Documentation!

Documentation!

Jo Lynn Clemens

Devin Miller

The Inventive Journey

Podcast for Entrepreneurs

7/24/2020

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Documentation!

“Documentation! The processes, right from the start I think that's so critical and key to have consistency. Because as a start up you are going to conduct. You would hope a sufficient amount planning, but as you are doing that you also need to be documenting your processes, so that hopefully you will come to a point where you won't have time to do that.”


The Inventive Journey

Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.

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documentation of processes right from the start I think that's so critical and key to have consistency because as a start-up you're going to conduct you know you would hope a sufficient amount of planning but as you're doing that you also need to be documenting your processes so that hopefully you'll come to a point where you won't have time to do that everyone this is Devon Miller here with another episode of the inventive journey I am your host Devon Miller the perpetual entrepreneur as well as the founder of Miller IP law where we help startups and small businesses with patents and trademarks today as everybody knows on the inventive journey we go through the different journeys that startups and co-founders and those that are in and in the trenches their journey of how they got to where they're at and what they're doing and we have a great guest today Jo Jo Lynn and she'll talk a little much better about her journey that I will but to give you a little bit of background she has a mother there's a dentist and the father there was a photographer and also taught her golf and they always had great aspirations for and she didn't didn't fail to achieve but did it in her own way she's moved around a bit and done some things with her her father's career or her husband's career not her father's career and now she's into some developing your own product your own startup with I've been bedded so there's a quick overview but welcome to the podcast Jolin thank you for the invitation Devon a pleasure to be here all right why don't we jump in so I gave a brief introduction but you'll do a much better introduction of yourself so maybe tell us a little bit about your journey and where where you been and where you right now well you did a great foundation you laid the foundation with my parents of course back in a place we both know which is Shaker Heights Ohio I didn't mention yeah we so I if you were in Shaker Heights which is a and part of Cleveland Ohio and that's where I went to Case Western Reserve to get both my law and MBA degrees so we certainly have that in common and always fun to make those connections so didn't mean to jump into your jump into your introduction so go ahead no problem yes both of our my parents actually I'm the middle child between two brothers and we were all taught to work in their businesses starting early and you know they pretty much prepared us you know for the business world and they also gave us the belief that you know the boundaries that you have as a person are those that you create for yourself right and through challenges there's growth and and you take measurable risk and you make certain that you give back so those are a lot of the founding principles that I learned early on in the very beginning my father actually wanted me to become a golfer and I ended up becoming the first female on the men's golf team in my high school my mother wanted me to become a dentist and I enjoy both to some extent I did feel I was the office manager for her dental practice as well but my interest fell more so towards journalism and business the business side of things so after graduating I became the editorial assistant for the journal of applied social sciences at Case Western Reserve and I ran into someone who was actually one of my mother's patients at the pet or dental office who was an agent at State Farm Insurance so that's how I was learned more about the operation side of the insurance world and entered into that gladly and learned a lot learned that there's so many areas within the field and they that the industry as a whole serves as a barometer you know things that are emerging in the future the risk that's exposed by society and I fell into the litigation side of things so I started out with State Farm and I also after that I ended up going to work as a special examiner at the Department of Insurance in Arizona and served as a witness for the Attorney General's Office with regards to unfair claims and trade practices so that kind of developed that understanding surrounding compliance and after that I went on to manage litigation at different insurance companies and learned a lot about the concept surrounding liability and risk and you know noticed in the process some emerging risks that were developing I'm gonna jump in just so you were in some different insurance companies jumped around a bit so I guess backing up Case Western Reserve guy English and business the major minor and then you went on to do work for different insurance companies moved around a bit I think when we talked a little bit also that you kind of went to different insurance companies and saw different industries as your as your husband moved with his career and so you got an exposure to that but how did you jump in so I mean I know there's a whole bunch of different areas of insurance but how did you jump into more of the litigation side versus you know whatever in more general or issuing insurance or working with insurance what what gravitated towards the litigation side um mainly I think that you know with my husband being on the litigation side also and leaning more towards that side right even in the beginning in the different departments you have a claim that comes in and it's pre litigation you know typically but then it then it it actually could have the potential of evolving into a lawsuit and I really enjoyed that area because to a large extent