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Mission Impossible has
come to online messaging with BigString Corporations free self-destructing, erasable
and recallable email and videomail for consumers and businesses
3 Harding Road, Suite F
Red Bank, NJ 07701
Chief Financial Officer
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published - March 15, 2007
Robert S. DeMeulemeester Executive Vice President, Chief
Financial Officer and Treasurer
Robert S. DeMeulemeester has served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
and Treasurer since September 2006. Prior to joining BigString, from 1998 to 2006, Mr.
DeMeulemeester served as managing director and treasurer of the Securities Industry
Automation Corporation ("SIAC"), a New York based provider of automated
information and communication systems that supports the NYSE Group, the American Stock
Exchange and related affiliates. He also served as managing director, CFO and controller
of Sector, Inc. From 1993 to 1997, he served as an executive in marketing, business
development and finance at Honeywell International Inc. (formerly AlliedSignal, Inc.) and
from 1989 to 1991 as a management consultant at Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting).
Mr. DeMeulemeester earned his MBA at Columbia Business School, Columbia University and his
Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, in Industrial Engineering at Lehigh University.
BigString Corporation (OTCBB: BSGC)
protects individuals privacy and security in e-communications. BigString,
owner and operator of BigString.com, is a leading, global provider of user-controlled
BigStrings Beta 2.0 email, The Worlds Coolest EmailTM, is a
web-based email service for individuals and businesses. Free accounts help individuals
better protect their privacy and security with complete control over sent mail. While many
people signed on with BigString because they too recognized the danger of eroding privacy
in e-communications, what they really appreciated was the value of having features that
were, until now, unthinkable the ability to recall, erase, edit or destroy an email
after it had been sent.
Anyone who has used email knows that it is flawed...everyone has their wish list of
improvements. However, not everyone is aware of the growing privacy crisis or has yet been
jolted into action. We took the simple idea that if we fixed the flaws and made email
cool, we would better protect societys privacy and help make them safe and secure.
The Beta 2.0 release has received an outstanding
response. The features of our top-rated email are appreciated by all types of individuals
and small/medium businesses, including the fervently hip, students, families, social
networking, online dating, artists, musicians, videographers, photographers, copyrighters,
journalists, reporters, executives, agents, brokers, marketers and sales representatives.
BigString is developing multiple language web sites, including its recently released
Chinese versions, to further individuals privacy globally.
BigString has filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
that covers the BigString software, methodology and business processes for recallable and
Our wholly owned subsidiary, BigString Interactive, provides an interactive web portal
with live, streaming audio and video; interactive chat rooms, forums and blogs; a global
internet video and photo search engine; and humorous videos, animations, games and picture
CEOCFO: Mr. DeMeulemeester, will you
tell us about your background with BigString?
I joined BigString about four months ago and I saw an opportunity to help grow this
company, which is a public listed over the counter. What BigString does is they pioneered
the only email that is truly recallable, erasable and self-destructible. We have completed
an upgrade to our email system and we are looking to roll it forward now.
CEOCFO: I can understand recallable and
erasable emails; but why a self-destructing email?
A self-destructing email is a way to help individuals protect their privacy and
security with complete control over their sent mail. Many people so far have converted to
BigString because they understand the dangers of the eroding privacy and e-communications
and the social liability with that. However, a number of people today still overlook the
importance of protecting their privacy and security. For instance, young people may want
to put their funniest video on YouTube or create the boldest page on MySpace or just email
the most outrageous pictures and messages. Unfortunately, there are media reports everyday
regarding these indiscretions and during that time, there are liability issues associated
with them. Therefore, what we have done is picked the simple idea that we could make email
cool and fun, and at the same time, better protect individuals privacy and help make
them safe and secure.
CEOCFO: Will you tell us how the BigString
email program works?
