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Why Most Innovation Fails

February 13th, 2013 No comments

Why most innovation fails-there is a better way but I just didn’t know about it!

I was speaking to a friend about NotaryCam, our remote long distance e-Notarizations, when the thought struck me – what does it really take to get disruptive and game changing technology into the mainstream? Let me take a step back and share some thoughts/lessons learned over the past decade.

By now you must have heard about the ‘electronic signature revolution’ and that paper on pen is gone? Truth be told, although the average consumer may have some awareness, most do not know of the many  practical applications available that could actually change their lives each and every day. Despite all the chest pounding and vaporware you see/read every day, according to experts, “global adoption today sits at 1% but going to 50% over next couple of years”. For those that haven’t followed as close as we have you might be very surprised to learn that the US E-Sign Act is coming up on its 13th anniversary, enacted on June 30, 2000, affording e-Signatures legal equivalence to wet-signed originals.

So a somewhat savvy consumer might ask “Hey, I e-Sign my name every time I make a purchase at the grocery store and Home Depot so why am I still receiving documents requesting my ‘wet-signature’ – via email, fax, couriers, snail mail or FedEx”? Reality is you probably did not know that you could have saved a ton of money and time if your service provider would have advised you of the readily available alternative and ‘convenient’ options.

In general, we all believe that ‘only’ the consumer will decide the value of any new innovation but unfortunately, there are many other partners that stand between the innovator and the end-user consumer– in the real estate/mortgage industry that would include lenders, title companies, escrow settlement agents, county recorders, secretaries of state, secondary investors, and the many disparate standard setting groups. So when a borrower/buyer gets a call at the 11th hour that the “loan docs are in-drop everything we only have an hour to get these signed” – you now understand why they didn’t hear ‘by the way, you have an option to legally sign and notarize these documents over the Internet in 5 minutes in your pajamas’? Nothing more than eco–system friction, hence, 1%  global adoption!

Another real world example (and quite frankly what prompted this post), we received a call the other day from an attorney that was in a dilemma and how to get documents for signature to his clients traveling overseas – he received a FedEx quote for more than $125 with a two week turnaround..his decision was a no-brainer, correct? Wrong, he wasn’t comfortable with change and since his client was paying the costs anyway…..I’m certain the client end-user never received the option that they could have executed these agreements on their smart phone or computer in less than 5 minutes at more than a 95% savings.

There is a ‘Better Way’- if only the benefactor knew about it!

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