you're really impacting the future you know some of those cases that you manage become precedent for future incidents and you in my in my thought process I felt that you know this is extremely impactful okay so then you decide to jump into litigation was it everything you thought or being kind of litigation wrap that hey now we can go and find all the bad guys or help all the good guys or you know kind of how was that what being a litigation rapper and you know making that change in just I think that kind of plays a bit into what you're doing today so that's why I'm finding interesting and dive in is kind of you know when you get into the litigation side of insurance is that interesting and enthralling or boring your fun or defend a good guy or help the bad guy or how does that all work well I I definitely enjoyed it and I I certainly think that the industry has in the past got bad rep that most the people I work with are trying to compensate people to put them to a pre-incident or free accident position and I really enjoyed it through litigation there's so many areas on the attorney side a lot of counsel may specialize in an area but when you're managing a department or a litigation rep even you're handling different arenas right he may be handling you know something that relates to a property litigated claim or it may be something surrounding ERISA or you know just the full gamut so there's a variety there and it's a great learning curve so it never ever becomes boring and that's a little and it gets to depends on who defines it as bori because if you ask I fight them you know I work with a lot of startups small businesses on their patents and trademarks and I find what they do very interesting I'm gonna see a lot of different technology a lot of different things that people are coming up with if you asked my wife so you think that's boring hey what do you really do all day you read a lot you're you type a lot you're on a computer lie you read a lot and you and you you know do drawings and all sizes like that would be boring I want she was a nurse before she became a stay-at-home mom and so for that you know she liked to be on her feet and helping patients and so she's think when I was boring and you had the other hand I would never want to be a nurse or the medical field so it's always interesting what people find for it you know boring versus interesting versus exciting so so with that then you say okay you moved kind of into litigation side and it sounds like you kind of got into settlements and you can kind of Scott to see how a lot of times settlements play out with even if you don't think there's an issue or you don't think you're liable you're still gonna settle out because for a myriad of reasons it doesn't make sense to try and go and go in and prove they're wrong or to drag it out or to it gets more expensive I think that's where you've kind of said that that's where you started to get the idea for maybe your what you were doing now with your startup yeah you know basically I noticed some trends and that everyone can relate to and that would be the growth in filled workers with both workers gig economy the expansion of the definition of who is an employee to include contractors and vendors in different jurisdictions and also looking at the liability of our policy holders at times for actions that they may or may not have had control over so and I noticed as well that settlement and and and it falls within the category of negligent hiring supervision training you know within that realm of litigation and that refers to a business's responsibility for the actions of their workers and in the legal community it's referred to as agents of the company so to speak but with that I thought you know wow you've got these settlements averaging 1.6 million per incident and you know I saw that exposure growing and in often times you know here you have these workers or contractors even that the employer may not have that much control over and as well the impact to the society as a whole you know with increasing crime so my thought was how do how do we develop a tool that can address you know all sides of that coin and those issues of increased crime and fraud and the impact to society and to have all parties vested in that that goal okay no I think that make sense and so with all that you can't start you have that in mind had that training give the litigation side and I think when we talked before for a period of time you I can't and you have to remind me which way it was I think that your father passed away and so you decided to step back from the position you're at which I think you said it was Lloyd's of London or whatnot or maybe that was after you step back and then he's decided okay father passed away you deal with the agreed which I you know certainly is a difficult time apply and then you say okay I'm going to re-engage back into the you know the working community I'm going to go back and do something and you kind of had your choice of now do I go back to the end insurance industry or I go back and kind of work for some new employee or different employers or do my I do my own thing so with that then how did you kind of say okay I'm done working for other people or I want to do my own thing here I've got my own idea how did that kind of all play out yeah exactly um as you've indicated my father had passed away I was in a great position with a great company and I was actually in the process of I had just gone through training for an executive level there and but my father passed away I took a sabbatical to handle his estate and it required travel out of state so I needed some flexibility I intended on returning back to that position but I was actually given the opportunity to conduct some audits on behalf of Lloyds of London underwriters of Lloyds and that allowed me to meet with brokers around the country on my schedule so that I thought wow you know here's this opportunity to kind of field my thoughts about the solution to this these negligent hiring supervision but issues and and get their input directly and