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Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentines Day from Austin, heading home to Seattle.

Meeting a friend visiting Seattle from Atlanta who has traveled the road I have recently traveled, and more. Looking forward to it, enough so to catch a 6 AM flight home and get to up at 3:30 to run up Congress Ave and around the Capitol.

Running every morning has certainly made it a habit, so, believe it or not, it’s enjoyable to get up and get out, no matter the time. Though a 5 AM flight could make for an all nighter.

Austin was good. The ABA and NABE (National Association of Bar Executives) mid-year meetings were both taking place.

Looks like we’ll move a large bar association from their current network website to our syndication portal product. Met with another bar leader as to whom to discuss such a move at their bar as well as a highly trusted bar and law firm consultant about talking with additional bars.

It’s really a no-brainer for firms and organizations to run their web presences/publications on SaaS solutions like our portal – all upgrades, feature additions and hosting are all included and taken care of by us/LexBlog. Websites developed, one at a time, for organizations are running on outdated software from the day they launch and it becomes an ordeal – and expensive – to make improvements, let alone launch a new site at some point.

The Fastcase annual partners dinner for bar associations has grown to over 160 professionals who are working with Fastcase to make the law (legal research) free to lawyers. This democratizes the law which traditionally has been sold by a dualopoly of Thomson-Reuters/Westlaw and LexisNexis. Over 900,000 lawyers now have free access via Fastcase/bar association partnerships.

Thank you to Fastcase co-founders, Ed Walters and Phil Rosenthal for inviting me to the dinner each year. It’s good to spend time with bar leaders as well Fastcase team members, many of whom are new as a result of Fastcase’s growth.

I enjoyed Phil’s comments thanking the bars for the partnership they’ve forged over the last 20 years. Now 20 years old, Phil said people won’t let him a call Fastcase a startup anymore – “and more than founding and running a company, at 20 years, it’s truly become one’s life work.”

I’ll remember that line, “one’s life’s work.” When you start out chasing a dream, you want to make a difference – to leave a dent, to make the world a better place because you were here. “Our life’s work” is a very nice way to put it.”

And Fastcase, LexBlog and other legal tech companies like us will always be startups. We came from no where to deliver solutions and ideas that never existed before that now benefit thousands of legal professionals and the people they serve.

I think it’s always, “Day One,” as Jeff Bezos says.

I was feeling a little guilty (as an Irish Catholic, I feel guilty at the drop of a hat) or wondering if I was moving to fast by getting out and traveling for work. But I have found, after two trips, traveling helps.

Talking with my friend, Jim Calloway from Oklahoma, last evening, he said that’s because you’re doing what you always do – being out on your own and spending time with people whose company you enjoy.

Also helps to talk with friends – business colleagues and customers truly are my friends. More than offer condolences, they spend time talking with me. They give me their ear, enabling me to talk through what the kids and I are feeling.

I then have the chance to tell them to cherish their family and the time they have together. Life is precious – and fleeting. “Hug your spouse/partner and your clidren every chance you get.”

So as my friend, Richard Georges, who has also traveled this road, counsels me, I’ll try not to use travel as an escape, I’ll use it to grow. As Rick says, “use travel to bring joy.”

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