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July 27, 2013 by huionn

On 1 July 2013, I launched my product – a legal case management software for small legal firms.

On 25 July 2013, I decided to move away from legal software market.

On 26 July 2013, I modified the software and website to target all small businesses.

Within the period of 26 days, I sent tens of emails, bought Google AdWords to attract traffics and I was monitoring the web traffic with Google Analytics. In conclusion, there is lukewarm interest in my ‘solution’. In retrospect, I realized that I have made many mistakes in targeting legal firms.

  1. Although I read Customer Development and Lean Startup, I failed to do the most important part – face-to-face talk to potential customers whether they need a solutions for their “problems”.
  2. I know that lawyers are resistant in using new technology, but I underestimate the difficulty to acquire users through online marketing.
  3. Combining the two factors above, with only around 10,000 lawyers in Malaysia, there is no enough market size to fill in the funnel. (Ideally, 10% are willing to try new technology => 10% visit my website => 10% sign up =>10% become paying customers or in the end, I will get 1 customer)’
  4. Actually, during market study, I found that over 60% of legal software vendors are out of business in a few year time (based on listing in directories). I was blind to this warning sign then.

Optimistically, it could still be ‘successful’ in a few years time if I am good in face-to-face sales and I can get word of mouth later. Nevertheless, after re-reading “The Long, Slow, SaaS Ramp Of Death”, I decided that it’s time to pivot.

From the beginning, I considered legal case management system as the first part of my vision.  I hope that I can get more traction by targeting a niche market. But I failed.

My goal is to develop an affordable case management system for small businesses. For most small businesses, it is most effective to use Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook for most aspects of business – Human Resource, Contact Management, Finance, Sales, Support etc. The drawback is in collaboration, information scattering and data backup. Due to their size, it is overkill to use HRM, CRM, Accounting, Helpdesk for each aspect of business.  An adaptive case management system can be adapted to manage human resource, contact & clients, customer support etc and they can do so without dramatically change of their current practice.


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