Reinvigorated, renewed and ready to rock again
We’ve come full circle, i.e., back to the law biz, although in a completely different way.
Last June I had grown terminally stale with the lawyer training business, so I fired myself and set out to identify a new challenge/opportunity. My strategy was to insert myself into a vibrant idea stream and see which ones interested me and were aligned with my skills and experience. I created this blog to share the journey with those interested.
At the time, I speculated that industries undergoing the most wrenching change might logically offer such opportunity because they were completely redefining themselves. Through November, I investigated four emerging sectors: electric cars, sustainable construction, wireless media and education.
While I accomplished the easy goal of reinvigorating myself intellectually via the robust idea stream in those sectors, I learned that my strategy was sound but my timing was off. Each of those emerging sectors are at an early stage of evolution, e.g., proof-of-concept, early prototype or research grant stage; none were yet experiencing the kinds of strategic- or systemic sales problems that I solve. It will be awhile before they need someone like me.
I remain confident of the economic viability of SpeedRaceway, our electric go-kart track in Denver, however, my desire to participate actively conflicted with the control-freak founder, so I’ve gone back to being a passive investor.
A month or so ago I was trading ideas with Craig Levinson, who was a frequent client in the lawyer-training biz and who has become a good friend during that almost-decade. We discovered a glaring weakness in the introduction processes included in sites like LinkedIn and others, a weakness that we can solve by automating one of the core processes in my longtime ResultsPath training program. We decided that this would be a worthy venture, i.e., fun to create, having a big economic upside, and delivering positive social impact, e.g., connecting the unemployed and under-employed with those who need their skills the most.
In the course of looking for a co-founder with the technical capability to build and iteratively develop the product, I met Brad Doyle, of LightSpeed Marketing Group, the marketing arm of LightSpeedVT. During my site visit, I saw that LSV has the most sophisticated virtual training I’ve ever seen, that Brad has a brilliant subscription economic model, and has mastered the art of selling the training online. His virtual training has helped multi-level marketers recruit, engage and retain their distributor networks, adding hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental revenue. NADA is about to make VT available to all 16,000 US car dealers. Two years ago, General Motors took a look at his sales training and decided they could build it themselves; this year they acknowledged that they couldn’t and signed on for Canada, then expanded it to a global program.
As we walked through his production facility, I mentioned that of the 1.2 million licensed attorneys in the US, about 600,000 are in private practice, and roughly 500,000 of those practice solo or in very small firms, e.g., 20 or fewer. Further, that market is almost completely ignored by sales trainers and consultants because cost of sales is too high relative to these small firms’ buying power. However, when you leverage modern technology and sell virtual training to these lawyers online via credit card, you can provide high quality training/coaching at a very modest individual monthly subscription, e.g., $50 (which is less than coffee money), and do very well on the aggregate revenue from tens of thousands of subscribers.
When I said that I had legal industry visibility, an established brand, a proven training program and 18 years worth of content to monetize, his eyes lit up and he said, “Let’s do it.” We shook hands on a revenue- and equity-sharing deal (which we’re papering now) and we’re gearing up to go to market in 60-90 days.
What we’re going to do is “virtualize” me, i.e., make it possible for thousands of lawyers virtually to have a 1:1, interactive training/coaching session with a video “me” via the Internet, 24/7. For a better explanation than I could write here, click to hear poker star Daniel Negreanu’s description of the virtual poker training that Brad’s group created for him.
We’re about to raise a modest amount of capital to finance development and launch. To avoid violating securities laws, I can’t put particulars in this post, but would love to speak with you about the opportunity if you’re receptive.
Filed under: Legal Industry, Online economy, Opportunity search | 15 Comments
Tags: Law, Law firm, online training, virtual training