#42 Playing Nice

This is post #42 of my #365 day series.
Photo by Oleksii S on Unsplash

My team will tell you, I’ve tried really hard to play nice with other teams. I’ve reached out to numerous companies trying to setup collaborations. I’ve offered to lend out my experience and offered integrations and engineering support to make stuff happen. So why is it, that it feels like only 1 out of the 10 companies I talk to are enthusiastic about collaborating? The weird thing is, it’s only the successful companies that are willing to collaborate, whereas the smaller teams that are struggling are less likely to continue the conversation. I don’t have a definitive answer, but my hunch is that in our industry (LegalTech), it’s inherited a lot from the closed-looped legal system. Law firms are in constant battle with each other. Big firm versus big firm. Small firm versus big firm. Lawyer versus Lawyer. No wonder why they react oddly when I propose collaborating, they haven’t operated in such an environment. It’s always been me versus you. They don’t know any different.

But it doesn’t need to be that way. I was speaking with a VC investor friend today and she asked me why that was the case, especially since it seems like the software developer community is so much more open. That’s my mentality as well. To approach everything with a one community approach, but I’m often met with skepticism and cynicism. So, the question then becomes, how do we create a more collaborative environment? By showing not talking about it.

If you play pickup basketball, you’ll inevitably encounter players that just want to shoot. The same players never play defense because it somehow gets in the way of them shooting the ball. The way to train those players to be better teammates is to throw some well placed passes to them and teach them how defense can help win the game. This doesn’t work, because some people play like they just get paid to shoot the ball and not win the game, but you can’t save a lost cause. Those guys end up never getting picked on teams anyways, and don’t know what it’s like to win with a team.

So how does this translate to what we’re working on in legaltech? I wrote an article about build versus buy. Building by yourself in this environment is just like trying to shoot the ball every time you get it. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

So now what? Well, knock on wood, we’re starting to win more and more games so we’re hoping that more companies will see the light. We’ll collaborate with the players that want to play to win. We’ve got announcements and collaborations lined up, so I’m excited to see what the next few months bring us. And for those that keep wanting to shoot the ball, good luck.

Final note because I’m in the middle of playing call of duty and need to get this to my target word count — why hasn’t Activision fixed the warzone rebirth lobbies? That’ll be the discussion for next time.

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