Outbox is hiring. We’ve just gone through a wild two year run during which we built a product known and loved around the country; CNN, the New York Times, Tech Crunch, Pee Wee Herman, Jay Leno - everyone talked about it. And everyone loved the idea. The underlying economics proved impossible to finance, as we lay out here, a post which itself generated a humbling and encouraging outpouring of support and excitement on what is next for our team. The good news is that we remain well capitalized with several million in cash, a great team, a much slower burn, a healthy 2+ years in front of us, and some of the most famous VC’s in our round: Mike Maples (Floodgate), Peter Thiel (Founders Fund), Dave Morin, Naval Ravikant, and more. We’re now three months into a the development and launch of a product already generating revenue. It has little to do with mail - but is equally massive and insane. We’re searching for a product lead, engineering lead, and junior developer to join us. We can’t promise success—but we can promise a 2+ year ride building a nationally known, disruptive product capable of being a billion dollar company.
Who are we? At Outbox, we aim to be a team of active, humble geniuses. This is what we strive for everyday in order to personify everything right and perfect about entrepreneurship. Why do we care about this so much? If a team is humble and smart but lacks action, they fail to create value because they are too busy dreaming. If a team of geniuses excels in action but lacks humility, they’ll create a toxic culture of arrogance. A humble team that excels in action makes dumb mistakes and builds the wrong product. Our team needs to be smart enough to have the right strategy (best of the best); humble enough to hear different perspectives (we admit when we are wrong); and have a bias toward action as we build fast and iterate (to create a game-changing product).
We are hiring ASAP - paid well in cash and equity, given lots of cool technology, a nice office (top of McGarrah Jesse building at 5th/Colorado in Austin, TX), downtown parking, and a chance to build something huge that matters.
ENGINEERING LEAD (a senior position, title/comp based on experience)
For you, software is not just a profession, but a hobby as well. You are also interested in all aspects of the system, including the server, web browser, and mobile clients. You thrive when let loose for experimentation and iteration. You have an interest in information architecture. You enjoy (and want to get better at) leading, communicating, and recruiting. You will be joining and leading our eng team, taking responsibility for design and implementation of scalable solutions to integrate with existing back-end and client-side components as well as third-party and internal web APIs. Your solutions will likely involve image analysis as well as 2D graphics operations.
- Minimum of 6 years experience shipping software.
- Affinity for image analysis and 2D graphics is a plus.
SOFTWARE ENGINEER (a mid/junior level position, title/comp based on experience)
Your hobby is writing code—and/or possibly board games. You dislike giant, clunky systems and want to do the thing you are good at (software) to create something that matters—maybe even brings down one of those big systems. You love to learn and want to work somewhere you not just CAN learn—you HAVE to learn.
- Minimum of 2 years experience shipping software.
- Experience with mobile applications (iOS, Android) or database design is a plus.
PRODUCT MANAGER (a senior position, title/comp based on experience)
You’ve got a passion for product—you use everyone you learn about, you have 200 apps on your iPhone, and you are always thinking about how the experience could be better. You love complex things—and can chart a scheduled, rational course given hundreds of constraints. You have a passion for feedback and help build products in order to test hypotheses. When you get negative feedback from a user—you know it’s your problem, not the customer’s. You love figuring out the unknown—and aren’t afraid of sailing uncharted waters—in a flying boat you have to build by hand.
- Experience and understanding of building and maintaing a product backlog, including picking the right tools for the job.
- Experience with scrum or similar methodology.
- Experience in writing and understanding repeatable test cases.
- Ability to identify feature creep and the need for sprint restart.
- Experience in working with (managing) designers and developers
You will work very closely with several functions to answer some key questions:
- operations: given what we have built (can build) operationally, how must the product work?
- marketing: given what we are learning from customers, how can we redesign parts of the product to acquire more customers and more frequently delight them?
- legal: given our legal and regulatory requirements, how must the product work? (disclosures, terms and conditions, payments, etc.)
- development / design: set appropriate scope and create/manage schedule for new releases, mapping size/scope of new releases onto business objectives
Could this be you? Email us at email@example.com.
Dear loyal customers and Outbox supporters:
We announce today that we are ending the mail service, shutting down the Outbox brand, and focusing our team and resources on a totally new product. In a related post we explain what this means for our current, loyal customers.
This is bittersweet for our team, since we have poured so much into creating our product and serving our customers. Yet this announcement marks the end of a chapter for us—not the end of the story.
