MIT MBAs Invent Virtual New York City-Style Doorman

Three enterprising grads from MIT's Sloan School of Management have put their heads together to address the "last-inch" problem of the overnight package delivery revolution: how to get a package inside the locked doors confronting most delivery service agents.  

The MBAs, Jorge Calzada, Filippo Beretta, and Thomas Neal, have invented what amounts to an Internet-enabled storage locker that can be placed in placed in the lobby of a residential or office building. The system, called easyQube, can be opened with a smart card and notify users via e-mail that they have a package waiting.

The service, developed by Cambridge, Mass.-based IdentiCert, is in a pilot stage. Eventually, its developers hope to configure the devices so users can even leave and pick up dry cleaning and laundry.

"We're trying to bring the quintessential New York City doorman to the masses, but at a small fraction of the price," said Jorge Calzada, IdentiCert's co-founder and vice president for sales who noted that in 2005 alone there were about 800 million missed residential deliveries recorded by the leading shipping services.

"We wondered why it was so difficult to get things you ordered," said Calzada. "With all the work that's gone into making e-commerce a more pleasant experience, there had been little focus on the most important part--which is actually getting the product in people's hands."

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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