Innovation and the prehistoric fax, which will survive? Some technologies refuse to die. Fax is one of them.

The medical community is big on fax as is the IRS. I’m sure there are other industries, such as banking and brokerage houses. Fax is considered “more secure.” Who doesn’t love seeing faxes piling up on an unattended fax machine? We’ve all seen it. I leave it to you to decide if you think it’s “more secure.”

In the past 10 years, I’ve sent maybe 3 faxes. I’ve received none. Each time, I go to the UPS Store or FedEx Office to send a fax. I’d need a different solution if I had to send them frequently.

Like most people I know, I scan a document into a PDF file and email the document. People who want faxes consider this “not secure.”

Recently I had to speak with an IRS agent about a very simple matter on behalf of a family member. They had asked that payment be mailed by December 9th which I did. The bank shows the funds were pulled from the account on December 12th. All is good, right?

No. I received a letter saying the account owed about $2 more than what was mailed on December 9th. I assumed that, somehow, the second letter had crossed in the mail. But, come to find out, I had to speak with an IRS agent to confirm this. This meant I was on hold for over an hour waiting to speak with someone.

I asked if I could fax some information and was told that I need to get an IRS agent on the phone and once on the phone I’ll be given a fax number for that IRS agent. It sounds like fun if you’re at a retail outlet!

How many people have fax capabilities in 2020? Is fax on the upswing or in a death spiral as a technology? I guess it’s only in a death spiral for most industries.

So, I surrender. I now have an eFax number. If you want my fax number, call me, shoot me an email, or a text message.

Thought for the week:

“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.” – Stewart Brand

 

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Dave Gardner

Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, author, and blogger based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner focuses on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. Dave is the author of Mass Customization: An Enterprise-Wide Business Strategy - How Build to Order, Assemble to Order, Configure to Order, Make to Order, and Engineer to Order Manufacturers Increase Profits and Better Satisfy Customers.

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