We talked to Karol Kłaczyński of inteliLex on how to combine proven technologies, new ideas and legal knowledge into a useful tool for everyday usage and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Karol Kłaczyński: I must say it is not that bad – I work in the IT industry, so the home office is something I am familiar with, both when it comes to tools and techniques on how to stay effective at home. Of course, the number of live interactions is way smaller than before, but the Internet fills this gap a bit. We are pretty fortunate to have such a problem when communication is possible from everyone, everywhere, and nearly anytime like never before.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded inteliLex.
Karol Kłaczyński: Currently, I work as a Scrum Master in a multinational company and serve as a Product Owner, tester, Account Manager, and any role currently needed in inteliLex. I started my journey in IT more than seven years ago as a Business Analyst, and I had many parts, from a tester, sales guy to Scrum Master. All of them helped me see a product and company from very different perspectives, which is extremely important when founding your own company.
inteliLex was first an idea for Global Legal Hackathon – the largest LegalTech hackathon globally. After winning one of the main prizes in the finals in New York, we decided to give it a try and create a start-up.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Karol Kłaczyński: Obvious change is that any legal agreements between inteliLex shareholders are online – there are not many tools that support such cases and meet all the legal requirements. Another difference is the one we see on the market – some companies seek more for online collaboration tools, some cut their expenses, including IT tools. Those two effects seem to be pretty equal in the legal industry, so it does not affect the demand too much.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Karol Kłaczyński: COVID-19 did not make changes huge enough for us to make difficult choices. Most of our difficult decisions were more or less similar to any start-up trying to build a valuable SaaS b2b product. One most important lesson learned for me was that experience is everything. You can read hundreds of books, go for start-up meetings, etc. But until you experience building your own new company, you will probably make some typical mistakes.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Karol Kłaczyński: I try to keep physically fit, both by training sometimes at home and doing some gym or outdoor activities. But still, nothing is better than another person – especially the beloved one. I am happy to have such a person, and we do not have enough of ourselves for the time being. We keep a healthy amount of time separately and respect our limits 🙂
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Karol Kłaczyński: Our competitors are usually massive platforms that offer what we do plus many more, but for a much higher price. They also base mostly on on-premise (using customer’s infrastructure) solutions, while inteliLex is entirely online. It requires low implementation cost both when it comes to money as well as time. No competitor, at least in Europe, has such a solution.
Your final thoughts?
Karol Kłaczyński: It is hard to predict any future nowadays, even the next month – both for start-ups and huge companies, the incoming years will be difficult. The world has changed already – even law companies, usually traditional, are moving towards working entirely remotely, what was in managers’ and owners’ minds impossible before. On the other hand, lack of live interactions is becoming an issue for a growing number of people – may be the possibility of working from the office will become an argument for working in a particular company just like the possibility of the home office was a perk before?