Over the past two years, we have been humbled by the support of our investors and customers, who each took a leap of faith to join us in this exceptionally audacious venture. We have also been humbled by the incredible personal and financial sacrifices our team members have made along the way.
We set out to redefine a long cherished but broken medium of communication: postal mail. We did so during a tumultuous period in the history of the United States Postal Service (USPS), which has experienced declining mail volume and staggering deficits for the past five years.
As former staffers on Capitol Hill, we share a passion for tackling huge public problems, but aim to do so with private solutions. We knew that the USPS would not be able to work out its own problems so, perhaps naively, we hoped to partner with USPS to provide an alternative to the physical delivery of postal mail to a subset of users, hoping this would spur further innovation and cost savings.
Although an early test with the USPS that let users redirect their mail to us showed signs of success and operational simplicity, an interview by CNBC triggered a request from the Postmaster General himself to meet in Washington, DC. In one of the most surreal moments of our lives (listen to it in an NPR interview), we had our very own Mr. Smith Goes to Washington encounter where the senior leadership of USPS made it clear that they would never participate in any project that would limit junk mail and that they were immediately shutting down our partnership. This 30-minute meeting was the end of our business model.
The Reimagining of Outbox
After countless hours applying Clay Christensen’s business model theories to our situation, we came to view our failed partnership with USPS as a David and Goliath moment: we believed our seeming disadvantage would become our greatest strength. Turning our original vision on its head, we reimagined our service as not merely playing in someone else’s value channel, but as a new type of last-mile delivery channel all together: one subsidized by our users in return for collecting and electronically delivering their postal mail. If we could simply break even on the mail business, we would have built a valuable last mile network able to be monetized in many ways.
To pull this off, we built a world-class team of engineers, designers, marketers, and operations specialists in Austin and San Francisco. Funding our efforts were some of the most celebrated investors of our generation: Mike Maples at Floodgate and Peter Thiel and Brian Singerman at Founders Fund, as well as a groundswell of investors via AngelList. Together, we made a product that was as beautiful as it was complex, and overcame nearly every obstacle in our path.
We created our own dynamic logistics software, developed a legal framework to open users’ mail, built industrial-grade scanning machines for 1/100th of the market price, developed specialized OCR to allow customers to unsubscribe from postal mail, built and attached to our cars 5-foot mailbox flags that withstand 70 mph highway speeds, laser cut wood blocks to build mail slot solutions, and created a novel system of key decoding via photograph that inspired the creation of one startup all on its own. All this was simply the backend of our service, and our iPhone and other apps won awards for their design and elegance.
In the end, we serviced a little over 2,000 individual customers, had 25,000 people waiting around the country on our waiting list, unsubscribed our customers from over 1 million senders of mail, scanned over 1.5 million pages, and delivered over 250,000 requested mail packages. We also recycled approximately 30 tons of paper, enough to cover 86 football fields.
Outbox was buzzing. It seemed as though everyone knew something about our little company, had seen one of our red-flagged mailbox cars, or had stumbled upon a news story about us. CNN praised us, Jay Leno mocked us, and Pee Wee Herman called us “the future.” We tested our anecdotal suspicions with a nationwide survey, and found that Outbox had an unaided brand awareness of 10.1 percent - even though we serviced a mere 2,000 customers in two relatively small markets.
Numbers Don’t Lie
After raising $5m in June of last year, we set out to onboard the 4,000 individuals we had amassed on our central-San Francisco waitlist. We projected converting a large percentage of these individuals, and planned to scale our marketing efforts at a projected cost of $20 per acquisition.
However, after an extensive email marketing campaign to our waitlist, total yield from the waitlist was under 10 percent. And as we started marketing outside of this network, we had difficulty finding a repeatable and scalable acquisition channel. Across all of our efforts, our acquisition numbers were over $50 per lead.
As our marketing efforts lagged behind schedule, our density numbers remained consistently flat, causing us to spend about double our projected cost to service each customer. Even our most dense routes cost us approximately 20 percent more than our break-even target.
After several months of testing and refining, we reasonably concluded that we were executing well and collecting good data—it told us that there wasn’t enough demand to support the cost model. Our monthly operating deficits were too high, and even though we continued to get better at acquisition, each small success actually saw our cash curve decline further because our density remained flat. For longer than we would be willing to tolerate, we would lose money for each additional customer we gained. Despite the massive interest in our company, we learned that the product we built did not find fit in the market we targeted.
