Shelfware vs. Realware

Written by Teruel Carrasco of, an online platform designed for business lawyers that makes the transaction process more efficient and accurate.
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The philosophical promise of technology continues to be that it will make your life easier. Does it always, though? The enterprise technology solution narrative centers around “increase productivity”, “decrease costs” and “ease of use”. Often the initial promise of a piece of software is lost in long “pilot” programs, user confusion around what was promised, and frustration that it is not delivering an easier experience. What occurs as a result of failed implementation projects are solutions that become “shelfware”. This means that either the solution did not deliver the desired “improved” outcome and users are no longer interested in using it or the end user did not understand what problem the solution was solving in the first place. Do these issues occur in legal tech? I dare say yes.

Legal technology has emerged as an important standalone software category with many solution providers carving out niche opportunities to deliver solutions to problems that have long been recognized in the legal community but have not been sufficiently solved. The same challenge of Shelfware vs. Realware exists now in legal tech and the debate of how to deliver on the promise of technology continues to challenge many new legal tech startups and older technology firms. The legal tech and legal community have a unique opportunity to review mistakes from the past and to build out the economics of a solution. Realware is about building solutions that are tangibly able to deliver on the promise of technology. An example of realware that many of us use on a regular basis is ride-sharing. Ride sharing technology brought together GPS tracking technology, a reservation system and an in-app payment system, all combined in one app on your phone. The disruptive nature of these platforms have been credited with the creation of the gig economy. A real tangible societal benefit for consumers (the treatment of drivers and workers in gig economies is a matter beyond this post, however). dealcloser was founded with the mission to bring real, tangible, measurable solutions critical to corporate lawyers managing and growing their corporate practice. This mission fuels everything we do, from our easy to use UI to our newly released mobile application. In our small way we want to take the practice of corporate law and change it. Will the solution we’re building empower corporate lawyers to grow, effectively manage their corporate practice and achieve work-life balance? Is that even possible? We dare say yes! The philosophical promise of technology is to make your life easier and we will do that. We call it our Win-Win-Win proposition. You – Your Family- Your Client! Happy Building!

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