Here’s a $10 million business whose virtual product replaced the real thing. Coming up, a better breed of digital invitations.
Right after his 21st birthday, James Hirschfield had to organize a party. He wanted to send out unique, well-designed, digital invitations that people would actually want to open online.
But he didn’t find what he wanted. So in 2009, he and sister Alexa launched Paperless Post, an event their website characterizes as a historic milestone.
The siblings’ goal was digital designs that had a hand-crafted look. They also wanted three-dimensional looking digital pop-up designs. So they did something no one ever did before. They worked with paper designers to create virtual cards and invites that look like the real thing on computer screens.
It was an historic moment, boasts their website. “For the first time,” the Paperless Post website reports, “digital communication could be as personal and well-designed as its paper counterpart.”
Within half a year, they were making $100,000 a month! And within three years, Paperless Post was pulling in $10 million in revenue.
Their cards enable users to design, send and track e-vites and other social summons, while maintaining what the New York Times calls, “easy correctness, and a ‘life’s a party’ atmosphere.”
And because customers have demanded it, Paperless Post’s founders have even started printing paper products – the very merchandise their service replaced!
James and Alexa Hirschfield exemplify one of our “Axioms for Entrepreneurs”: Apply new technology to an existing product.
Paperless Post: digital invitations that look like the real thing. Now Why Didn’t I Think of That?