Finding serenity in knowing when to stop
For startups, it’s difficult to know when to throw in the towel. Indeed, the main strategy for most of the life of a startup is overcoming impossible odds, and we built a team that did that over and over again.
This final challenge—product market fit—is one we ran after with characteristic zeal. Amidst these struggles we were reminded of the serenity prayer written by one of our favorite authors, Reinhold Niebuhr:
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Facing situation after situation we kept the courage to change them; in these final few months, we were granted the serenity to know this situation is one we cannot change.
Not least of our accomplishments was the recruitment of an amazing operations team. Their tireless work ethic led to such stellar customer service that our users would, on occasion, pee their pants. The hardest reality in our transition is saying goodbye to our eighteen Unpostmen: they have been the frontlines of challenging logistics and extreme customer service. If you are hiring and looking for loyal, hard working operations experts, please email us here.
There are numerous small pivots we could make as an alternative to our mail service, and we have tested many other applications that could be layered on top of the logistic network we already created. Yet each of these tangential services has a tragic combination of being costly to pull off and, well, not a big idea.
While it saddens us that we are leaving so much behind in terms of what we built and developed for mail, we are equally excited to begin a new chapter in our company’s life. Our team has been working on a new product that has already shown signs of success, and we believe it has the opportunity to be massively disruptive. We can’t wait to tell you more about it—but for now we’re in stealth mode.
Our many learnings have led us to tackle a problem in many ways similar: a giant, sleepy industry that serves every American, is generally hated, and is in need of radical new solutions that involve hardware, software, and logistics.
Forefront in our minds are the learnings from the wild adventure of Outbox:
- Giant, complex systems appear insurmountable, but aren’t—they were built by people just like you and me
- The main asset the government (and big companies) has is time—which is the resource of which startups have the least.
- You may think government organizations are completely, insanely backwards; you are wrong—they are worse.
- If you can’t find a hardware solution to your needs, build it—it’s not that hard.
- Doing extraordinary things for customers is time consuming and hard—but very worthwhile.
- Life is too short to pursue anything other than what you are most passionate about.
For the last two years, we got out of bed every morning because of the chance to re-imagine a daily activity for every American. We’ve had many sleepless nights these last few months, but are excited to be turning our complete attention to a new, equally compelling reason to wake up each morning.
Will & Evan, Outbox Cofounders
What will happen with all of my mail files that you’ve scanned?
We securely shred and recycle the physical mail that you delete after 30 days. For the mail pieces that you’ve deleted within our online application, we securely delete after seven days. For the mail that you’ve saved to folders within our application, we’re allowing you to download an archive(s). After February 28 you will no longer be able to access your archive or your account on the web and mobile applications. Please see the next question below for archive instructions.
How can I download my mail archive?
You can access your mail files saved on our application (mail that is saved within folders, or that has not been sorted) through a simple archive download. The estimated length of time for the download will depend on the amount of mail you have in our application. You can access your mail archive(s) starting Tuesday, February 4 through February 28.
Instructions on how to download your archive(s):
- Login to your Outbox account from a desktop computer here: https://web.outboxmail.com/
- Click on the tab that reads “My Archive” that will be located in the upper right-hand corner.
- Read the instructions and click on the download link.
- The system will respond with a secure link, click on it and you’ll be able to begin downloading the files. Since mail archive links only work for a short period of time after being triggered, make sure you do not pause or shutdown your computer while the archive download is in progress. If you do, you will have to start over.
Can I get my mailbox key back?
Yes, we will return every customer’s mailbox key, if applicable. We will deliver all mailbox keys during the last week of requested mail delivery, February 3 - 7. We’ll lock your mailbox, place the key in a sealed envelope and leave it where we normally leave your requested mail. All digital images of the keys will be permanently deleted from our servers.
When will Outbox stop picking up my mail?
Tuesday, January 28, will be the last day we pick up your mail.
How long can I request mail through the application to be delivered to me?
You can still request mail now through end of day Thursday, January 30, and it will be delivered to you no later than Friday, February 7.
Will I be charged for January or February?
All customers have been charged for January. No customers will be charged for the month of February.
What if I won’t be home during the last week of delivery of requested mail?
Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work with you to ensure you get what you need.
Can I cancel now?
Yes, you can cancel your service now if you’d like and we will stop collecting your mail immediately. Please email us at email@example.com.
Do you have another mail solution you recommend?
There is no exact replacement for Outbox, but we recommend Virtual Post Mail and Earth Class Mail. If you want an off-site mailbox solution, we have several customers that have mailboxes at stores such as UPS, Pak Mail, and Mail Boxes Etc.
