Clio's annual conference brings together lawyers and legal tech enthusiasts to learn and share their insight and experiences to hopefully move their respective professions forward collaboratively. At the 2018 Clio Con, Mary Juetten sat down with Kevin O'Keefe of LexBlog and Legal Tech Founders to discuss her own experiences with Traklight and her insights and advice for prospective entrepreneurs. Here are the main takeaways from the interview:
The serendipitous birth of Traklight. Mary describes the origins of Traklight as originating with the seeds of an idea planted during classes at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. In working with clients at the clinic, she saw the need for educating the average entrepreneur with limited legal knowledge in the finer points and importance of intellectual property law as it relates to all businesses. From those beginnings, the idea morphed into an “alpha” spreadsheet that would through iteration become what it is today.
Educate yourself. In talking about making Traklight a reality, Mary points out the early mistakes she made in finding software people to turn those early spreadsheets into a viable software program. She cites a hiring mistake with an early developer that went AWOL as a lesson learned in approaching hiring in areas outside your expertise:
"And when I look back now, I was completely stupid because like I just recently bought a new car and what did I do? I went out and educated myself on the car, but somehow with developers, we feel like we should not question them. So you should interview them, you should test them, you should do small projects and get them to do something and see if you like it. That was the mistake I made."
Unexpected opportunities. As with the founding of Traklight, many of the opportunities for partnership and growth have come from outside the traditional paths well-trod by other startups. Mary notes that while starting and running Evolve Law eventually took up far more time than she initially anticipated, many of the relationships formed as part of Evolve Law have opened the door for new partnerships for Traklight and also for her writing career.
Success takes time. There are no overnight successes, least of all in business. Mary describes running a business as "beyond a marathon, it's a triathlon..." and talks about the need to continually evaluate and change how you're operating your business if you want to ultimately succeed. In tech, and legal tech especially, the process of selling and adoption can be long, and feel even longer. Patience is required for those who want to maintain the path laid out and achieve lasting success.
If you want to read the full transcript of Mary's interview with Kevin O'Keefe, or watch the interview, you can find the post on Legal Tech Founders. Interested in finding out about your business’ risk? It’s free here on Nimbus Legal.