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A New Approach With the Old Guard

To reinvent direct mail, Zumbox brought in a veteran who delivered $8 million in big-name investment.

This story appears in the December 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When serial entrepreneur Maury Friedman set out to use disruptive technology to push the direct-mail industry in a new direction, he knew only the most experienced leadership would attract the level of investment required. He landed on CEO Donn Rappaport, a prominent figure in the direct-marketing industry who is founder of 30-year-old market-research firm ALC as well as a former chairman of the Direct Marketing Association.

Friedman's big idea was Zumbox, a 2-year-old startup based in Westlake Village, Calif. The company's technology creates a corresponding digital mailbox for every street address, letting companies that rely on use digital file delivery to save on postage--and relieving consumers from mountains of mail and wasted paper.

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