What will happen to the Outbox mailbox or mailbag you installed?
For those in San Francisco, we will uninstall your exterior Outbox mailbox (or mail bag) the same day we drop off your key, the week of February 3 - 7.
Don’t see a question you need answered?
Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you shortly.
We’re now live in all of SF, and as part of the celebration we’re introducing Outbox Gifts.
You guys have been such amazing supporters and evangelists, and now that the entire city can get Outbox, we want to thank and reward those of you that are spreading the word. Refer Outbox to a friend and we’ll deliver a special gift straight to your doorstep. On referral numbers three and five you’ll receive gifts as well.
We mean it when we say we love creating experiences for our customers that make mail functional, modern and maybe even a bit more fun. And we found a number of other brands out there spreading the mailbox love too right from the heart of SF.
We’ve teamed up with three Bay Area companies: NatureBox, Sesame, and Quarterly to bring hand-selected gifts straight to your door.
NatureBox is all about healthy snacking. Their monthly subscription service delivers all-natural, healthy snacks—from Cocoa Waffle Wafers to Cherry Crumble Granola, Lemon Tea Biscuits to Plantain Chips.
Sesame is passionate about delivering happiness through experiences. Each Sesame gift set is themed to an experience. Our personal favorite, the Wake Up package includes Philz Coffee, Bari Biscotti, and a Contigo Mug. All the sets are hand picked by experts and delivered in a crisp blue box.
Quarterly wants to recapture the romance and impact of a well-crafted package and tie it into existing online communities in an organic way. Their “quarterly” subscription service enables people to receive physical items in the mail from influential contributors of their choice. Our favorite is curated by the folks at Cool Hunting.
Referring a friend is easy. You’ll find the referral page on iOS apps and the web app, and can share your unique URL via Facebook, Twitter, and email. When a friend signs up, we’ll email you with your gift notifications.
We quietly launched Outbox Gifts last week and feedback has been great. Please keep it coming. We appreciate you helping us introduce Outbox to SF and beyond. We mean it when we say we wouldn’t be here without you, and we genuinely want to know how you think the Outbox experience can continue to grow and improve.
It’s us again. Thank you so much for your patience, your continued feedback, your enthusiastic support.
Today, we’re opening up our doors all the way. If you live in the city of San Francisco, you can sign up for Outbox right now and begin receiving your postal mail on your iPad, iPhone, Android or the Web within days.
Six months ago you welcomed us with open arms, many of you joining our private beta and helping us learn what it was going to take to bring Outbox to your city and beyond. Many, many more of you waited patiently as we set up residency, grew our team, perfected our operations, and even learned from a few mistakes here and there.
If you aren’t familiar with us, Outbox is a beautiful inbox for your postal mail. It’s OK if you have questions or aren’t sure yet. We’re here to here to answer them, and we know we have to earn your trust.
We’d love for you to give it a spin. The first month is on us: https://www.outboxmail.com/.
We came to San Francisco, humbly, six months ago to learn. The response was amazing, and we quickly hit our goal number of beta users. We’ve been busy in the meantime. We announced our Series A round of financing, expanded our SF team and operations base, launched on Android and updated our iPad app to bring ubiquitous access on all devices and the Web.
We knew that if we continued to build and learn from the most demanding and savvy users, we would be ready to take Outbox to the rest of the country. We would not be here without you.
Since we launched Outbox in Austin, Texas, in 2011, over 300,000 pieces of mail have been delivered digitally to iPhones, iPads, Android devices and Web dashboards. That’s almost 1M mail images and over seven football fields of paper. One of our favorite things to share is that we’ve unsubscribed users from over 60,000 pieces of mail.
We still have a long way to go, but right now we’re saying thank you to our loyal users and welcome to many new ones! Thank you for your kind words, your honest suggestions, your support, your tweets, your feedback, even your gentle breakup letter. If you’ve had a great Outbox experience, please share the love. And if you’re new, we can’t wait to hear what you think.
Still want to know more? Read a bit more about Outbox here, learn more about our personal backgrounds and how we ended up on this crazy ride here, get an inside look at what it’s like to be an unpostman here, and enjoy some of our favorite Outbox stories here.
There’s lots more to come in the next month, so stay tuned. Thank you again. Keep the comments coming. Tweet at us, Facebook us, or email us at email@example.com.
Will, Evan, Jason & The Outbox Team
It is with great humility and excitement that we announce we have completed our Series A round of financing totalling $5 million from an amazing group of investors, sage advisors, trusted friends, and a wonderful network of believers and supporters.
