Ironclad: Transforming The Whitespace In Digital Contracting

Many years ago on this site, I wrote about The Story Behind Haystack’s Investment In Ironclad. Little did I know then what would unfold. Vertical enterprise software took off. Collaboration became the rage. The economics of software and the stickiness of well-crafted products became hard to beat. And, a friendship and partnership formed — all unlocked by one seemingly trivial decision.

Fast-forward to today — and we have Ironclad. The potential of this company can be hidden to even savvy observers. The magnitude of the problem, and therefore the opportunity, takes a bit of time to appreciate. The way I explain it to folks who inquire is – imagine all the business logic (and hence, potential for code) implicitly contained in a legal document or contract. Now, imagine if technology could help extract, load, and transform that logic into an automated workflow. To date, contracts have been nearly untouched by digital transformation because they’re so complex and interconnected. Ironclad’s vision from Day 1 was to embark on a journey to win these battles and finally bring contracts to the modern age.

For legal scholars and leaders, technologists, and contract specialists who are interested in the transformation of contracting, be sure to check out Ironclad’s State Of Digital Contracting, a quarterly online event that brings together world-class legal and technical minds to imagine what cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence, can transform how legal teams work and how contracts are formed, updated, and enforced.

I always joke with Jason that, when we originally met, I was not interested in the idea of Ironclad. That turned out to be foolish on my part. But what I did get right was identifying Jason as a unique leader. In the years that have followed, Haystack has proudly invested in every single round of the company. That is not something we normally do or frankly have had the opportunity to do. It feels great just to write that out; it is an honor to be a small part of their ride. As always, I’m reminded of a great quote from Mike Maples about what he looks for in a founder, paraphrased: “I’m looking for someone to get in trouble with.” Jason and Haystack, we got in some trouble, and am looking forward to more. Onward!