Jordan Nemrow had an itch that he needed to scratch; he was struck with an idea for an app for baby boomers. Send a picture message via text and get it printed and shipped to the recipient you specify. Sounds simple enough, if you know which tools to use:
I used Lob to do the physical printing and shipping. They are a Y-combinator startup that has a sweet api for just that.
I began using Twilio (which was an obvious choice for integrating text messaging for me). I soon realized Twilio does not allow MMS (picture messages) in the US, so I searched and quickly came up with Mogreet. I got pretty much what I needed from them (they also have really great customer support and nice people).
Paypal had two major components I needed: micropayments, and pre-approvals. If you have transactions under $12 micropayments have a smaller fee. Pre-approvals allow me to send a pay request without the user confirming each time (necessary for a “text transaction”). I used their adaptive payments gem which was super easy to integrate.
Lastly I used AWS S3 to store my images. Prior to storing them in the cloud, I needed to trim them down to 4” x 6” which I completed fairly easily using imagemagick.