Sunday, November 29, 2009

Just mail it!

Every now and then someone invents a product or service that convinces people that the old fashioned way of doing things is much harder than it really is. By so fooling people they get them to spend much more than they need to.

Microwave popcorn is a perfect example. Making popcorn in a saucepan is almost as easy and just as fast as putting a paper bag of seeds into the microwave. But nobody knows that anymore because the stores have six tiers of shelves stocking microwave popcorn, and 12 inches of shelf space for plain seeds that cost about one-fifth as much per pound.

Another such product came to my attention today. A service, actually, called It's for people who have grandparents that don't own computers. If you want to e-mail Grandma, you just e-mail Sunnygram, which will take all of your e-mails for Grandma, print them out (complete with photos) and mail them to her via the good old United States Postal Service. Sunnygram provides this helpful service for just $9.95 a month.

It's as if you couldn't print it and mail it yourself for about 50 to 60 cents worth of paper, ink and postage. You do know how to do that, right? Please say yes.

But knowing how the world works, having worked with the general public myself, I'm certain there are people who will be convinced that Sunnygram is the most viable way to communicate with an analog Grandma in a digital age. What Grandma knows that they don't is that there's a sucker born every minute.