Why did you choose THAT puzzle?

I often get asked how I came up with the idea for Xakia and my answer is similar to the process I go through when selecting a jigsaw puzzle for myself.

Whenever I’m asked to participate in a podcast, webinar or panel at a LegalTech event, I am inevitably asked the question “How did you come up with the idea for Xakia?” Dutifully, I launch into a story about my time as a lawyer, financial analyst, entrepreneur and the moment I identified a gap in the market for simple, yet powerful in house legal matter management software that can be adopted without major implementation pain.

However, the truth is that Xakia was only one of several startup ideas I had at the time – and the others had nothing whatsoever to do with legal software solutions. So why did I choose to start Xakia, when other ideas were just as promising? What was it about in house legal software that made my blood pressure rise, my eyes widen with excitement, and my fingers twitch with readiness to get started?

Noting my first jigsaw puzzle post and the “NERD ALERT!” warning of my love of jigsaw puzzles, my answer to the “Why Xakia?” question is similar to the process I go through when selecting a jigsaw puzzle for myself.


The first thing I look for when I pick up a puzzle is the end point – what will it look like when done? Is it beautiful? I want it to whisper to me and explain why I would want to make this happen. I have to feel motivated to bring this creation to life, because I can see that I will feel proud of the end result – a sense of “I did this!”.

This is no different to having a vision for Xakia, an understanding of why we (all Xakarians) do what we do, and what our end goal is, and to be very focused and motivated to create that vision.  Xakia’s vision is very simple: to be the Legal Hub.  What is a Legal Hub you ask? A place where in-house legal teams go to track and manage their legal work, to collaborate with their law firms and internal stakeholders and to generate dashboards and reports to demonstrate their valuable contribution to the organization. 

Component parts

Part of the visual component, but a separate criterion when selecting a puzzle, is the need to be able to deconstruct a puzzle into component parts. I’ve no interest in a huge impossipuzzle, made of a single pattern or color. For me to love a puzzle, it has to feel like I am doing 10 or 15 small puzzles in one, where each section bleeds into the next, but has its own defining characteristics. I can hone in on achieving a section, a sense of satisfaction, and then I can seamlessly move to the section right next door.

Similarly, a business model had to offer the ability to do small chunks, features I could achieve in pieces. For Xakia, this was a core matter management solution, then legal intake and triage for in-house legal clients, legal spend management and so on.


There has to be something fundamentally unique about the puzzle – something that will make me pick it up and study its detail. What makes this puzzle stand out?

I’ve always liked to be a bit “different” from everybody else and often refused to accept commonly held ‘beliefs’ as gospel. Starting Xakia was my way of challenging the notion that adopting in house legal software had to be hard, expensive and only for the big companies. Xakia was my way of wagging a finger at legacy enterprise legal management software players and saying “no, no, no – don’t you be locking small and mid-market in-house legal teams out of the game!”


Not too big, not too small – just right! (Reminds of the “baby bear” post by a client recently!) My go-to jigsaw puzzle size is 1,000 pieces, but I’ve done a 5,000-piece puzzle, and recently I find myself purchasing the 1,500-piece puzzles more regularly. But I like the sense of accomplishment, both along the way and at the end point of the smallish puzzles.

At the inception point, my vision for Xakia was smaller – I wanted only to address the pain points in-house legal departments were facing, and specifically small to mid-market teams. It made me cross that legal technology was so expensive for them, and they were locked out of productivity improvements on cost alone. It was a simple, achievable vision to address this pain point without over-complicating the delivery.


It must be good! Don’t give me flimsy puzzles that won’t stay together, or where the pieces are torn, bent or not separated properly. I have a love for Ravensburger puzzles, but also a healthy sprinkling of Funbox, Heye and Acquarius.

The Xakia puzzle

For our customers, Xakia is the most intuitive, cloud based legal matter management system, and we Xakarians delight in delivering the highest quality solution available.

 Super grateful that I chose THIS puzzle, Xakia continues to delight, one component part at a time.


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