Re: Alternatives to icky polluted snailmail, was Re: fighting Anthrax w/ Dr. Strangelove

From: Dan Clemmensen (
Date: Sat Oct 20 2001 - 09:40:07 MDT

Michael M. Butler wrote:

> This resembles something FedEx was pushing a decade or more ago.
> "ZapMail" is described by one author as follows:
> Fred Smith, founder of FedEx, modeled ZAPmail after FedEx's highly
> successful overnight delivery system, but ZAPmail would be delivered
> in 2 hours! The problem was the business model didn't fit the
> technology -- ZAPmail used fax machines located in FedEx office to
> achieve its two hour delivery miracle. Now we all have a fax machine
> and FedEx lost millions on ZAPmail.
> (I've lost the URL to the source, but Google is your friend...)
> The basic idea was, yes, somebody scanned your paper and "made it appear" somewhere else.

The Fedex model is completely different than my proposal. For ZAPmail,
sender and receiver agree to use Fedex's fax machines instead of their
own. As you say, by the time Fedex got their fancy Faxes installed,
everybody else already had Fax.

My proposal is driven by the recipient's desire to avoid handling paper
mail when the sender sends it. By centralizing mail handling and then
sending only images, the receiver gains a lot of benefits: The originals
can be stored centrally, the interoffice mail is delivered more quickly,
and mail handling can be automated. I would estimate that at
least 90 percent of sealed mail could be delivered by image
(If you've ever worked in the mailroom, please comment on this.)

If you are a venture capitalist, please fund this development :-)

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