Rewire the Postal Service: Innovate or Die

Today’s postal service has a reputation for being slow and hopelessly stuck in the old ways. The term “snail mail” doesn’t sound much like a product that Google would be rolling out anytime soon. But it hasn’t always been this way: The U.S. Postal Service has a long history of exploiting technology to offer alternate means of message transmission. At it’s inception, part of the Postal Department’s mandate was the construction of a network of post roads for mail to travel along, infrastructure with obvious secondary benefits for the young nation. From there, mail traveled by pony express, railroad and steamship, surmounting the technical problems to keep communication on pace with the country’s expansion. Soon after the development of powered flight, the USPS innovated again by delivering mail by plane. Time and time again, circumstances have driven innovation, Between 1942 and 1945, “V-Mail” (for “Victory Mail”) service was available for […]