Originally Published 2005-09-07 15:37:23
I'm on fire tonight. Here's yet another idea... what is this, my 3rd on in 24 hours?
I was just thinking about all the things I manage on a day-to-day basis and how much I feel like I need an assistant. But the thing is, the reason I need an assistant is to handle the little shit tasks that take up so much time. Thank god for automatic bill pay and voice mail... too bad there's nothing I can do about physically getting my mail, depositing checks, and filing that crappy physical mail I have to waste time retrieving.
Or is there?
Well, there are several fax services out there... a quick google search turned up myfax.com, for instance, which is a virtual fax service and appears to support send and receive for $10 a month. Nice. Not quite enough volume on my end to support it, though -- plus a phone number with a fax machine attached would only cost a couple of dollars more per month and print the things for me. Sending is another matter... this free app looks cool.
How about a service that accepts digital input and sends a snail mail for you? There would be a per-page cost and a flat fee to pay for postage and the actual paper handling, but it would be cheap enough to be reasonable for anti-paper people like me. Say, $2.50 for a #10 envelope with up to 5 pages? Or $3.25 for 10 pages? The numbers need some analysis, but the economies of scale would kick in without toooo much volume. Technology would help, too -- automate the printing process, including the envelope printing, and voila! A couple of thousand outgoing pieces per day and you'd have a nice little service business. Scaling upward, you could setup satellite fulfillment centers in seperate geographic regions.
All fine, but there's not much of an exit strategy... sell out to a printing and fulfillment company? Or a direct marketing firm? Maybe...
I kind of like this idea. It's about as low-tech as you can get, but it's a real service I would use. Go figure.
On 2005-09-07 16:51:25 Uncle Johnny said:
Damn. USPS already does this through a third party vendor, postedigital.com.
Of course, I just took a look at their interface, and it needs to be AJAX-ized and could use some serious UI changes to enable onesie-twosie usage.
So there's a market there, but I'm far less excited now. You can't get a much better endorsement than being OEM to the post office.