Friend Evan Baehr
is developing an incredible product that I just can’t be any more excited about. I constantly find myself hating dealing with my physical mail and ready to fully organize and digitize my life. My productivity, I believe, will be greatly improved by this new product:
With as much time as we spend emailing people, it can be easy to forget how big the physical mailing market still is. In fact, its size (and wastefulness) is one of the underlying reasons why physical mailing is so ripe for innovation. And Austin-based startup, Outbox, is one startup that is looking to take on this market by piggybacking the existing mail infrastructure, digitizing it, and making a nice profit off the top.
Outbox provides a service that will no doubt prove popular, once it finally launches nation-wide. The company securely intercepts and scans physical, letter-sized mail, catalogs, bills, and anything else that one would receive in the mail. With same-day turnaround, the service then pushes the email to your iPad, where the mail can be read, tagged, and stored indefinitely. Yes, it seems obvious, but Outbox seems further along than any competitors to making the goal a reality.
I know many worry about how Outbox will deal with packages, personal mail, and magazines. Do not fear:
Since the operation is focused on security as much as usability, the actual disposal of the mail is actually more secure than if it wasn’t intercepted at all. After all, how many of you scan, encrypt, and shred your mail when you receive it?
Obviously, not all mail should be scanned though, and the Outbox team is aware of this. If you’re getting a package from Amazon, it isn’t very useful to have a scan of packing slip sent to your iPad. So the company will still forward the larger items to you, without a delay. For magazines and catalogs, you can view them in full on the iPad, or have them sent on for a better reading experience. It’s this apparent seamlessness that makes the service seem too good to be true.
You can read Trevor Gilber’s review of the product at PandoDaily.