Wednesday, April 14, 2010


God, I love bad TV. Absolutely love it. I enjoy nothing more than sitting around with a friend mocking some truly awful shows. For instance, I actually love Maury. There’s nothing better than hearing a woman say that she is “one thousand and ten percent sure” that some guy is the father of her kid, and then when Maury says “you are….NOT the father” and the woman runs backstage and collapses while the guy does the Itoldyouso dance, I don’t know, I just get a real kick out of that. Maybe I’m just a weirdo, or have really bad taste. I’d go on the A&E show Intervention for my addiction to bad TV, but that might be a conflict of interest. has a bunch of great (and by great I mean terrible) TV shows from ALF to Airwolf (sorry- couldn’t find a truly bad show that started with Z). They have a bunch of MOJO network shows that are actually good, like Three Sheets (a travel/drinking show) and Wall St. Warriors., but the show I’ve been watching for the past few days is Start Up Junkies. There are only 8 episodes, but the unintentional humor is packed into every minute. A better name for this show would have been The Dumbest Guys in the Room.

Start Up Junkies chronicles the development of an internet company called Earth Class Mail. Yeah, pretty stupid name. An internet company that conjures up images of land lines and snail mail. It gets better. Earth Class Mail is a company that will reroute your postal mail to their warehouse, scan it, email it to you, then you choose what you want them to open, scan, and email to you again. OK, I’ll slow it down. You have all your mail sent to a corrugated hangar in Beaverton, OR. The people there sort it, and scan every piece of mail. They then email you all of those images. You then select which items you want them to open and scan. They then email that to you, and you, uh, I guess maybe read it? Then I think you choose for them to throw it away, or possibly have them store it indefinitely- I don’t really remember because by then my brain had shut down, or maybe I was laughing too loudly. You can choose to have them re-mail you something unopened, but that seems like a big costly waste of time and totally undermines the whole idea. Either way, since all bills, banking, shopping, and even receiving payments can be done electronically, I guess the business plan is to pay someone $20-$30 a month to throw out your junk mail. Seems like a shitload of steps to supposedly “simplify” something, and possibly not such a great money maker for the company that has to receive, sort, scan, and store millions of pieces of mail. Sounds like a lose-lose proposition to me. Of course, you also have to get a signed, notarized, postal form authorizing them to receive your mail in the first place. Does anyone else see the irony of an online company that intends to reduce the hassle of the already dying institution of snail mail, that involves buying millions of dollars of mail sorting equipment and a huge warehouse to store it all in?!? That infrastructure already exists. It’s called the fucking Post Office!

For a brief second, I thought it might be a good service for people who are away from home, but who gets snail mail at all anymore? You can always just have your mail held for awhile, and if I did happen to get something important in the mail, I wouldn’t want some junky in Portland making $8 an hour ripping it open and going through it! Besides, haven’t these people heard of the dotcom bubble burst? I couldn’t understand why everybody was gobbling up the load of bullshit the CEO (who looks like the fat kid from Head of the Class) was dropping on them. This start up seemed soooo 2004. Then I found out that the show was filmed in……2004! So it’s like a hilarious time capsule of a period when venture capitalists threw millions of dollars at any fledgling company with a website, and every nerd in Seattle with jeans, a blue shirt, and a foosball table in their office just assumed they were going to become billionaires. It’s so fun to listen to the employees toss around buzzwords like “scale up” and “ahead of the curve” and “customer conversion rate.” Oooooh, real impressive. Looks like somebody bought a copy of Start Up Jargon for Dummies.

The whole show looks like they filmed a special ed. class doing a Junior Business Achievers project, but it’s all real! These are people I wouldn’t give a computer driving simulator to, because they would somehow cause a very real 30 car pile up! I began to suspect that Christopher Guest was filming it, or maybe The Onion had something to do with it. But even they couldn’t make this shit up.

Needless to say, Earth Class Mail is not doing well since their only potential clients (big companies) have a cheaper system in place called a MAIL ROOM, and digital mail delivery already exists, it’s called E-MAIL. I guess the Seattle-tards didn’t do their due diligence on that one. They didn’t look into their crystal ball and see the writing on the dry erase board that snail mail is going to be extinct without any help from them. Oddly, there is no proactive synergy interface market for a process that makes things slower, more complicated, and costs millions and millions in infrastructure and payroll. Hmmmm, maybe they should have researched this “billion dollar idea” a little more thoroughly. Maybe they should have used a bigger focus group than a few of their spoiled Microsoft co-workers sitting around playing D&D who thought it was a good idea. Why am I complaining though? It’s so much fun to watch arrogant people fail on TV…….

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