The Simple Postcard, a local startup founded by MIT alumnus Jason Strauss, could soon be your next guilty pleasure for tech. It lets you take personal pictures from your phone – from those photographer-worthy panoramas from your last vacation to sloppy snaps with your best friends – and turn them into postcards that are automatically mailed to whomever you choose. And it’s all coordinated by sending a few texts.
Strauss told BostInno The Simple Postcard is his “successful side project.” He noticed how everyone loves to send each other pictures and decided to add a new twist to the trend, building it in a weekend all in the name of fun. To his surprise, his cousins and friends started using it quite a bit, which made him realize he could capitalize on the idea.
Here’s how The Simple Postcard works: For starters, it’s not an app, nor is it a website. Everything is done on your phone, through text.
Send a picture or image via text to The Simple Postcard number, 251-265-2848, and it will ask you where and to whom you’d like to send your custom postcard. After you send the address, you’ll receive a message requesting the note you want displayed on the back of the card. You’ll then be redirected to a secure payment site (no need to worry about giving your financial information to a chatbot over text).
Once you pay the $2 required to print and send your postcard, you click send and you’re all set. The company uses an algorithm to scale your photo to 4×6 dimensions and, within a week, your personally created postcard arrives at its intended destination.
It has just grown, especially in all of these kooky markets.
From the looks of it, The Simple Postcard might keep you coming back for more. “40 percent use it more than once,” Strauss said, scrolling through his data breakdown to show how many people were repeat users.
So far, the company only ships to locations throughout the U.S. However, building up support for sending postcards internationally is on the docket.
“It has just grown, especially in all of these kooky markets,” Strauss told us. He explained birthday and vacation postcards are big, but those are more obvious. Also, he’s seen a “huge spike in camps.” The Simple Postcard has a growing popularity among people sending mail to relatives in prison, as well as those in the military, whose addresses the venture supports.
The Simple Postcard leverages multiple startups, all of which are based in the Valley, to function. According to Strauss, the venture’s texting component is powered by Twilio, a cloud communication company that went public at the end of June. Meanwhile, it uses Lob to print and mail the postcards. And Stripe processes all of the payments.
Images are screenshots of The Simple Postcard site.