In today’s blog post we want to focus on the positive actions of the corporate side, instead of the negative. Our aim is to give the corporations a different angle about working with startups. Collaborating with us doesn’t have to be so problematic. We want to point out that it's not always about overcoming barriers. Some of you are already taking concrete steps and doing great things with startups! Today, we want to highlight a fantastic practice that our partner has implemented in our collaborative operations.
So, thank you for NOT INVOLVING LAWYERS! Corporations that want to work with startups and actually get results, DO NOT INVOLVE LAWYERS! Don't involve them in any practices with startups if possible, not even when investing. Trust us, it is possible and no one has died or went bankrupt so far.
Here’s why lawyers tend to be the ones to throw a spanner in the works.
1. Lawyers get paid for analyzing and minimizing risks.
No matter how hard you try to include every detail in a contract, there will always be risks when your collaborating with startups. Startups are not smaller versions of corporations, so you shouldn’t apply the same 132 page long contracts on them. They can’t piece together contracts that complicated. Getting the legal help to figure out a contract that complex would probably suffocate the whole startup.
2. Lawyers focus on obstacles instead of possibilities.
Lawyers will come up with a million reasons why working with a startup is too risky (we’re not saying that risk management isn’t smart to a point). They don’t consider the risks that corporations face if they choose to stay out of the startup game. Their KPI’s are not designed to focus on making profit, but to cut risks. There's always a risk in novelty, and considering the times we're now living, you don't want to be playing it safe.
3. Involving attorneys will slow the process down… a lot!
The easiest way to start a collaboration with a startup is to kick off a pilot with them. You want to start the pilot as soon as possible to test the product and see what works and what doesn't. The problem is that when you include the legal team in the process, they will use the same structure for a pilot as they do with a billion dollar deal. Even though those structures aren't necessary when dealing with a minor process like a pilot. The slowness of that structure will kill the startup and the collaboration. This slows down the actualization of the payment for the the startup and they're forced to use their limited resources for hiring legal help.
In most cases, if a company is unable to build a contract that's no longer than a few pages, they’re not able to utilize startups in a sensible way. These are the type of companies that are not able to make agile changes and will eventually die in their own impossibility.
We have been over the moon with our clients that are brave enough to not involve their legal team in our contracts. It makes the collaboration so much more efficient and rewarding for both parties. It’s great to introduce successful startups for corporations, that are ready to take instant steps with the startups. These corporations are the clients that make the most out of our collaboration. When you take concrete steps, you start seeing concrete results. It’s important to highlight these types of practices because they're not self-evident. There are only a handful of companies that are brave enough to take these crucial steps towards innovation and agility.