The word has already spread that the Online Print Symposium is more of a friendly and informal affair. Yet Oliver Kray, founder and CEO of MyPostcard, added another dimension to the proceedings in the conference hall. The way he talked about his business was a different world and a different language – and the way he acquainted the delegates with it was great.
In summer 2013 Oliver Kray, back then still a building facade artist in Berlin, was taking photos on the beach when he came up with his business idea. He wanted to send the digital photos on his smartphone as postcards, i.e. the analog way. After briefly conducting some research, he realized that some companies already offer this service. “But they are either too complicated or abysmal”, says designer Kray. So he decided to do it better – and set up mypostcard.com. “I find the idea of sending digital photos as real postcards just sensational”, Oliver Kray states, because the traditional way of sending postcards “is pretty old-school; you only find boring motifs, you always have to have a biro handy and then need to look for stamps and a postbox.”
MyPostcard, which was established in 2014, has already tasted success on the international stage. But less with printing itself – he leaves that to service providers – rather with his app-to-print service. Oliver Kray focuses on personalized vacation and greeting cards. His app enables people to send their own photos from their smartphones as postcards worldwide, and they look like they have been handwritten. But you can also send them from a desktop computer. The app and web versions feature several thousand ready-to-use designs, motifs and details that can be used solo or in combination with your own photo material.
The price: 1.99 Euros. “Yes, I know I am in the market with a two-dollar product“, says Kray. But he is convinced that his “retro product” has a future. “Even digital natives like cards that you can touch“, he says. And after all around 220 million postcards a year are still being sent in Germany – in the USA nearly 800 million.
And so to action! Oliver Kray got some coaching, did some number crunching and learned new marketing techniques to prepare his company for the US market. The US now already accounts for 10% of sales. From 2016 to 2017 these doubled to around 4 million € and are expected to grow as quickly in the current year. “Fortunately we have now reached break even and can now start earning money. But we will continue to invest money to achieve even faster growth and to put as much clear water as possible between ourselves and all our other competitors. I just want mine to be the best app and know that that ambition also has its price”, says Kray. “We quickly recognized that it’s not always just the product that’s important, but rather an understanding of how you acquire, analyze and bill customers and grow your business the quickest in order to be profitable.” For such undertakings to be successful you at any rate need to accept the fact that you have little time and require a great deal of perseverance as well as patience and power, is the advice Oliver Kray gives to anyone with similar aspirations.