A Local Startup Will Turn Your Phone’s Photos into Postcards

You just need $2 and the ability to send text messages.

the simple postcard bosotn

Photo provided by The Simple Postcard

There’s good news for the generation that communicates via text message but is nostalgic for snail mail—the best of both worlds is here.

A local startup called The Simple Postcard combined the two methods of communication to share those cellphone photos that often get lost after they’re taken. How the aptly named company works is literally quite simple—users text a photo to a phone number, include an address and a message, provide payment information for a $2 processing fee, and voilà, a postcard is printed and shipped.

The Simple Postcard founder Jason Strauss came up with the idea three months ago after realizing he texted a lot of photos back and forth with his brothers. So, the MIT alumnus built a texting-only tool to convert the photos into mailable postcards.

“I was my biggest user, obviously,” he says. “Then my cousin started sending a bunch and his friend started asking, so I set up a payment form for it. There was this small number of users and it’s grown over time.”

When BostInno first reported about the Cambridge-based startup this week, Strauss said The Simple Postcard was his successful side project. Strauss, who studied computer science, completed a Y Combinator fellowship last year where he launched a data analysis tool called VQL . While working on VQL full-time, he created The Simple Postcard over the course of a weekend this April.

“Everyone likes sending stuff in the mail but it’s so rare,” he says. Instead of building an app, he went with the simplicity of text messaging.

“I’ve been so surprised by all the different use cases for it,” he explains, which include postcard destinations like military bases and summer camps. “I thought, ‘Oh, what’s a bunk number?'”

The 4-by-6 inch postcards are usually received within a week of being texted. Currently, the postcards can only be sent within the United States, but Strauss plans to expand internationally.

The Simple Postcard, thesimplepostcard.com.