VC pitch number four

2010 September 23
by Dave

Time again to call up our VC friend and get him to buy us more lunches. We are hungry. And there is something that I want someone to build. So get on it friends.

Online document delivery is nice. You don’t have to sort through your mail and decide what to keep where and for how long. You can keep everything forever and find it relatively easily. The only problem is that as much as I like the idea of online document delivery, the current implementation sucks.

For every new company that I allow to go paperless I get another email once or more a month to alert me that there is a new statement or communication. If I want to keep all of my documents together I have to follow the link to each and every new document, try to remember my password, probably fail, click the “forgot username/password” link, reset my password, log in and download it. Lame.

This is not a magical electronic file cabinet that fills itself. I can’t ignore it and just go to it when I want to get a document. I can’t pull out the bills folder on Friday night and see what came in this week and click on “pay all” to pay the bills that aren’t set to auto pay.

No one will be able to get all the bill generators to play ball and allow customers to select an online filing service to send documents to until a work around is in place. The creator of the work around will have a market share lead and be able to design their service with an api for direct filing in anticipation of creating demand for a more streamlined process.

I give to you the workaround:

I want a Gmail plugin that document notification emails get filtered to. This plugin will require a one time setup for each document that you get on a regular basis. The setup will include providing a user name and password for the document generator’s site as well as categorizing the documents that you get from them. The plugin will automatically save every document that you receive to an online filing thingy and also save them locally if you want. A bonus feature would be tight integration with all of the major banks’ online bill pay. An even cooler bonus feature would allow putting in credit card info to automatically log into each site and pay with your rewards card.

So getting paperless statements and notifications into your electronic file cabinet would take a two stage process every time you elect to go paperless. First you would click the go paperless button on your health insurance website and second you would open the first email notifying you of a new explanation of benefits letter and click on the “add to my file cabinet” button in gmail.

Eventually the health insurer would come around to letting you tell them to just send it directly to your electronic file cabinet and skip the gmail step. But in the mean time the above work around is perfectly able to be implemented as the web works today. All it needs is someone to put together a small team and get them going.

The initial monetization plan is to go ad sported, but the real exit strategy is to get bought by Intuit. Allowing TurboTax to intelligently mine your file cabinet to fill out your itemized deductions each year is a huge value add for them and would give them a better chance of winning more of the high end market from traditional CPAs.

Get pitching.

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