Who needs paper?

Paper has existed since 100BC where papyrus scrolls carried messages of exhortation, love and authority.

Before that, Noah needed to write the Ten commandments in stone. Cavemen had to write it in walls. Not too convenient to carry around.

Copyright IMDB.com

However in today’s digital world of PDF, DocuSign, and embedded interactions. Why does the paper still exist?

I can only think of 4 reasons:

1) Authentication

When you need to have your birth certificate or driving license done up, or your final semester’s exam results. Paper carries a psychological validity.

2) Co-ordination/ Approval

When you need to get your Overtime Pay shifts recorded, its easier to take out a piece of paper and pass it around.

3) Self Gratification

Some people just like writing and it helps them think. I am one of them, but I have to write on medium, because the Newspapers wont read, much less publish my handwritten gibberish.

4) Complexity

It is conceivably easier to draw with pen or pencil on paper, than it would be with a stylus. Though the Apple Ipad Pro genius might disagree.

The intriguing thing is that there are digital solutions for all of these item, but why then do these still exists??

My guess is that cost and trust are at the core of it.

Cost — Some processes are still cheapr done with paper than digitising it (at full-blown corporate IT costing).

Trust — Why should I give you my email details just for a parking receipt?

In reality, it is a combination of both. As I look at the paper that still exists around, I ponder on how to make digitising cheaper or to proxy a trusted 3rd party to transfer information to the end user.

w |I pen my tongue-in-cheek musings on digital, data, crypto, life and how I fantasise I would build my SME in this Digital 4.0 world. Freelance scribe at www.InvXAsia.com .

--

--

--

Startup Exited Founder | Author who sold a couple of books | Investor & Trader | Data Scientist in Theory | Car & Popcorn Fanatic | Singapore

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Winston Ng

Winston Ng

Startup Exited Founder | Author who sold a couple of books | Investor & Trader | Data Scientist in Theory | Car & Popcorn Fanatic | Singapore

More from Medium

Value proposition “bites its own tail”: a “dual-purpose” Main Job of a product

We brainstormed 37 slogans for Snactiv in 20 minutes

More than a Name

Does technology have ethics? The problem with Waymo, Carebots, and AirTags.