BigString is a web-based email program similar to Yahoo, Google, AOL and Hotmail. It
is accessed over the internet and we also have an interface for email client programs,
such as Outlook. Email users can go to www.BigString.com and sign up for a free account,
as our accounts are free for users, and they use it just like any other web-based email
system. It looks exactly like any other email except our patent-pending technology allows
the users to fully track when their recipients open their email and recall it, erase it,
or self-destruct it at any point in time, which protects their privacy and security. With
our leading features, we believe BigStrings top-rated email is the Worlds
CEOCFO: How protected is your technology
With our patent that is pending, we believe it is very secure.
CEOCFO: Who is using your email program
We have three service levels; one is our base account, which is free for users, and
approximately 85% of our client base is using that service. We have an upgrade to our
premium service for people that want POP3 type access, for instance using an email client
like Outlook, and we provide additional storage of two gigabits of data storage. We also
have business users where the manager can fully control all email accounts; it is simple
and it is a great solution for small businesses.
CEOCFO: How are you marketing your
We are just getting started with the marketing of our email program. We are now in
stage four; stage one was developing the recallable system. We put in the infrastructure
to be able to handle millions of users. We completed a major upgrade in December.
Therefore, we are at the point now where we are just starting to roll this out.
CEOCFO: Are you targeting businesses or
We are targeting both businesses and individuals at the same time.
CEOCFO: What is the master plan?
It is going to be a combination and number one is affinity programs with partners.
Number two, is our marketing efforts, which are going to be a combination of primarily
web-based email marketing as well as some selective radio type spots. Thirdly, on the
business side, we will be looking to bring on some sales people specifically targeting
CEOCFO: You just announced a Chinese
version; please tell us about that?
We actually were at the RedChip China-America Small-Cap Investor Conference last
fall and there were a number of small businesses doing business with China. We got the
feeling that there was a great need to help people better protect their privacy and
security, especially people dealing with China.
CEOCFO: Do you foresee doing this in other
Yes, we plan to roll out in multiple languages. The Chinese languages were our first
multi-language versions and we will be rolling some additional ones out in the coming
CEOCFO: You are a public company and
development is expensive; how are you funded?
We are a public company and the original set-up was through friends and family. The
Tudor Investment group of hedge funds placed a private investment with us in the May
timeframe and we have been rolling forward with that.
CEOCFO: Has the general investment
community noticed you yet?
I do not think they have yet. We will probably be getting out and about more with
them and we have just started that this month. We have been in a test-marketing phase so
far and the results have been beyond our expectations. We are bringing in records of new
sign-ups almost everyday. One big aspect of that is what we call the viral factor, and
that is when somebody sends an email out using our service and another person receives
that and they say that is really cool, and I want to sign up and send that to my
friends. As an example of that, we have a video email, which is a very simple
interface where a camera is hooked up to your computer and when you go into the email
system, you can just click on record video email, and it will pick that video up. You hit
review, and send when you are ready.
CEOCFO: Are there other components that you
would like to add to your system?
We are adding components all the time. There are a number of items in the works and
although I cant get into specifics, it is keeping with the theme of being the
worlds coolest email service.
CEOCFO: Why should investors be interested?
We have very successful stand-alone business. We are looking as we ramp up that we
will sign up a number of users in the upcoming year and that will continue. We have a
recurring revenue model where the free service is supported by advertisements. We have a
low cost associated with each user. Longer-term there will be a number of opportunities to
partner selectively with other larger firms where we have a proprietary technology that
could really provide another firm with a competitive advantage.
CEOCFO: What is the demographic you are
targeting on the consumer base?
The consumer base is wide open, however the demographics we are focusing on are the
people that are into social networks, posting on video servers such as YouTube; what we
call the hipsters. That tends to be a younger crowd, who are open to top technology and
willing to switch.
CEOCFO: In closing, what should people
remember about BigString?
First, our business is focused on the consumer, protecting their privacy and
security. Secondly, we feel we have the best overall email system and that it does not
take a whole lot of effort to change the email system that one uses, especially with
web-based email programs. It is just overcoming the inertia for a lot of people. When you
think about the cool features we have; we have really made it fun and there is a lot of
functionality that is not in-place by any other email provider.
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