“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”
- Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point)
About 10 years ago, Malcolm Gladwell published his thesis that ideas “spread just like viruses do.” The Tipping Point is predicated on people, content (the idea), and context (situational environment). Last week, Pat McGrew tweeted that300K Finnish Itella NetPosti users can now use their iPhone, iPad & Android to get access to invoices, payslips, and letters. On Friday, Norway Post announced that Norway Post is to launch a digital mail system, allowing customers to choose to receive mail in a digital mailbox as well as physically — with that digital mailbox based on a person’s street address and national ID number.
Moreover, we know that more than half of the population of Denmark is using their consumer consolidation servicewhich Pitney Bowes helped develop. And most recently, Siemens Mobility and Swiss Post have agreed to pursue a joint marketing strategy of an automation offering for post and postal service providers that converts physical mail into electronic mail accessible from consumers mobile devices.
The context is clear: ubiquitous broadband (wired and 3G/4G), WiFi, and an explosion of smartphones and tablet computers.
The content is clear: secure access to my mail when, where, and how I want.
This idea - a fire lit in the Nordics some 10 years ago is now spreading like wildfire – and it looks like it is ready to reach American shores.
Is America at that tipping point? We think so. But viewed from our shores, the idea goes well beyond mail delivery. Our consumer research shows that how we as individuals organize, manage, retrieve, and interact with the critical electronic content in the home is just as important as the convenience of how we receive it. And that research strongly influenced the design of the Volly digital delivery service.
Context: Check. Content: Check. In a few months it will be up to people – the Volly service users – to determine if we are headed for that tipping point.