Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor…Cloud?

What if you could stop the mail? Outbox thinks it can by recreating America’s oldest social network—the US postal service. For $4.99/mo they’ll scan the contents of your PO Box and archive it digitally where you can view it like email and decide what if anything you’d like delivered to your door—which they will also do. You never have to go check your PO Box again and after 30 days Outbox recycles your paper mail so you don’t have to do that either. The service is live in Austin and San Francisco and we have to wonder…

Could this be the beginning of a nation-wide boom in PO Boxes?

inbox

“InBox” © 2013 Nick

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5 thoughts on “Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor…Cloud?

  1. We’re thinking that with a service like Outbox.com EVERYONE could shift to renting a PO Box. At $4.99/mo plus the minimal PO Box rental your physical mail becomes email with the same ease of access and management.

    re Privacy: Traditional home delivery service has always presented privacy-risk on multiple levels. Digital mail may actually reduce privacy-risk but tradeoffs are never perfect. Archives can and will be hacked.

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    1. After speaking with our letter carrier we gained some insight into problems at the Post Office. There’s no doubt someone at the Post Office is aware of the many alternatives springing-up in the startup community but the ship has run aground.

      Our postman makes over $100k/yr (includes overtime) working extremely hard and has much to say about morale and work conditions. It’s not a pretty story. The letter carriers probably know more about how to save money through re-engineering processes than any other group of people. Predictably, there’s no mechanism for capturing their insight. The Post Office may be doomed for no other reason than the daunting magnitude of pension liabilities.

      We can imagine that Outbox.com has additional revenue streams from recycling, interactions with direct mail providers, big data aggregators and who knows what else. Outbox.com is a product of unbridled imagination and innovation—things the Post Office can’t afford. The people to whom the Post Office owes money are calling the shots now and they’re not interested in ponying-up more money for imagination and innovation.

      Still…who would have guessed that a letter carrier could earn over $100k/yr? Anything can happen.

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