’re running into lots of people in a short time frame – you want to make an impression that’s memorable. And there’s nothing more memorable than a completely custom-made business card (or thing), as we recently found out when we attended the MAP16 Accelerator launch in @Melbourne.


So before the event I was brainstorming ways to get people to sign up to our public slack channel, and make a real impression at the event. As I was staring at my phones home screen, I noticed the slack logo looks a lot like 4 Popsicle sticks. Which seems like a strange observation… but 24 hours later – sure enough – I found myself at the local art and craft store looking for a way to make some kind of replica of the slack logo with Popsicle sticks, without resorting to eating 500 non-branded icey-poles.


Unbelievably, I found a bag of short Popsicle sticks with the identical slack pastille colors – for $2.95. And I did one of Leyton Hewitt’s “C’MON”s in the middle of the this quite store –  much to the amusement and confusion of the staff.


After a bit of experimentation, glue mishaps, mis-align label templates, and a lot of fun, I came up with business card V1. (see below).




When I got to the event, not only did people immediately react to and adore the slack Popsicle stick cards, they were asking to take 2 or more each, so they could give them to their friends. Within 40 minutes, I had given them all out. How many networking events do you leave having given away all your cards!!


In Traction – which is a brilliant read by the way [by Gabriel Weinberg (@yegg) and Justin Mares (@jwmares)] – they encourage testing traction channels that are less saturated by competitors. In the case of cool custom-made business card / things, this is an example of a channel within a channel – or a micro channel if you like. And the fact that less people are using business cards in the first place only differentiated our slack Popsicle sticks even more.


We’re going to be iterating on the business card, including experimenting with a larger version, and with different messages on the cards themselves. If you’re attending an event anytime soon, I encourage you to create something really unique, and do the same.


Want some ideas? Let us know what your business is in the comments below and we can give you some suggestions!


Want to see how I did it? Or make some for yourself? Check out the video I made for you below!

(And a big thank you to Riot Art and Craft in QV! To their staff who put up with my C’MONs, and to SlackHQ for “liking” our Popsicle stick cards on twitter!)


What you’ll need:

  • Woodcraft Essentials Multi-coloured Popsicle sticks (They were the only ones with the slack pastille colours)
  • Any wood-glue
  • Masking tape


Cost = 9.90

Number of cards (per bag) = 50

(but you’ll be able to re-use masking tape and glue, so next batch would cost $2.95. LEAN!!!)

Danny Baker

Danny has a wealth of experience in the start-up and technology sectors spanning over 10 years, and is the founder and co-founder of numerous companies and initiatives, such as Unudge, & Geartooth.

Danny's diverse skill set encompasses disruptive marketing strategy, business strategy, product design, audio production, data analysis (R, R Markdown, Python), graphics design (photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator), communications, social media marketing, project management, growth strategy, UX design, front-end web development (WP, Joomla, JS, Python, HTML, CSS), and corporate law.

Danny is also a spreadsheet expert and an online instructor, teaching at His courses have amassed over 11,000 students to date.

He also blogs regularly – you can find his posts at

You can reach Danny on twitter @DannyBlaker