Friday, August 3, 2007

Protecting the Message

Here at MailFoundry the mantra is that we will "protect the message". In our world, the worst thing a spam filter can do is catch legitimate email as spam. So for us, Protecting the Message means that we'll deliver your email to your inbox on time, every time. When we look at adding new technology to the MailFoundry platform the number one priority is that we not increase the chance of a false positive. Period. The anti-spam industry has made email unreliable and our charter is to bring trust and continuity back to email.

When I saw this article about how a law firm had been fined as a result of its spam appliance (in this case, a Barracuda Networks box) loosing an emailed court notice, it further energizes me that what we're doing here and the success that we're having is a very important thing and we need to work even harder to tell our story to the world.

The technology in the Barracuda box is Spam Assassin. I'm a big fan of open source, but I think spam assassin sucks. Here's why : it has to examine each email and essentially 'guess' if the email is legitimate or not. Sure spam assassin can block a pile of spam, but the by product of its operation is an alarming number of false positives. Folks who have switched to us had rates of 1 in 150 to an amazing 1 in 30! This means that for every 30 emails you get, one will get incorrectly tagged as spam. The average email user receives 100 emails per day, so that means you would loose 3 valuable emails per day. And that's just for one user. Imagine a company of a few hundred people.

I applaud Dean and the crew at Barracuda for their business success in selling hardware with an open source software engine, but the problems of false positives are real and they have real world consequences in business.

Do you want to guess at your email? Neither do we. That's why we designed the MailFoundry engine from the ground up for ZERO false positives. I'll bet that law firm wishes they never bought that Barracuda box.

I'll get off my soapbox now but I just had to post on this. This kind of stuff drives us over here at MailFoundry and I hope you understand the passion behind our products.

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