It’s hard to believe, but ten years ago this month, Rocket Matter landed its first client. We started celebrating our 10th anniversary last Friday, and we’re going to continue doing so all year long.
When you’re running a business, it’s sometimes difficult to stop and smell the roses. Software companies are no different than law firms from that perspective: It always seems like you don’t have enough hours in the day to take care of everything. You’re moving so fast, it’s often tough to appreciate what you’ve built and how far you’ve come.
But ten years? That’s worthy of a little introspection. For a tech start-up, that’s a rarely-achieved accomplishment. We were the first cloud-based legal practice management software on the market and our product innovations still lead the field. Many of our competitors continue to study and emulate us to this day.
We proved the cloud legal practice management market, but not without the proverbial arrows in our backs. We had to fight consultants who thrived on the client/server model and sowed fear, uncertainty, and doubts about the use of the cloud for law firms. We never raised institutional capital and have out-innovated and out-sold companies with millions and, in some cases, billions of dollars that entered our market.
And it all started with our first client.
Finding a law firm willing to install never-before-used software is a challenge to say the least. Lawyers are often risk-averse and make decisions based on precedent. If software has never been used, there is no precedent. You either need to find a technology enthusiast or a lawyer with a tremendous amount of courage. Luckily, I found the latter. I became friendly with Peter Sosin, a litigator who was a paratrooper in the Israeli Defense Forces before he became a lawyer. Lawyer? Check. Cojones? Check.
Peter was with the firm Shiner & Sosin in November of 2007. We rolled out our software to his firm before we even had a name for “The Product,” as Peter sometimes still calls it.
The roll-out was not without its issues. One of the people on Peter’s staff had never used a computer before. She did not take kindly to The Product. Also, after Peter started tracking time for a while, he wanted to know how to generate invoices. Invoice generation was not originally part of The Product, so I pulled an all-nighter and coded an invoicing package.
Peter has since gone solo, and he continues using Rocket Matter to this day. He is also our company’s corporate attorney (which results in the strange situation of us receiving invoices with the software that we built).
Never ones to pass up a celebration, we decided to initiate our 10th anniversary celebration by inviting Peter over to the office. I told the story of his roll-out. We commissioned a cake with his face on it, raised a champagne toast, and interviewed Peter for our podcast.
Throughout this year we’re going to have a lot of fun. We are rolling out a 10th anniversary logo, which if I get my wish, we will recreate as an ice sculpture each morning at our corporate headquarters. It features an homage to our original logo, which we replaced in 2014.
We’ll be doing road shows, publishing books, and throwing a blowout party. Of course, we’re going to continue to innovate and stay on the leading edge of legal software. After all, as the most enduring and trusted name in cloud legal practice management software, we not only have a lot to celebrate—we also have a lot to live up to for years to come.