Over the past 10 years, Clio Co-founders Jack Newton and Rian Gauvreau have grown Clio from two to 250 employees, and from a new product to something that’s used by 150,000 legal professionals in 90 different countries. Here are some of the most important lessons they’ve learned along the way.
Lead the conversation
When Jack and Rian initially came up against hesitation over the cloud in the legal industry, they knew they had to lead the conversation.
They wrote white papers, took on speaking engagements, and formed the Legal Cloud Computing Association (LCCA) to set legal cloud computing standards and best practices. They even launched the Clio Cloud Conference, the biggest and best legal tech conference. Today, the cloud is generally accepted in the legal industry: 20 U.S. states have issued ethics opinions that permit cloud computing.
Communicate more as you grow
On the road from a single office to four global locations, communication at Clio has become more complex.
“Communication happens easily when you’re on small teams,” Rian explains. “Everybody knows what everybody else is doing. But with companies at scale, you have to engineer different ways of making sure everybody’s in the know, and that they have the information they need to effectively to do their jobs.”
Take time to define your values
Jack and Rian point to Clio’s values as a way they’ve successfully scaled Clio’s award-winning culture. With them, Clio has remained an environment where every employee is encouraged to innovate, share ideas, and take on new challenges.
“I think that was a key moment in our history,” Jack says. “I don’t think we would have scaled as successfully as we have without actually having our values as a touchstone that people can go to and reference on a day-to-day basis.”
Be irrationally optimistic and don’t go it alone
For Jack, it’s important to be optimistic about building a successful business, even if the odds aren’t in your favor. “There are a lot of downpoints that you reach as a founder, and if you’re not irrationally optimistic you’d just give up,” Jack explains.
Both Jack and Rian believe that having a strong friendship prior to founding Clio has supported the company’s success. “A big aspect of our joint success is having each other to lean on,” Jack says. “The whole idea is when you’re in those lows, you have someone to pick you up and help persevere.”
Invest in what matters most
One day, when Clio had about 60 employees, Rian and Jack walked into a common area at Clio HQ and saw faces they didn’t recognize for the first time. Then and there, they decided to meet every new Clion as part of the interview process going forward.
Jack and Rian being personally involved in the hiring process for every person who joins Clio isn’t necessarily something that’s scalable. However, to build a truly successful team, the pair has found some things are valuable enough to warrant the extra effort.
Learn more at clio.com