Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Digital has finally killed paper -- and office supply stores.

One day I looked up and saw an empty space where some pay phones were. I knew then I had to get a mobile phone.

More recently, I knew the post office was shrinking, and I knew paper mills were shutting down, but I hadn't noticed that office supply stores were dying too.

It makes sense of course. When was the last time you bought a paper clip or a file folder? We buy some school supplies for our kids, but nothing that general retail stores can't handle. If not for a peculiar circumstance, we'd rarely buy printer paper. Our printer would go the way of our last typewriter -- dusted off every few months for a special project.

Apple added printing to iOS devices a few months back. Did anyone notice?

Thirty years after the PC was supposed to eliminate paper, but instead causes a printing boom, it's finally happening.

I'm sure we can't imagine all the implications. If paper becomes a nice product, for example, what happens to the cost of paper back books?

PS. A little bit of irony though. Our typewriter went away around 1990 or so. We've done a lot more hand printing since. So the world split between new tech and ancient tech.


Zol said...

My nephew has a business that caters mostly to the Amish and Mennonite communities. No passwords required for cash or checks.

JGF said...

Amish and Mennonite populations are growing very quickly...

MaysonicWrites said...

An organizaton I belong to recently took over a long term(~20 year) lease on a former post office building...

And I have printed more pages in the past month than in the past few decades (homework assignments for online courses:).