When we first came to San Francisco three months ago the response was nothing short of breathtaking. We now get to go to work inviting and on-boarding the entire San Francisco waitlist, expanding our team (we’re hiring!), and hopefully very soon bringing our love for mail to every address in San Francisco.
It wouldn’t be possible without great people like Mike Maples at Floodgate. We’re honored to have them lead our round. Peter Thiel and Brian Singerman at Founders Fund are trusted advisors and friends, and we’re couldn’t be more gracious to have them onboard. Correlation VC, TDF Ventures, WTI, Expansion VC, Joel Peterson Capital, and Emerge DE also all substantially invested in our dream and future. Thank you.
Building a support group around Outbox has been essential to our growth. For some, it’s a crazy idea that doesn’t fully make sense until experienced first hand. For others, checking mail is now a giddy part of the day. People make Outbox possible. So it was a no-brainer when we turned to AngelList to join our journey. At the end of the day, over 80 AngelList-ers invested in our future, many of them Outbox users themselves. Working with Naval and the team and being a part of Invest Online was an honor.
From San Francisco, to London, to New York, Austin, Dubai, Paris, Washington DC, Chicago, Massachusetts, and the Netherlands — thank you, thank you, thank you. We’re coming. Hang tight.
Last week we released our shiny new Android app — one step closer to helping you take your mailbox with you anywhere you go. And today, over 150,000 pieces of mail have been digitally delivered to Bay Area super moms, digerati elites, Giants fans, and probably your neighbor down the street.
It’s been an exhilarating experience. Thanks for following us, telling your friends, and for joining the ride. Outbox has the best supporters in the world. Bear hugs all around.
Stay tuned. Big things are ahead…
Evan and Will, and the entire Outbox team
Today we’re happy to announce Outbox for Android.
We’ve been working diligently to bring Outbox to the world’s most popular mobile platform and now our beautiful, shiny-new Android app is available for download in the Google Play store absolutely free. Nexus, Galaxy, HTC, and Droid fans everywhere, you can now love your postal mail anywhere, anytime.
We’ve made Outbox available for the majority of Android devices. If you’ve ever been curious about Outbox, now is the time to download the app and play around through the in-app demo. We bet you’re going to be hooked the moment you recycle, forward or file a piece of mail with just a touch. It’s important to note that to use the application you must be running version 1.6 or higher. To get started, sign up for an account on Outboxmail.com (or track down your current log-in info) and fire up the app.
Since we’re new to the Google Play store, we’d love for you try it out, leave a comment or glowing review, and spread the good word to friends. Heck, mail them a letter! There’s 600,000+ other apps out there and we firmly believe that Outbox is a must-have. If you have questions or feedback, tell us what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, in the spirit of new app awesomeness, we are happy to extend an invite to all residents in 94117 — which includes Haight Ashbury, Cole Valley, and the Panhandle — to join the Outbox club now. Your neighbors in SoMa and the Mission districts are already living the digital life — ask them what they think about Outbox. If you live in 94117 and you have already signed up for Outbox you’ll be receiving an email shortly. And if you’re late to the party, sign up now and get priority access instantly.
The only thing you may miss is the bubble wrap…
The Outbox Android Team
At Outbox, we care about the impact we’re making on the environment as a whole, in the communities we serve, and in the neighborhoods where we dwell. As Daly City resident and Outbox unpostman Francis Sanchez explains below, Outbox is showing up where it matters: pee-wee t-ball.
On Sunday, May 19, the Daly City Giants celebrated the end of a great season with a winning record of FUN-0. The Giants, a team of 5 and 6 year old boys and girls, participate in the Daly City Park and Recreations Tee ball league. Coached by Paul Tiletile, SOMA and Haight’s ‘unpostman’, the Giants played a magnificent season full of growth, learning, and fun through the game of baseball.
"You can see their skills improving game by game. They’re getting really good. My son is always so excited about the practices and games," exclaimed a proud Giants parent.
The young athletes played in 10 games, culminating with an achievement ceremony and celebration sponsored by Outbox. Families celebrated the season with a fun-filled picnic in the park with food, games, team building, and talks of moving the young team up to the next level together. Activities included a fierce but friendly kickball game between the little Giants and their parents who sported Outbox T-shirts as uniforms. The Giants suffered their first loss of the season against the parents who showed no mercy. Ironically, the Giants ended the game with smiles while their parents stumbled to the nearest seat to rest their sore feet.
