August 28, 2012
Sending large files – like movies to a friend, or graphic files to a designer – often requires some creative thinking around the delivery method. Email, because of the file size, is usually not an option. Dropbox is, of course – but if your recipient doesn’t use Dropbox, include time for the registration process and software to download before any file sharing takes place.
This sharing dilemma is a situation in which Sam Franklin found himself. Franklin, CEO and founder of Greenvelope, an electronic invitation service where the designs model the look of a real paper invite, saw the business opportunity in the problem. Keyword research showed that even with the number of existing services available, a quarter of a million people were still searching for the phrase “file sharing.”
So Franklin worked with the team at Greenvelope to code, design, and launch FilesToFriends.com, a free service that makes sharing files up to 1 GB as easy as 1, 2 , 3. That is 1 – upload the file, 2 – enter the email you want to send it to, 3 – push the send button.
Below, Franklin shares news related to new features at Greenvelope, as well as what makes FilesToFriends.com stand apart from existing file sharing services.
Tech Cocktail: What makes Files To Friends unique?
Sam Franklin: Simplicity is what sets us apart. Dropbox works better as more of a file storage system, not file transfer. Most services have a small file limit, nothing like the 1 GB we offer.
On Files to Friends, a file is just being shared between two emails; it’s not like a peer-to-peer network, because it’s not public. It’s stored on our servers only for a limited amount of time.
Our service is also free.
Tech Cocktail: Are there plans to monetize Files To Friends?
Franklin: We will definitely need to monetize Files To Friends eventually, but due to our relatively low ongoing costs, we have the flexibility to keep it free for quite a while. I think having a free “full-featured” product is what will set us apart from the beginning. If we can get a lot of users enjoying and sharing the product, I am confident there will be a way to monetize that traffic in the future either through advertisements or premium features. At the moment, it makes me happy to see people excited about the service and using it to send their files (even if they are not paying).
Tech Cocktail: Greenvelope isn’t your first venture, is it?
Franklin: The funding for Greenvelope came from a business I had in high school pressure washing driveways and delivering pizzas at night. I took a year off before starting school (Washington University in St. Louis) and started Greenvelope while I was a student.
Tech Cocktail: Files To Friends has launched…what’s new at Greenvelope?
Franklin: Up to now, Greenvelope has focused on invitations for weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, and business events. We’re moving into offering birthday invitations for more milestone events, like 40th or 50th birthday parties.
We’re also getting ready to release a ticketing system. Organizations/nonprofits hosting large fundraising events with different pricing levels will be able to create and publish the invitation and seamlessly collect payment at the different pricing levels through our site.
Look for that feature beginning October 1st.
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