Working with Contractually

Helping instrument & grow B2B startups

I’ve been working with Contractually for the past 2 weeks1. I’ve always loved Martin’s vision for Contractually2 – both the concept of moving past “digital representations of paper” to more fluid, data-native documents, as well as modernization of the legal business.

Broadly speaking, I’m doing Business Development. I’ve been trying the role title “growth hacker” on for size, but the phrase is a bit problematic. It has gone from a useful description for a role that understands digital tools & metrics and pairs them with more traditional marketing and business development straight to a buzz word akin to “social media guru”. That is, if someone is using the label “growth hacker”, there is a good chance that they don’t know what the hell they are talking about.

Still, I find the term interesting. I’ve spent a lot of time talking to Ian Walker over at Perch about a variety of “glue” roles within growing web startups. We put on a Business Tools Hacking event that had about 20 people attend and share both what tools they used and what process they were supporting. More on this in a wrap up post about the event.

In any case, some of the first results of my work are now visible as the new Contractually marketing site is up. We ended up selecting Unbounce3 to run the handful of front page landing pages that describe the product and lead people to the sign up page. This is by no means finished, but we now have a framework for testing various hypotheses about different markets and channels. Stay tuned for further updates and new Contractually features.

Connection Karma

What else have I been doing? I spent a good chunk of time taking some time off with some trips down to Seattle, figuring out what I wanted to be spending my time on, and an assortment of startup meetings & events. For me, meetings, introductions, and seeing what happens when you spend time getting to know people fall under the broad heading of Connection Karma.

I’ve decided to focus on consulting contracts like the one with Contractually, as well as smaller projects that focus on strategic advice, marketing & business development projects, and in general helping companies to build learning organizations. What does that mean? Culture, tools, testing & experimentation across all parts of an organization – as well as the processes to gather everything together and make that information available to the people that need it4.

This is actually the first time in 8 years that I’ve had time in my schedule for projects of opportunity. I can’t shake the drive to be involved in helping to build the startup ecosystem here in my home town of Vancouver, so you’ll see some events & projects related to that. I’ve got some ideas of my own, but they’re (purposefully) not big ideas, more like an excuse to work with people & technologies that I enjoy working with.

I’m talking to a handful of other organizations and people about working together. For now, you can find out a bit more about working with me at my Connection Karma site.

Back to Contractually

Contractually is a great tool for anyone that needs to deal with contracts – freelancers that either don’t use contracts as often as they should (or at all!), companies that find the dance of emailing Word documents back and forth a pain, or even your HR department, that needs to keep track of employment agreements, IP assignment, and the handful of other documents that every employee needs to sign. Simplify your contracts process. Create, negotiate and e-sign your contracts online.

If you’re a web developer, a growing mid-size company, a photographer, or anyone else that works with contracts, I’d love to talk to you about how you use contracts today.


Footnotes

1</sup> Working with Contractually: I’ve been telling people that I left iQmetrix back at the beginning of July in person, but haven’t made a big announcement about it. Although if you watch my LinkedIn or Twitter profiles, I did flip the switch and change my profile descriptions back then. Note that this is a contract position - I’m consulting for a number of teams.

2</sup> Bootup Labs: Martin & Contractually were part of the first cohort of startups at Bootup Labs.

3</sup> Unbounce: I love both Unbounce the tool, and Unbounce the local Vancouver startup team. Designed for landing pages, I’m increasingly seeing it as a great tool to match with one-off domains, events, and even creating the 4 - 6 pages that make up the front end marketing pages of many web apps.

4</sup> KM:  I’ll do everything I can to avoid uttering the phrase “knowledge management”, since I fundamentally don’t believe that knowledge can be managed. More recently, we’ve seen the emergence of streams/flows, which more clearly shows that knowledge is not something that is locked away somewhere. At the same time, it feels like lots of organizations need to learn that email is where information goes to die the hard way.