How One Lunch Transformed The Estate Planning Legal System
by Guidr founder Dave Zumpano (with co-founder Guy Remond)
At the turn of 2019 I was exploring my business goals for the next twelve months. Written next to one of my key objectives were the words “develop or abandon”.
Initial work on that objective, a digitized legal service, had begun three years earlier, but the products were not advanced enough to meet the greater needs of the law firms they were designed to serve.
I was prepared to abandon the whole idea, but then during lunch at a Strategic Coach® event (a business coaching program for entrepreneurs who want faster growth, greater profits and an exceptional life), I was introduced to Guy Remond, a tech entrepreneur, investor and non-executive.
The combination of his skill in developing easy-to-use, scalable and secure complex digital platforms and my legal expertise was exactly what was needed to develop Guidr: a software company helping local law firms to scale their businesses by offering an online legal service where clients can take control of their own estate planning, and where they are put in touch with the right legal professionals who can help them from the comfort of their own home.
You can hear me and Guy talk about our partnership in more depth in episode 3 of our podcast.
Studies have shown that most people would prefer to die than see a lawyer. I wanted to create a platform where everyday people who need legal expertise but don’t have the time (or the money) could easily meet their needs, and I wanted to keep it simple for lawyers. The online platform enables people to do as much of the legal process as they want to (with the option of additional input from lawyers), or it can provide a complete done-for-you legal service.
Guy and I had several meetings and within nine months we had absolute clarity and were in a position to start fully developing Guidr.
Our partnership reminded me of an event I’d attended years earlier where a keynote speaker held up one finger of each hand and asked the audience what you got when you put one together with one. The answer wasn’t two, it was 11; and that’s what happened when I was introduced to Guy. His domain expertise, his own personal and professional success, and his maturity in the tech industry brought so much more to the table. We were so much more than two people.
I have big dreams and visions for Guidr, and with Guy’s support and willingness to ask the right questions, he found solutions where other developers had encountered obstacles. The platform that Guy has built, which incorporates my legal expertise in estate planning, takes into account compliance and ethical considerations, making it easy for everyone.
Guy sums up our working relationship perfectly:
Guy: “I think it’s a perfect partnership for a number of reasons: we get along really well, we have disagreements but we chat them through and plan a way forward. It’s an easy relationship where everyone on our team wants to make this project work.”
Guy: “Technology touches every single company now. Those that don’t move with the times and look now at how they can benefit from technology will drop by the wayside; the ones that embrace it will be really successful. The future is coming fast, every company has to be aware of how that will affect them. Guidr helps the legal industry move forward and attract customers they might ordinarily miss out on.
We’ve put huge effort into considering what the customer will experience through this platform. How many times do you look at an old website from the ‘90s and it just doesn’t make sense? It doesn’t flow. And we worked a lot to get this right. Dave’s team has simplified the legal side and we’ve presented it online in a way that makes it easy to understand.
It’s become more than an estate planning website, it’s a genuine legal process and document platform. We’ve developed the technical side and the architecture, the coding etc., to be scalable, and we’ve worked really hard to create a cool, modern brand that reflects the difference we’re making in the legal industry.”
Now is the perfect opportunity for law firms to make the most of Guidr; over the past year, Covid-19 compelled people to adapt to technology, including the ones who didn’t want to or didn’t think they could. This platform can transform the estate planning legal industry. It might seem that Covid shut down the world, but it opened up our future, and within a year it will impact all levels of the legal industry and how they interact with their consumers.
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