Skip the Post Office, Use Shyp!
by Jarrett Streebin
One of the biggest problems with shipping goods is actually getting them dropped off. Whether it's waiting in line at the Post Office or schlepping those packages to the nearest UPS Store, it can be a pain. That's why Kevin Gibbon cofounded Shyp, a mobile app for getting your goods in the mail. With a simple request they'll come and pack the goods up, put the shipping label on it, and drop it off.
Recently Kevin and I sat down for a fireside chat (read: we emailed back and forth a few times) and here's what he had to say about Shyp:
How long have you been a developer?
I've been coding since I was 14 (14 years ago). Started with basic HTML on GeoCities then moved up to pascal and C. Baller!
I've been a professional software engineer ever since graduating from college. Well kinda. I have one year left on my bachelors of CS. Don't think I'm going to finish it.
I've worked on some cool projects for some large companies including MDA (Canada's only space company) Raytheon and Boeing. I've put software in space and contributed to the DoD's largest Command and Control project for NATO. I've also founded a couple startups in Vancouver that failed miserably.
What are your favorite languages? Frameworks? Open Source projects?
I'm a mobile guy at heart. I've fallen in love with iOS over the past few years. Not for the dev environment, but for the high quality products you are able to distribute to hundreds of millions of users.
I'm also a backend guy who loves the Play framework using Scala/Java.
What was the inspiration for Shyp?
In highschool I was an eBay power seller shipping hundreds of items every month. I sold over $100k of inventory and put myself mostly through school with the proceeds. My largest pain point by far was shipping.
I had to keep a large inventory of different size boxes then pack each item only to wait in a huge line when I went to the post office. I made at least 3 trips to the post office every week. It was an awful experience.
Explain how Shyp works?
Shyp is the fastest and easiest way to send packages anywhere in the US.
Currently, for a consumer or small business to send packages the following needs to happen: buy packing materials, pack the order, drive to shipping carrier, wait in line, and pay.
To send a package through Shyp just submit a pickup request through our iPhone app and we take care of the rest. We come to your location, pack your items, then make sure the package is delivered fast, reliably, and most cost effective. If the package's destination is outside SF we will ship through USPS; otherwise we will hand deliver.
What are your future plans for Shyp?
We are committed to building the best experience for our users; from installing our app to the recipient receiving a package. We already have a huge beta list and will be expanding very fast.
We are initially only using USPS. We will expand to FedEx, UPS and OnTrac very shortly.
We are launching in San Francisco in August 2013.
Why did you decide to use EasyPost for Shyp?
Shyp has an obvious need to send packages through USPS. Comparing and printing postage is an obvious need for us. I've known Jarrett ever since he started EasyPost. My curiosity has been piqued ever since they launched on HackerNews.
I briefly looked around at alternatives but quickly came back to EasyPost. The other companies are not API friendly and would be a nightmare to integrate.
How is EasyPost used in the app?
We use EasyPost to verify our addresses, query postal rates, and than print postage. We have integrated address verification on our server and make sure every one passes before shipping. We query rates and show total cost to users before they book a pickup through Shyp.
We also use EasyPost to print USPS postage at our warehouse.
What did you feel the greatest benefit of EasyPost is?
Development time. You can use EasyPost and get up to speed in a few hours, versus weeks with the competition. This is a no brainer.
Do you feel like you've saved time in development by using EasyPost?
Yes. We have saved at least 2 full weeks of development time.