Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I Hate Spam: Snail Mail Edition

I Hate Spam.

Not just email or blog spam, but any kind of spam. I include junk mail that shows up in my postal mail box as well as telemarketers as spam varieties. Why can't we just make them all go away?

Well, greendimes is a startup that I like to see. They are addressing the postal junk mail problem. They have a conscience. They are solving a real problem in a significant market. They are giving back to the community.

Jon Burke of alarm:clock wrote:

Greendimes will remove members from dozens of direct marketing lists and plant a tree on every member’s behalf each month. Individual plans are either $3 per month or $36 per year, while business plans start at $6 per month. Aside from being a social nuisance, Greendimes tells us that junk mail also does considerable damage to the environment. Each year, an estimated 100M trees and 28B gallons of water are used to produce junk mail. Furthermore, paper makes up a third of the 235M tons of waste sent to landfills annually.

So, what more could you ask?

greendimes appears to be angel funded currently. I think greendimes would certainly be a match for Omidyar Networks, and hope that they can come together to help greendimes get to profitability.

But, is greendimes really a VC opportunity, or is it a better match as a non-profit 401c (3) organization? With a 10 million household penetration, they would have $360M in annual revenue. Nothing wrong with that. But, 10 million households is a lot.

greendimes strikes me as a great company, great idea, and nice small business. If they can do a good job with their early marketing, they will survive and thrive. The founders will likely do well for themselves and will enjoy the peace that comes from doing good.

But, it certainly doesn't feel like a fit for that "traditional" VC model (it won't be a stand-alone company that goes IPO, for example). But wait a minute. Didn't we just conclude that the "traditional" VC model is morphing? Hmm..

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  1. [...] Back in October, 2006, I wrote about a company I really liked called GreenDimes. The article, I Hate Spam: Snail Mail Edition, talked about how the folks at GreenDimes had a great business on their hands, but I questioned [...]


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