Sunday, June 8, 2014

The US Postal Service: It's All About the Customers

Except not even close.  At the USPS -- and all other government entities -- it's all about getting larger, more powerful, and taking care of its own.  So when a really cool, alternative approach to mail delivery bursts onto the scene, well, the USPS can't allow that to happen now can it?
How good does this sound? Stop receiving junk mail forever (about 95% of the mail I receive) and receive all of your “real” mail (bills, letters, correspondence, etc.) in digital format online or via smartphone, accessible from anywhere, for only $5 a month? Hey, sign me up!
That was exactly the brilliant idea of two former Capitol Hill staffers (Evan Baehr and Will Davis) who went to Harvard Business School and then launched the mail digitizing service called “Outbox.” The goal was to revolutionize the way we receive mail by offering customers an opportunity to receive “digitized mail” as alternative to the traditional, physical delivery of postal mail. 
If Outbox sounds almost too good to be true for customers, it was way too good for consumers to be good for the coercive mail monopolist USPS. Without the cooperation of the USPS, it was very difficult (and costly) for Outbox to survive, and in the end the USPS proceeded to shut its upstart competitor down.