A product encompasses any source of value that customers obtain from your company. This extends to the customers’ experience. – The Lean Start-Up, Eric Ries

In Market Discovery and Intelligence class, we learned that during product development we should contact potential customers in order to learn about what they really want and test our assumptions about customers by using a minimum viable product.

“A minimum viable product has just those core features that allow the product to be deployed and no more.” (Wikipedia) The minimum viable product allows companies to get through the build- measure- learn feedback loop. The feedback is then used to establish real data on the company’s progress.

While testing assumptions, it may be necessary to pivot and use a different method for achieving the company’s vision. A pivot is a strategic hypothesis. The hypothesis could be about: customer segment, customer need, platform, business architecture, value capture, engine of growth, or technology.

Perhaps the difference between the growth of law firms versus online legal products can be attributed to the responsiveness of companies to customers. More and more people are opting to use products that enable them to do the work themselves rather than hire a lawyer. As mentioned earlier, online legal products are growing at 10% with law firm growth in Canada stagnant at under 2%.

Online legal products remove many hassles commonly associated with going to a lawyer. Online legal products can be used immediately from anywhere by anyone. In contrast, lawyers have ethical obligations that require them to vet the client and to search for conflicts. Many people like the immediacy of online legal products and do not mind sacrificing customization when purchasing products/services like wills, incorporations, trademark/copyright registrations, and simple contracts.

It will be interesting to see how legal services develop as software becomes more sophisticated and more responsive to customer needs.


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This is a sponsored post on behalf of University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies Certificate in Entrepreneurship program; however, the opinions provided are my own.