Don't you keep hard copies of these documents? Just wondering. For us, if it requires a signature, we usually need a hard copy (original) for our records.
Since we are printing it out (or receiving via fax in the first place), it seems just as easy to walk over to our $40 fax machine and send it (via our $9/mo Vonage fax line).
I am sure I am missing something here.
What if Dropbox screws up? Data is gone!
What if your building catches fire? Those documents will burn with pleasure!
What if your hard-drive decides to get a heart-attack [crash]?
What if world ends?
Paper is so 90s thing. Even in offices, yes.
Oh wait, this is the Valley we're talking about, my bad. Carry on please.
Kudos to HelloFax, this is exactly what I've been seeking for a long time. I've been making do with MyFax's intermittent free trials but this service is worth paying for.
Perhaps I should apply to ycombinator...
Guy Kawasaki always brings up the story of Tam's Art Gallery in Hong Kong. In one of the markets there, there are dozens upon dozens of shops selling all kinds of souvenirs from shirts to toys to electronics. But the store that gets the most business is Tam's Art Gallery, which is well-known and stands out because it only sells stone stamps.
The focus of my project is "laser-sharp" and streamlining things like faxes are just background processes that don't get in the way of the actual user functionality at all. Users take less than 30 seconds to set that part up and never have to think about it again. So if anything, in my particular case, it actually only makes me stand out more in the competitive environment as you say.
There is of course no way you would have known that, so excellent post otherwise. Everyone here should know that too many features can definitely break an application (coders' brains too lol)... the only time tons of features are beneficial is when they don't get in the way.
I'd say this would be a tough business to be in, unless of course you had the schmooze power of YC behind you. Amazing how that can transform a site like this that would otherwise live out its life in a little crack on the 3rd page of Google for "online fax" into a viable business.
(I suppose it also helps if all your competitors stop improving their products in 1998.)
I think the editing capability is key. The signature feature might work for a device with a stylus but is difficult with a mouse. I opened up an image editor and wrote my signature with a mouse. The result wasn't legible (at all), and more importantly, it didn't match what I consider to be my legal signature. So users would probably need access to a scanner to upload the signature image.
Faxes, almost by definition, are just one notch this side of unreadable. People who are used to receiving faxes are used to receiving Faxes, so your crappy digital camera work with visible shadows and wood table behind might actually be a step up from the norm.
I sorry the fax machine is busted. We are required to attempt to have it fixed before we can get a new one, but the repair guy won't get here until Monday.
Big companies do stupid stuff all the time. Take advantage of this.
I don't have a fax machine. I'd guess lots of visitors don't either. Just saying, maybe there's a better headline to be written.
Good luck guys, efax is terrible!
I know... way too corny and confusing :)
Or, more likely, very short term number rental. Pay $1.95 to be able to recieve faxes on a particular number for a period of an hour.
Whenever someone ask me for my fax number, I start sweating. It rarely happens, but when it happens, I'm stuck.
Let me buy a "disposable" fax number for 12-24 hours for $2. I don't want to pay monthly for something that I rarely use, but I'd be happy to pay a flat fee to receive a document.
- not requiring a 37 step signup process
- not requiring a user to choose between a dozen different monthly plans before being able to sign-up
- not requiring a monthly subscription just to test and send the odd fax
It's been a while since I looked at the available options, but the few I previously evaluated required far too much overhead to make them effective.
I'd love to use a service like this, even at $1.99 per fax, but without receive support (so sad that companies sign first and want to fax to you) it's no good to me....
I have a small 50 line ruby script that converts attachments from emails into outgoing faxes, and a 10 line ruby script that converts incoming faxes into emails with a pdf attachment.
You should try freeswitch instead -- the rxfax thing from Asterisk would sometimes truncate incoming faxes. Not sure why.
The ability to sign documents within the app alone has been an incredible time saver. It makes you think "How is this not the default way to send faxes yet?"
Yes, I'm talking to you, Wells Fargo.
We've actually used HelloFax ourselves to fax Wells Fargo.
Good stuff. This is a major annoyance for me.
Here's the heuristic:
1. Find the nearest Kinko's/FedEx Store
2. Find my old or get another Kinko's card Kinko's/FedEx Store card
3. Put 1 dollar on it
4. Fax for $0.25
Two or three months later, repeat the same process.
HelloFax is a great example of a solution to serious pain point.
Good luck and congratulations!
(To their credit, I got a confirmation email from them in about a single day)
Looks like a promising start. Hope things go well.
My small business uses Packetel for incoming fax-to-email and a real fax machine for outgoing faxes. I would love to get rid of the fax machine and the stupid copper phone line it requires.
Enterepeneur with a soft spot for the public sector."
Good luck with everything though, you guys are going to kill it.
Anything I should know to make me use hellofax? (20 free faxes is definitely a nice start!)
I hope you get to give it a try soon. Let us know what you think!
Edit: And of course there are a couple of those sites already (just for forms). All of which could use some polishing.
Ie, immediate use, dwindling long term prospects?
As a specific example, if I'm in Australia, and I want to send a fax locally, can I use HelloFax?
I think they got acquired - I'm not sure what happened to the pre-paid deal... might be still there
"Get 20 fax fages free"
Otherwise, cool idea.
I'll have to test out the validation process, but on 2nd glance, it looks good.