Part of the trick was that the service could automatically weed out junk mail, and when U.S. Postmaster General Pat Donahoe got wind of this, he wasn’t happy — at least according to Baehr.
Donahoe summoned Outbox to his office, and Baehr made his pitch, arguing that the company was just a few smart guys with $2 million in financing who wanted to spend the next few years learning about Donahoe’s customers and even sending him data about what these customers needed. Donahoe responded by saying that the customers of U.S. Postal Service were not the general public. Its customers, he said, were a few hundred bulk mailers.