The kids and the adults were excited to see the Outbox car and explore the giant red flag poking out from the top. All of the kids wanted a turn in the driver’s seat while Coach Paul explained the Outbox service to curious parents. The kids all wanted their picture taken “driving” the car, happily swapping out their Giants cap for an Outbox one.
Given this success, the latest plan is to challenge the Austin unpostmen to a t-ball game. At this point it is unclear who will have home court advantage.
—Francis Sanchez, Outbox Unpostman
We’ve been extremely lucky to have less than 3% churn among our beta customers - people really seem to love the service! However, occasionally our service just isn’t a fit for someone - and, hey, that’s cool. Take a look at the following letter from a customer leaving Outbox. As it turns out, breaking up is as hard for them as it is for us.
Unfortunately, the trouble is I am just not fulfilling my end of things. I just don’t get any mail. No one writes to me, not even my bill collectors. It’s not anyone’s fault, we’re just trying to make something work which wasn’t meant to be.
I know its hard, and try to understand this isn’t easy for me. I would hate to lose you too. It’s been great, seeing your cute little mailcar scooting down my street, waving to you and seeing you smile. You’re adorable, always know that. I will always have the fondest memories and will always speak highly of you. And if you ever needed anything you can always let me know. I’m your friend, and always will be.
I’m keeping the t-shirts you gave me. They still smell like you and remind me of the happy times we shared.
Keep in touch, I look forward to a day in the future when we may cross paths again :)
You may have seen them running around Austin or SF, sporting that red polo and cap and driving a white Prius with a giant mailbox flag on it. We would be lost and hopeless without our unpostmen.
We chatted with Outbox’s first San Francisco-based unpostman, Francis Sanchez, and got the inside scoop on what fuels him (Fruit Loops!) and how his Pandora drive-time listening helps him maintain focus.
After reading his account, we think you’ll agree he’s our very own St. Francis, patron of digitized snail mail.
Have you ever been recognized as an Outbox unpostman while out and about?
Yes! It was after the Channel 7 News feature. An employee at a UPS store recognized me and said he’d seen me on TV.
Can you describe your morning routine?
I wake up at 6am. As a family man, my morning routine revolves around my two kids, getting them ready for school and off to the babysitter. I’ve usually got a bowl of cereal in my hand (whatever my son picks, lately Fruit Loops). I’m always in motion, walking—never sitting.
We’re out the door at 7 am. The first stop is my son’s school, then it’s off to the babysitter with my baby girl. Afterwards, I jump on my bike and commute five miles from Outer Mission to the office. It’s actually relaxing.
What activities take place before you and the other unpostmen head out for the day?
Lots of activities! We follow a checklist to stay organized. First up is pulling requested mail. Next, we decode and cut keys. Then we route the keys, making sure the new keys are placed onto the correct key rings, corresponding with the proper route. Lastly, we print the manifest, our roadmap for the day, and grab our iPhones with our routes loaded.
What’s the drive around town like? How many stops do you make?
We service hundreds of customers a day and each Unpostman spends 6.5 to 7 hours driving. I prefer Pandora to the radio, and I’ve got to change up my stations every day. Sometimes it’s old school R&B, other days hiphop. Lunch is in the car between stops—sandwich, burrito—whatever is portable!
Can you share a funny anecdote from your route?
On Folsom, I was near the end of my route and heading back to the office. The road is five lanes all going one direction, and I was in a middle lane at a stop sign. A woman ran across the street in front of the car, then circled back. She stopped in front of the car and then snapped a pic of the car and me. I got out, grabbed a couple of shirts from the trunk, and tossed them her way, all before the light turned green.
Do customers ever pop out to say hello while you’re delivering?
While making a requested mail delivery, a customer opened his front door and said, “Thanks! I love Outbox. I’m always traveling, and this is perfect. Love this. Thanks, guys!”
Any wacky comments from passersby?
During one of my stops, I usually wind up parked directly in front of a school. I’ve caught the kids laughing and pointing at the car saying, “The mailbox car is back!”
What can you tell us about your time before Outbox?
My background pre-Outbox was in education. I was a site coordinator for an elementary school where I managed a Linked Day staff. The skills I developed there—being personable, able to talk to anyone, respecting others’ thoughts, making people happy, helping out with problems—are very relevant to my job at Outbox. We’re teaching here, too—changing what customers are doing with their mail and their mail habits!
San Francisco, keep an eye out for Francis and be sure to say hello!