A USA company sells handwritten cards made, in fact, by machine (VIDEO)

A USA company sells handwritten cards made, in fact, by machine (VIDEO)Digital tools have made communicating with others easier but not necessarily more thoughtful. And Sonny Caberwal, an entrepreneur, found an answer to that.

Sanding a physical, handwritten thank-you note or letter these days requires paper, a pen, the recipient’s address, an envelope and a stamp. Then the note has to be written and mailed, all of which is time-consuming. Sonny Caberwal company, Bond, enabled people to do that more easily.

According to the Greeting Card Association, Americans purchase about 6.5 billion greeting cards a year and annual sales are estimated to be $7 billion to $8 billion. Because, as Carlos LLansó, president of the organization, said, “you can’t save a Facebook birthday message and put it in a drawer.”

That overlap of digital and traditional is where Bond lives. The company built its own writing machine, which can produce personalized notes for every customer. The machines have robotic arms that can hold a pen, a paintbrush or a marker. The paper is moved around using static electricity — rather than a roller — so it stays pristine, with no wrinkles or marks. Bond also seals each envelope with wax, adds postage and mails it.

Customers can choose from a variety of handwriting styles, or they can have their own handwriting copied and digitized. Each customer’s original signature is uploaded to Bond via smartphone, to be used on cards and notes. Customers also upload recipients’ addresses. Many of Bond’s biggest customers are commercial, including Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and small independent businesses like professional services firms and real estate brokers.

“Companies spend $23 billion on customer relationship management tools to understand and have a more personal relationship with their customers. We are the physical implementation of that,” Mr. Caberwal said.

Bond now has 50 full-time employees, 200 robotic writing machines and produces its own stationery. By the end of the year, Bond expects to have about $500,000 a month in sales, he said, adding that revenue has been growing from 30 to 50 percent a month.

One of the Bond customers, Jason Hirschhorn, founder and chief executive of the New York start-up Redef, which provides curated information streams, said: “I don’t have a lot of time, but I like the idea of being able to use personalized stationery in my own hand, using my own words, all done remotely for me. And it’s all in my computer, so I can track what I’ve done.”

Saneel Radia, founder and president of Finch15, a New York firm that helps companies develop new products and services, uses Bond’s service early in his relationships with customers and business partners. He said people often thanked him for the notes they received, and he readily admitted that a robot had written them. “People hire us because we are at the intersection of service and technology,” he said. “Bond, like us, is also at that intersection, so using the service shows that our company has its finger on the pulse of what is new and useful in this space.”

Mr. Radia said although the cards created by Bond are not actually handwritten, they are still a far cry from an email or a mass-produced thank-you note.

“You’re giving someone something that took time and is work — not the same amount of work as mailing a letter you wrote yourself, but more than a text message that says, ‘Thanks for the meeting,’” Mr. Radia said. “It’s thoughtful, and it is my sentiments. And it comes in an envelope with a wax seal, which certainly helps.”

Via: New York Times
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