Outbox redux: whiz kids whine that USPS broke their shiny new startup

Back in January we told you how a startup called Outbox had abruptly decided to call it quits after failing to make a go of its mail-digitization service. The company claimed it was doomed by the postal service’s decision not to allow Outbox to have mail forwarded to it from postal customers. The fact that Outbox’s founders were a pair of former congressional aides with zero experience in running a business, much less dealing with the mail, wasn’t mentioned.

Now we’ve been treated to a rehash of the story at something called InsideSources.com, which purports to be “a non-partisan news organization that knows our politically-sophisticated readers expect more than the same boring talking points”. By the way- if you’ve never heard of the site before, it’s because it was created yesterday. Literally.

The “non-partisan” site is overseen by Shawn McCoy- a former aide to none other than Mitt Romney. Yup, definitely a non-partisan kind of guy!

issa-khannaAnd here’s the author of the story- guess who he posed with for his LinkedIn profile! And yes, author Derek Khanna also worked on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns.

The funny thing about the article is the way it tries to present the Outbox guys as some kind of wide eyed idealists who just wanted to help save the postal service- something they apparently felt they were uniquely qualified to do- however dumb their business model was. When mean old Mr. Donahoe declined to play along, they were simply shocked! So they got a couple of their fellow GOP political operatives to write and publish a glowing account of their quixotic struggle with the forces of darkness in Washington.


As we summarized the story in January,

… after blaming the PMG for screwing up their business model, it turns out that the real problem with Outbox was that its founders vastly overestimated the demand for their product, and grossly underestimated their costs. So Outbox crashes and burns after two years, while the USPS carries on after more than two centuries.

Outbox vs. USPS: How the Post Office Killed Digital Mail | InsideSources.

  • Tony

    The PMG was correct on this one! Outbox is what the Postal Service provides to some extent free of charge and protects the sanctity of the mails! Nice try kids!

  • tru_grits

    Isn’t that the picture of that car thief on the left?