Our Process

We rely on feedback loops at every
stage of the process to ensure that we’re
making data driven product decisions at each
critical point in your project.

STRATEGIZE
This phase is defined by learning, testing and iterating until we’ve arrived at an understanding of why, how and what we are building.
DESIGN
We believe that functionality is the highest form of beauty and emphasize intuitive user experience on every project.
CREATE
We operate as an agile team which follows a two week sprint schedule. We deliver a demo to you at the end of each sprint.
Our Process

Over past couple of years there has been a strong movement toward innovation and technology in the Wealth Management space. We have seen the rise of mobile investing applications backed by robo-advisors designed to attract a younger or more self controlling investor to AI’s utilize historical market data being leveraged inside of chatbots or driving investment strategies.

In fact, senior leadership of Accenture believes that the “Leading wealth firms will be the ones investing in an agile foundation that will allow them to both break new ground in advice offerings while rapidly evolving in response to investor demand.”

With the broad adoption of tech across the wealth management space we have identified a couple of key trends that will have the largest impact on the future of the industry:

Lower Barriers to Entry

One of those key trends is lowering the barrier of entry for users into the world of investing and wealth management. Start Up companies like Stash and Acorns leverage a strategy of collecting small recurring amounts of money in the hands of low cost robo-advisors to create a feeling of low risk in users and to quickly show value. All a user needs to do is sign up, link their account, and set their tolerance for portfolio aggressiveness. This allows users to go from non-investors to investors in a matter of a couple of minutes.

Millennials have become the top target of many of these efforts as the vast majority of this population has yet to engage in traditional investing activities. To understand how to bridge this gap we first have to take a look at the circumstances that lead us here. The reality is that the vast majority of millennials came out of college and into a job market that was ravaged by a major stock market crash combined with the highest percentage of debt holders in history. With these two factors combined it’s no wonder that millennials don’t have confidence in the markets as a reliable investment opportunity, or think they have captured enough value to see real returns through investing.

While the gap between who is investing and who is not, has yet to be materially influenced by the lack of millennial buy in, it certainly will over the coming years. This fear is so great that over fifty percent (50%) of industry leading CEO’s have identified reaching a millennial market as their core investment area for 2018. As a result we can expect an increased focus on capturing that market through new and innovative tools.

Building Loyalty

The second major trend we see in the wealth management community is an emerging importance on leveraging technology to build loyalty. In fact, a recent PwC survey titled Strategy and Global Wealth Management, it was found that less than 40% of investors are satisfied with a single source of wealth management and under 25% of investors would recommend their current wealth manager to a colleague. Fortunately, there is an opportunity for wealth management firms to build trust with their investors. That same PwC survey found that 70% of high net worth client viewed access to industry-leading technology as extremely important. As for ranking the importance of these tools in relation to a loyalty-driven experience, we see that same population rank a deep understanding and mastery of those technologies at or near the top. As one senior executive put it, “the adoption of integrated digital platforms and processes is imperative to delivering the level of service clients expect in today’s highly collaborative world.”

Both trends lead to the future of the wealth management industry being rooted in new products designed around the current and future users of wealth management services. Whether the goal is to attract new customers or to build confidence in existing customers, it is clear that innovation and demonstrating the power of the latest technology will play an integral role.

“Wealth organizations will continue to be rapidly changed by technology forces in the coming years. In order to lead the way in delivering hybrid advice at scale, now is the time to invest in harnessing innovation.” — Scott Reddel


What to Expect In Wealth Management in 2018 was originally published in FoundationLab Digest on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

What to Expect In Wealth Management in 2018

Over past couple of years there has been a strong movement toward innovation and technology in...

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Credit: CBinsights Legal Tech Market Map: 50 Startups Disrupting The … — CB Insights

It feels as though we are on the cusp of a legal technology revolution. Traditional law firms are investing heavily in new technology and productization. Successful serial entrepreneurs are building legal technology products. New technologies like AI and Blockchain, are emerging and happen to be incredibly applicable to the legal industry. Combined, those factors signal that we are about to see major innovations in one of the world’s oldest professions.

