Meet The Guidr Founders – Guy Remond’s Story
by Guy Remond
Hi, I’m Guy Remond, entrepreneur, non-exec, investor, karate black belt (it’s been 15 years, but still!) and co-founder of Guidr. Guidr is a software company with a vision of working with local law firms to help them to increase their revenues by offering digitized and democratized legal services using the Guidr platform to clients they would ordinarily miss out on.
Throughout this series of blogs, my business partner, David Zumpano, and I will be sharing some expert advice on the growing relationship between the world of technology and the legal industry, and what that means for the future of law firms around the world.
We will be diving deep into some of the projects we have been working on, intending to show law firms that technology doesn’t have to be some expensive, complicated thing to shy away from. In fact, if approached in the right way, it can be quite simple and add tremendous value to your business!
We are incredibly excited to get started, but before we do, let me tell you a little bit about myself.
My early experiences with work
For anyone listening to our weekly podcast, The Legal Community Podcast, it will be very obvious from my accent that I was born and bred in Manchester, UK.
Growing up, I wasn’t your typical academic student at all. I did okay but certainly didn’t excel at anything in the academic world, and that suited me perfectly fine.
However, I later found out I was dyslexic, which explains a lot!
As a kid, I had two paper rounds, and as a young teenager, I worked in a shoe shop in my local town centre – my first experience in the working world! I discovered I was pretty good at selling shoes and all the upsells that came with it (we called them “fancies”).
After a little while of selling shoes, I moved to a big UK supermarket chain called Sainsbury’s. It was the biggest in the UK, it had a highly regarded and well-known manager training scheme, and for a 19-year-old wanting more beer money, it paid a lot better too!
For the next 11 years, I was quite happy at Sainsbury’s. I wouldn’t say I was great at my job, but I wasn’t bad either. Eventually, I worked my way up to the deputy manager role in a store that probably had around 350 employees.
It was an interesting time in my development. I learned a lot about managing people and it gave me a really good grounding in building relationships and building culture.
The closet geek makes a move
However, after 11 years, something changed.
I must have been a bit of a closet geek, because after seeing an advert for an electrical store, I had this urge to work with technology and cool gadgets and ended up applying to the advert and getting the gig.
This is where things really started to shift for me.
I started talking to a young guy who had this idea of selling cars online, right in the very early days of the commercial internet. Now, I didn’t know a huge amount about the internet, but I knew more than he did, which is always the recipe for success, in my opinion!
The birth of Cake Solutions
Using the internet to help sell cars was my first taste of a software project, and now there was no going back. After 18 months, I set up my own business with a very technically gifted young man called Rob Harrop, and together we started Cake Solutions.
Rob left the business in 2006, but I ended up running Cake for 17 years, and in this time, Cake became a very different business to most of the business in its sector.
For a start, we moved away from the traditional software development languages to a language that was only just being commercialized. It was a bit of a technical bet, but we saw it as being the future of technology, and fortunately, we were right.
Cake Solutions becomes famous in its niche
Technology hadn’t caught up with what people were trying to do online, but the technology we started to specialize in allowed that to happen and made sure that we could scale up to spikes in demand without websites crashing.
On top of that, as we were learning about all these new technologies, we started speaking about them within our community.
We went to conferences and did talks, engaged in technology user groups, wrote books and a lot of blogs too!
Like a lot of things in my life, there was no real plan for this. We just wanted to talk about what we were passionate about. However, when the opportunities started coming in, we spotted that we were getting noticed, and people were enjoying what we were putting out.
It was increasing our notoriety within the industry, and we inadvertently became the most well-known specialists in that particular area.
Our passion was engaging with our community
We didn’t have a sales team, and we never intended to have a sales team. We didn’t need one.
The engineers just enjoyed talking about what they were doing, and this content won us all of our business!
Unbeknown to us, our content was being seen by some of the biggest players out there too. Our eventual acquirer had followed us for four years, which eventually led them to make us an offer.
We weren’t looking to be acquired at the time, but having this offer on the table got me thinking about what else I could do and how I could use my experience to help other people.
The eventual sale of Cake Solutions in 2017 opened up a lot of opportunities for me to start helping, advising and investing in other technology-led businesses, which has been my passion for the last five years.
Another key factor in the shareholders decision to sell Cake was that I felt the acquiring organization was a great match for our team. They ended up working on a huge project that had become one of the biggest streaming platforms in the world!
The Guidr platform
This passion for technology and helping businesses grow is what led me to start Guidr with David. Together we’ve spent a lot of time and effort in building an advanced platform that maybe some of the smaller law firms don’t have the expertise or the money to build themselves.
We want to work with lawyers to build their business online instead of eroding the business by offering services that exclude them.
With this platform, we aim to help the small–medium sized law firms take advantage of technology and get ahead of their competition.
Throughout these blogs, we will be sharing how this platform works and providing law firms with some expert advice on how to embrace the growing need for technology in the world of business.
I cannot wait to get started!
More to come next week.
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The Digitization of Law
How to Transform Technology’s Disruption into Abounding Opportunities