Welcome back to our interview with HAYSTACKID President & CEO Kevin D. Glass. In Part 1, we discussed the reasons behind HAYSTACKID’s recent launch of a new office in NYC. In this second and final part of the conversation, Mr. Glass gives us his perspective on the new NYC office, LegalTech, and the current state of the marketplace in the city that never sleeps.
Do you have plans to expand the NYC office?
Yes. We are definitely looking to build it around Taulant, and have already started to do so at a rapid pace. He’ll definitely be entrenched in the New York scene, but he will also be working in a boundless fashion nationally.
And there’s already been some buzz among his current clients since he’s joined our team. They had seen the whole drama involved in his prior place of employment – such as not having internet access – and then saw how quickly we came in and got him set up.
This is one of the reasons why we are so confident in the New York office and where this launch will take our business in the coming years – it is the peak of mutually beneficial. He is going to have a major and positive impact on our company, and we are already elevating his stature in the field.
He was getting the job done even when he had every possible matter stacked up against him. Now, he is with a company that can provide him with everything he needs to complete the task. Couple that with the immense number of opportunities in New York City, and things get very interesting.
How do you mean?
Well, when you give a guy like Taulant the tools he needs, and position the operation in a city where opportunities are boundless, it’s quite simply a winning combination. And we know that we will have to prove ourselves there, but that is the beauty of the market in New York City. You are given a chance to prove yourself, and if you do, good things happen.
We know that this launch is going to end up as a very significant moment in HAYSTACKID’s unique storyline.
Alright, so briefly I want to touch on LegalTech, which you recently attended. Tell me your thoughts.
Well, frankly, I think that it was lame.
Not a lot of excitement. It’s like the big vendors have taken root, the established guys, and they’re sort of there, and no one is at their booths. “We’re big,” I guess is what they are going for.
It seemed like a lot of patting on the backs. There was nothing new, nothing innovative. I don’t know, I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I have to be honest with you. LegalTech was not the type of event I like to see, especially not for our industry.
The excitement of the industry is on the vendor side of things, but LegalTech just seemed to focus on the other moving parts which I find to be somewhat boring.
Listen, there’s just so much going on. We’re in this incredible and new and exciting industry. But what is being displayed is really the success of the biggest companies involved. It also seemed to be celebrating the fact that the giants have taken over the market, and that the little guy is gone. Or maybe that the only exciting things taking place are major buy-outs?
To be honest, it seemed weird for us to be there, maybe a little awkward.
Well, yeah. In celebrating the giants and the death of the little guy, it makes it seem as though we do not exist in these people’s eyes. But we do.
We are the boutique, white-glove, high-touch, SWAT, troubleshooting, triage team, and we are thriving. The other boutiques have either been bought out or could not survive, which is somewhat sad. However, it puts us in a very unique position, and one that we truly believe will continue to benefit us, our clients, and our partners.
You see, we are forced to be innovative. We are forced to go the extra mile, to find ways to tackle projects more intelligently, to give our clientele the best possible experience from the first moment on. And I like that, and I know our team does too.
What I worry about, though, is the impact that this trend that has largely shaped our marketplace is shifting toward, which is away from service-oriented support. I’m not sure that these giants are going to tend to the needs of end-users.
Think of it like this: Do you think a company like Microsoft is going to be taking attorney calls at two in the morning on Christmas? Are the representatives at a company like that going to be able to properly support the attorneys?
So while it is somewhat worrisome, I do believe that it enhances HAYSTACKID’s position in the marketplace. We are the boutique, white-glove, high-touch, SWAT, troubleshooting team that will always be necessary.
I am starting to get the sense that all of these changes are good for HAYSTACKID as well.
Yes, absolutely. Basically, we made it through the tough times. A lot of boutique service provider like us did not survive, and now the industry has reached a point that does not make it possible for a smaller firm to enter in.
For example, if we launched our business the first time in 2016, it would have simply been too competitive for us to have made it. At the same time, though, the market is increasingly filling up with these massive entities that will not be able to provide the specific, hands-on types of support attorneys and corporations need.
So, we’re in the middle of the road, and we are positioned to grow. We have been extremely successful and profitable, meaning we can support initiatives, innovate, bring people like Taulant on, and expand. We can handle the costs of staff, Relativity and other licenses, a forensic team, a sales team, and whatever else we need.
And having that in a boutique, full-service, triage-capable business in this industry is rare at best in 2017 and will only continue to fade out as time goes on. On the flip side, I do believe that HAYSTACKID’s value in the eyes of our competitors, partners, clients, and industry at large will grow immensely in the coming years.
HAYSTACKID remains poised to have a big year in 2017 under the leadership and guidance of Mr. Glass and the rest of its staff. Check back soon for more insights from the HAYSTACKID team!