We are reminded, however, of those involved in the legal innovation or legal technology community who have been expressing this sentiment for years. So what is different about right now? Have we actually reached a tipping point? As a product design studio working heavily in the legal industry, we will be monitoring new innovations in the space and contributing to some of them. Here is a glimpse at the current state of legal tech in Q4'17.

NOTE: we will expound upon each of these topics in future articles and continue to track and share new innovations in the legal industry as they develop.

Part 1: The Classics

The legal technology industry, for years, was largely defined by e-discovery and document automation. Those markets have become incredibly saturated and could undergo a consolidation in coming years. If you are building an e-discovery product or a new document automation tool, it should be incredibly niche or novel.

A counter argument to my stance that the E-Discovery market is saturated could be made, since there is quite a bit of fragmentation. However, the largest incumbent is a product called Relativity. They’ve managed to build a Salesforce-like platform on which developers can craft and sell their own tools. So if you do spot a gap in the e-discovery market, you may be best served building it on top of the Relativity platform.

As a law student, I was exposed to a document automation tool called HotDocs. For a long time, HotDocs ruled the space. But Contract Express (acquired by Thomson Reuters) seems to be gaining ground. Many of our clients have turned to Contract Express over HotDocs based on its more intuitive UX for coding new documents and building out questionnaires that drive document assembly. Similar to the way in which the Founder’s Workbench white-labeled HotDocs, Cooley’s GO platform leverages Contract Express as the engine behind the docs generated on the platform.

New entrants will have difficulty unseating these companies in doc automation/doc assembly, but companies like Contract Standards have differentiated themselves in the space by focusing more on contract analytics as a means of crafting clause based templates. This is an area that should be explored further, especially with potential application of the growing capabilities of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Part 2: Trending

The legal industry, especially the big firm model, has experienced a power shift in recent years with law firms moving from price makers to price takers. The emergence of legal operations roles in corporations has changed the way in which companies hire their law firms. They are more focused on pricing and transparency, forcing firms to lower their rates or provide fixed bids at unprofitable levels and provide more diligent (costly) project management.

Some law firms have begun to productize their services (or at least think about it), as a way to deliver work more profitably. This is not entirely new. The Founder’s Workbench (mentioned in the above section) developed by Goodwin Proctor, has been around for years and provides startup founders with a series of resources around incorporation, growth activities and financing. Other firms have followed suit. Orrick made seed docs available for early stage financing, and Cooley (also mentioned in the above section) has done so more recently. But these products are viewed more as lead generation than actual legal services. With changing demands of their clients, firms will have to rethink the ways in which they deliver services, both the business models and modes of delivery. And they better move fast.

A company out of San Francisco, Atrium LTS, has just launched a platform that provides legal services through a fixed cost, affordable model. Citing his experience working with law firms as a “power user,” Justin Kan (former founder of Twitch.tv. and prolific angel investor) is aiming to massively disrupt the legal industry with the new Atrium platform. They are currently startup and venture capital focused, but could expand outside of those practice areas if they are able to successfully prove this model.

We could see Atrium pave the way for new entrants. Rather than selling products to law firms, like many of the current legal tech startups do, we could instead see companies adopt the original LegalZoom model — stepping around law firms, delivering their products straight to clients. If the future of legal services is the platform model, it will be interesting to see whether the big winners are startups (as has been the case in other industries) or if it will be existing firms through massive organizational change.

Part 3: What we’re excited about

Only the two hottest topics in tech right now: AI and Blockchain. And their application to the legal industry, of course. Both have been popularized to the point of becoming buzzwords. Legal tech companies have tried to ride the buzzword wave to gain mindshare. But there are a few companies in both spaces that are worth some attention.

