Each of us at Legal Labs has a deep, sincere affinity to the spirit of innovation, natural optimism, cultural values, and camaraderie you find in startups. When done right, led well, and given a chance, nothing else (in the corporate world at least) quite inspires, taps into and brings out the very best in people.
We say this from personal experience. Very few lawyers at law firms know of any life outside of the law firm. In contrast, every one of us has spent time on at least one other side of the table, whether as early general counsels, venture capitalists, programmers, and even founders or co-founders of startups themselves. Patrick, in fact, just launched his most recent startup a couple of months ago, with an experienced team he’s launched previous startups with as well. (Now, if we can figure out how to get him to hire Legal Labs...) Gene narrowly dodged a bullet in 2000, when he joined the “original” Napster, with Shawn Fanning and the original crew, then at the height of its cultural impact with some 70M unique users, instead of the taking that GC job at Intertrust (which went on to become one of the most successful patent licensing entities in history). Something about wanting to actually make things, maybe a holdover from his days as a Mac programmer to help pay for college, maybe partially out of guilt for taking that NASA scholarship for aeronautical (space) studies. Brad has had his own share of startup experience, including as co-GC at my last major startup, Beyond Oblivion, a music service that raised $70M but unfortunately buckled after an investor battle over control. For a while, Brad and I were managing a worldwide team of 15 lawyers. He went on to become the GC to media giant IAC’s stable of Internet properties.
In a nutshell, we've had a chance to walk a mile in your shoes, our clients, with real skin in the game, and we know all to well the demands, constraints, and pressures that companies must manage and contain while also dealing with the - oftentimes - cash (and time and effort and goodwill) hemorrhage known as "outside counsel." We all have a sense of the sacrifices made not just by the management, but by the rank-and-file, who just as much put their all into the venture, trusting management to be doing what it needs to be doing