Email sender remorse is a thing of the past, if Bigstring.com CEO and founder Darin Myman has his way. The start up has developed a service that allows emails to be edited, recalled, or made to self-destruct. Emails, videos and pictures can also be rendered non printable, non-save-able or and / or non-forward-able.
While other vendors allow non-forwarding email and email recall to varying degrees, Bigstring appears to be the first company to bring a full featured recallable, destructible, editable email service to market.
The free service offers self-destructing, non printable, non-forward-able, advanced tracking, masquerading, recallable, view-once and erasable email, with spam and virus filters, attachment capacity, around the clock support and 1 GB storage. Two upgrades are also available. For US$29.95, Bigstring premium offers a free account with a personalised domain name, POP3 access using any email client and 2GB of storage. For US$12.50 a month, Bigstring Business allows 20 GB of storage, 10 email accounts, advanced email management and contact management.
PC World Australia talks with Darin Myman, via self-destructing email, about his business, where it started, where it is heading and how it lends itself to the world of Web 2.0 and social networking.
On your website you say that three years ago, the Bigstring founders set out to build "the best Spam fighting email system on the planet", and then, quite by accident, you invented the world's first fully erasable email and didn't even realize it. What happened?
At the time when I came up with the idea for Bigstring we were working on email anti-spam product, when I accidentally sent an email with the wrong attachment to a potential client. In a panic I went to our developers and asked if there was anyway to get an email back. They of course said no.
Earlier that week a friend of mine who was going through a nasty divorce found out that his wife had gained access to one of his email accounts. When he told me, I said wouldn't be great if they had a shredder for email. These two accidental events led to the creation of Bigstring.
Why do you think no one else has thought of this before you guys brought it to market?
We have all seen movies and television shows where messages self-destruct- I guess no one ever sat down and came up with an easy to use system that does it for email.
You launched your business in 2004. How long were you developing the product prior to launch?
Over a year.
Can you elaborate a little on how the service actually works?
Essentially we created a fax machine for email. When you hit send we create an exact replica of your email that streams into the recipient's inbox when it opens. It disappears when the sender cuts the string, either by hitting self-destruct or setting a predetermined amount of views or time it can be seen. Essentially we have created a personalized digital rights management tool. You decide how long a message, picture or video can be seen.
What spam and virus protection do you use?
(We use) third party software such as SpamAssassin and ClamAV in addition to in-house developed proprietary software.
What growth have you seen since you launched?
We just moved to the free model last December and already added almost 150,000 new accounts.
What is your primary target market?
We primarily target the consumer market.