Evisort: An AI-Powered Start-up Uses Text Mining to Become Google for Contracts

Should technology start up Evisort customize its AI-enhanced contract management software for large potential clients or continue to enhance its software offering to meet its growth strategy?
C. Daniel Guetta  | Fall 2018
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Start-up Evisort was cofounded by two law students seeking to create AI-enhanced software providing contract management and processing solutions for attorneys and business professionals. For a small software start-up like Evisort with a single product in the marketplace, there was a relatively narrow spectrum of options for future development and tapping new sources of revenue: On one end of that spectrum was pure, client-driven development, i.e., the product could evolve based solely on feature requests from Evisort’s current and future customers. On the other end was what the founders thought of as the “vision” approach, i.e., the product could evolve based on their conception of the ideal client solution for managing and processing contract data. While still considering the best path forward, the founders learn of an opportunity to work with a big life sciences company with headquarters in the Boston area—a client that would require a number of custom modifications to accommodate its desired workflows. The sale would be significant, perhaps Evisort’s largest to date. There was no doubt that Evisort could customize the software for this client. The real question was whether to do so.

Case ID: 190201A
Supplemental Materials: Teaching Note

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