Artificial Intelligence

In the AI realm, Ross Intelligence out of Toronto has a product aimed at making attorneys superhuman through the power of AI. They’ve built an easy to use, artificially intelligent legal research tool that can comb through unlimited case law to find the most relevant data. They have found tremendous success with big firms, claiming clients like: Latham and Watkins, Bryan Cave, and Baker Hostetler.

Another application of AI in the legal industry that we’re particularly hopeful about is chatbots. (We wrote about this recently). The ability to create a human like dialogue to provide legal advice is astounding. There have been examples of chatbots in legal in the Justice-as-a-Service area, but we’re hopeful that the applications for chatbots will grow dramatically in the coming years. (Like this Equifax chatbot). Law firms have so much institutional knowledge. Chatbots are a scalable way to monetize that knowledge.

Blockchain

The most prominent use of Blockchain technology in legal is smart contracts. Smart contracts have the ability to dramatically change the way contracts are constructed, automatically triggering performance based on certain events, without any human intervention. As the world becomes more digital, smart contracts may become the only way to govern transactions. This is an area that deserves the attention of legal professionals. (Note: great video on blockchain and smart contracts with Nick Szasbo)

There is also a company that sees Blockchain technology in the legal space going far beyond just smart contracts, but as the technology engine for all legal activity. A “universal, blockchain-based identities for legal information — matters, documents, clients, contracts, etc.” Integraledger is working on what could become the under belly of the legal system. We will be tracking this company, and others applying blockchain technology in the legal space.

A call to arms

If you are a designer, engineer or general product maker, you should be interested in this space. There are unique problems that need solving. Problems that could have significant impacts on the systems that govern our society.

If you are an entrepreneur, you should be interested in this space. TAM is almost incalculable. But as a reference, total spend on legal services by corporations alone is in the $400B range per year (some reports are closer to $600B).

We are hopeful that the legal industry will propel forward with the use of new technologies and we plan to be a part of that movement. If you’re interested in building new products in the legal space, give us a shout! We are always looking for new collaborators.

Check us out: foundationlab.co

Follow us on Twitter: @foundationlabco


Are we there yet? The State of Legal Tech 2017 was originally published in FoundationLab Digest on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Are we there yet? The State of Legal Tech 2017

Credit: CBinsights Legal Tech Market Map: 50 Startups Disrupting The … — CB InsightsIt feels as though we are on...

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If you haven’t heard yet, Equifax, one of the big three companies that you’d use to get your credit score, had a monster data breach which basically made 143 million american’s credit reports and information available. This was an intentional, and malicious hack of their data. But cyber security professionals 2 months prior to it happening warned the company of the vulnerabilities in their network.

In the past, those affected by a breach of this type would need to seek out an attorney to take them through the process of recovering damages. The legal fees incurred during the process could outrun your settlement dollars. Most people affected by breaches of this type never follow through with their legal claims nor see the remedy they are due.

Fortunately, a clever group has crafted a new way for you to recover damages if you’ve been harmed by the Equifax breach. You could leverage this chatbot to sue the company in small claims court, without an attorney. You can start the process here. The amount you could be eligible to receive depends on your state, but ranges from $2500 up to $25,000. Not bad!

As a company, we are bullish on the ability of technology to replace a lot of the time consuming (and costly) work that is not even profitable for attorneys. This is one area of particular interest, and has been classified Justice-as-a-Service (JaaS, if you will). The Equifax chatbot is one of many examples in which the use of technology can disrupt the norm and make justice available to the masses. Hooray chatbots!

Note: You will still need to send in the forms yourself and show up to small claims court. But it will save you from having to pay an attorney to do a lot of the initial work for you.


Chatbots used to sue Equifax for up to 25k was originally published in FoundationLab Digest on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Chatbots used to sue Equifax for up to 25k

If you haven’t heard yet, Equifax, one of the big three companies that you’d use to...

Read Article