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Who gives a Fax? Passenger Pigeon or Coelacanth?

The faxs of the matter are that I used it about twice a year. Some companies used to insist on using it for exchanging NDA but it’s been ages since anyone asked. I’ve used it for confirming hotel reservations too, but again a scan sent by email seems to be universally acceptable nowadays.

And so, it’s gone. I still have a fax line and will continue to pay for it, which makes it highly profitable for the provider (and a bit stupid of me), but it’s largely – well, almost entirely – redundant for us.

And yet there are plenty of providers still offering fax services. We have friends in the fax industry. Someone still uses them and many make money from them. It remains in certain niches, such as the legal profession, financial services and so on, which doubtless provide good business but the end must be in sight. Of course, these are hardly niches but really mega industries, so if you are in the fax game, then there’s presumably still quite an opportunity to provide a kind of combined fax and secure storage business.

But the faxt is that fax alone is heading for the fate of the passenger pigeon. Blended with something else (such as secure storage, as we note), it’s likely to remain for quite some time, like some sort of prehistoric survivor (see headline). And of course, the Coelacanth may be endangered, but they seem to thrive in the fastness of the ocean depths.

Even so, I feel we have contributed to that end by deleting it from our business cards (another passenger pigeon died today). I doubt I’ll be asked if we have a fax line again – and if that’s true, I’ll cut the service in a year. Meanwhile, if you want to send me a fax, you’ll have to send me an email first…