Expanding to Orlando

Thanks to our awesome beta senders, our initial Pensacola launch was all that we could have asked for.

In just over a month and a half, we were able to:

  • Deliver over 150 messages
  • Double our team size
  • Improve our training experience for both our birds and trainers
  • Have a lot of fun building our company

We're excited to report that we've successfully partnered with a bird sanctuary in the outskirts of Orlando, and we will now be able to deliver beta messages to all of Florida, Alabama, Southern Georgia, and Southern Mississippi.

We will also be increasing our beta sender by invite only. So if you were one of our first beta senders, you will be receiving an email within the next week allowing you to refer one person to Pigeon.

Thanks for everything guys, and we can't wait to open Pigeon up to the entire country in 2016!

Advice from Sam Altman

Since we started Pigeon and quit our day jobs, I cannot tell you how many times friends, family, and even complete strangers voice their disagreement with our decision.

Even after securing seed funding, there was still no shortage of people to give us their opinions.

The situation reminded me of a blog post written by Sam Altman a couple months ago.

Facebook, Twitter, reddit, the Internet itself, the iPhone, and on and on and on—most people dismissed these things as incremental or trivial when they first came out.

Now, we're not comparing ourselves to the tech elite in Silicon Valley. We are saying that we believe in our company, and we truly believe it can improve people's daily lives.

You of course are entitled to your opinion, but please don't let the limits of your own vision burden ours.

On The Controversy of Drone Use

This issue initially came to my attention after speaking to a longtime GHC member who proudly owns 4 racing pigeons and has won multiple 100 mile races. Until then I had always assumed the government had some kind of plan for keeping the PaaS industry safe, not to mention racing birds.

As drones become more commonplace in this country, we can't help but ask ourselves, "what about the pigeons"?

The FAA is turning commercial drone use into a very complex regulatory environment for any organizations wanting to conduct serious business using drones. We get that. But can you please do something for the safety of our birds while you're at it?

There is no legislation that protects our birds once in the air, no law that grants them any airspace.

You heard that right. The FAA technically allows drones and carrier pigeons to occupy the same airspace.

If we could apply for air worthiness certificates on behalf of our fleet we of course would, but that wouldn't necessarily solve the problem. The FAA won't protect messenger pigeons by classifying them as autonomous UAVs, and really they need their own airspace. I realize it's a stretch (V stands for vehicle, by the way), but more needs to be done at the federal level because drones aren't going away.

How Instant Communication is Ruining our Culture

Now I know what you're thinking... "what?"

How in the world could instant communication be a bad thing? We can convey any thoughts at any time with anyone at practically no cost. You don't need to convince me as to the power of modern communication employed by our civilization. But as it stands, isn't just this the problem? Think back to a simpler time, when mail was hand delivered to your door via Pony Express; that was a big deal. You hopped to, opened your mail quickly, and perused every inch of its contents. You didn't have junk mail, and almost everything was worth reading because it took someone's real time to write, produce, and deliver.

Fast forward to modern culture, where copious amounts of spam, junk-mail, advertisements of all sorts, and unedited musings from uninformed internet goers blast you at every turn. At this point, it's safer to assume time will simply be wasted in opening that letter or clicking on that email.

When we set out to lay a foundation for Pigeon, our mission was to bring back the excitement of receiving something meaningful, something you know took physical time and effort to place in your hands.

There's definitely a place for instantaneous 2-way communication, but what would you do if a custom message was flown to you from someone 100 miles away? You'd read it, and you'd remember it.