I've got mail from MyPostcard

Scanning hit for the future of postal services and customer experience

I’ve been working on a bit of research about the future of mail and couriers. One of the coolest bits of research I found is MyPostcard.

MyPostcard is actually a scanning hit for a trend I’ve been following for a hospitality company. The hospitality industry has been focused on customer experience, experience design, and the role tech plays in curating these experiences. Especially with luxury brands, the success is in the details.

People are buying tailored suits. They are buying more hand-made products. Bespoke products and services are the leaders at the moment. Customers are wanting concierge service from personal butlers. There are modern accommodations that are treating the staff like servants from an upstairs/ downstairs drama. Nostalgia is a key driver, but so too is the desire for high-quality, personalized experiences that technology just doesn’t quite deliver.

MyPostcard is a perfect example of how tech can enable and even drive this trend. First, the app for Android or Apple has a great user experience. It’s easy to upload images, write text, and even sign the card.

You can choose from postcards, greeting cards, XXL greeting cards, or photo prints. You can also order them in bulk. The XXL cards are very cool. I sent two to my parents in the states from here in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. They print photos of the kids all the time, but the cards of our own design featuring photos of the kids and the kids’ signatures/ drawings gave them a special thrill. It was an inexpensive gift that will pay dividends in maintaining relationships between my parents and their grandchildren. My kids love the postcards I sent them too. The app is so easy, even my parents have learned how to use it and send some to my kids.

This is the kind of experience that is both nostalgic and modern. Although society is still pushing toward being completely paperless for all the bills and correspondence that used to flood the mail services, customers still need mail and courier services. This need is expected to continue until Amazon Prime Air can handle all of our delivery needs. By then, it will be the United States of Amazon, right? Until then, little touches like these will add value to personal relationships, client relationships, etc.

I should also include that businesses have long offered personalized cards and gifts. Moonpig is one example that has offered online orders since their launch to deliver anywhere in the world. However, MyPostcard is less expensive, and it has a much easier and pleasant UX. MyPostcard offeres the typical greeting card templates if that’s what you want, but their focus is on sharing your images and helping you create your own card from scratch.

I’m working on a more professional post, but I wanted to share my unique code. If you want to try out MyPostcard, enter my code, TVHESH, after creating a new account. You’ll get $3 and I’ll get $3 too. It’s a great way to stay in contact with people.

I've got mail from MyPostcard
I’ve got mail from MyPostcard
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A Butterfly Flaps Its Wings in Asia

Writing about strategic foresight in plain language was certainly more difficult than I expected. However, I finally feel like I can write my foresight book. I have a topic, and at least five of the chapters will be based in large part on these articles–without all the disaster preparedness stuff of course. However, that book is also in the works. Also, keep an eye out for the last article about scenarios.

Here’s the intro:

In the first article, I introduced strategic foresight as a tool for optimizing your disaster preparedness. In the second article, I introduced horizon scanning as the most basic method of gathering information for strategic foresight. And in the third article, I explained the reason why it is important to consider everything as possible, and to challenge your assumptions. In this article, I discuss the concept of the world as a complex system, touching on the fields of Systems and Chaos Theory.

Finish reading: http://www.preparewithforesight.com/butterfly-effect/

Black Swans and Other Cliches

My articles for Prepare with Foresight have been focused on communicating strategic foresight in very everyday language. I’m not always convinced I’ve stripped my writing of academic or professional jargon without patronizing my audience. However, strategic foresight is not enough of a household concept yet to be able to communicate it without a little jargon.

Here’s the intro:

Not everyone remembers where they were when the stock market crashed or when Trump was elected the US President. However, many people around the world remember where they were and how they felt when the attacks happened on September 11, 2001. My two previous posts have introduced strategic foresight and how some of its tools and methods can help you better prepare for the unexpected. Now, let’s dig a little deeper and look at different types of scenarios such as Black Swans.

Finish reading: http://www.preparewithforesight.com/scenario-awareness-black-swans/

Learn more from your future than you do from your past

Verne Wheelwright is a pioneer in using foresight for personal development. The same methods that corporations and governments have used for the past decade are just as relevant for personal use as they are for shaping macro futures.

Many self help authors want readers to connect to their future selves, but none of them offer any practical tools for doing so. Such authors look too narrowly at the future to guide readers into visualizing multiple, plausible futures, and readers often give up or lose faith when their actual future turns out differently than they expected.

Wheelwright takes a different, less mystical approach with his award winning self-help book, It’s Your Future…Make it a Good One. He also offers some free downloads on his website which I strongly recommend, but the book provides readers with the perspective necessary to understand what these free resources are all about.

Most people view the future as either a hazy, cryptic event or a technological utopia. Neither of these views are true much less practical. The future is unpredictable, especially at a personal level. But the future can be forecasted into multiple scenarios to help organizations and (now thanks to Wheelwright) individuals steer their personal lives in a direction to achieve their goals no matter how the future plays out.

If you run your own business, no mater what size, this is the most important book you could read for your business success. As a business owner, your personal life is the rudder that steers your business, and to achieve success you need to align your personal future with the future of your company. Wheelwright even has a book coming out soon about applying these techniques to small and medium sized businesses.

Methods for learning about the future have been in use by businesses for decades, but the process was simply too complex for most individuals. The Personal Futures Network introduces some new, easily understood approaches that will help you to think and plan like a futurist. You will be able learn about and plan for your personal futures.

Think like a futurist? What does that really mean, think like a futurist? Well, each futurist may have some different thoughts, but generally futurists think about longer term futures, usually 10 or more years ahead. Futurists believe that the future is not predetermined, but that several futures are possible. If several futures are possible, then one of those futures may be better than the others, or a “preferred” future. Very important; futurists believe that individuals or groups can take actions in the present that will help determine the future.

That brief paragraph helps explain why most futurists don’t make predictions about the future, but rather suggest multiple possible futures, often in the form of “scenarios” or stories about the future.

The above quote was taken from Wheelwright’s homepage. The whole website is dedicated to helping readers understand how to look at the future in an effective and practical way. Read the book and begin learning more from your future than from you do from your past.