so that opportunity were a uniquely advantageous for me to really test if this if the solution that I had in mind was in fact something that whereby there was an actual problem bidding existed you know I mean in my mind from the litigation side I could see it but I wanted to see it from a different angle and so that afforded me the opportunity to also talk to the brokers about their thoughts about it okay so you do you do that jump back in the working field said okay I'm gonna do my own thing I'm gonna do what's even better maybe give the 30 second this is what I've been bet it is so people know what kind of what it is and then we can talk into a little bit of how that went but maybe so you came up the idea of I've been betting and what would that be I've been vetted is a patent pending worker risk scoring platform it's a SAS based platform and it used uses AI smart tools to conduct worker scoring based on behavioral actions that are found to have occurred before a crime or fraud takes place and so the second component of that platform is an area that allows the company to conduct also a self audit of themselves as to their practices and policies and then they can also receive a score and so for the easier to understand version of that and I'll see if I can summarize so they're basically almost like Minority Report or Toria tried to predict who's going to commit the crime or the fraud before they predict it or before they actually commit it and then based on that you're gonna give alerts or say this one this may be an issue or you may want to watch out for this is that kind of where you're going with the AI and all the different things or did I completely slaughter that no actually it's not slaughtered that is a great way to to explain what it does and it's actually bad based on actual data that we've comb through we've got three data scientists on our team and a criminal psychologist and we took a multidisciplinary approach that looks at the crime side of it crime data insurance risk and HR data as well as the legal side so in looking at those we were able to discern some patterns and actions and develop some proprietary algorithms from that data okay so you yeah if I were to summarize if you're to basically be able to almost predict with you know with some degree of accuracy and I don't don't know what that degree of actually is they hey this may be an area for fraud this may be an area for issue this may be an area that you're weak on or you want to take a look at then what do you do with that data so now I know because I you know I watched a movie and I related to Minority Report just so I could understand that you know there's always you know you know even without what as great as it was there was always possibilities of something else going wrong so you know if you're predicting something that's gonna happen or predicting that this may be an area of fraud this may be an issue this may be an area or week honor those types of things not foolproof right I mean there is possibility for error it's hard to predict anything with a hundred percent certainty and my and so what do people what do they do with that data or how do they start to use that data to adjust things or to change things so it's a SAS based platform and it allows filtering so as patterns emerge the supervisors I can take a look at that or just the executives of the company and they can make a decision on expansion on you know an area of concern as it relates to a specific occupation and at the individual level you know as as regards performance and there is a redemptive quality to it because if a worker who also has the ability to see their risk profile and that risk profile is is theirs and it's portable for them it's permission based um they can take steps through compliance training to improve their score when it goes down so then that way you've got all parties involved and we like to say creating transparency and accountability in the human capital supply chain okay no I think that that makes sense so with all that you've got you've got you now you your product your startup you're gonna get it started you're getting going so how has it been as being all up you know all uphill all downhill band bumps and you know back and forth or how is the launch you take that idea and you say okay we're gonna address what we think is you know an issue in the marketplace or a shortcoming so then how is that gone for you it has really gone extremely well we're very excited about the reception we have had clients in in our targeted industries and outside that are interested as well we've garnered the attention of C FBI which is a think-tank out of London and it's a consortium of about 30 different companies that are large and well-known to many so it has been extremely positive and I think I do credit that to the team that we have we have you know executive level you know teammates that are veterans within their area so I'm not gonna get a let you get away with it quite that easy because I've been through enough startups that I know that it's not all roses isn't all easy so what were some of the difficulties of getting the startup going here what did you encounter because I said I no matter how good of a startup and how you know how great that hockey stick up is to just take off there's always those bumps and that so maybe talked a little bit about what what that was in order to really get it going - and and I say you know you know post-launch it's been really well but prior to that you know it was very it was an uphill battle to find the right developers the right technology to think about because I like to think 10 years 10 to 20 years out instead of what's going on now and so staying abreast of that and making certain that we had the right partnerships and you know I don't know if like one of the things we also learned is you know from the standpoint of business planning you know you build this business plan and you spend a lot of time on it and you you think you're going to be sticking to the plan which is kind of how a corporation works more of a long-term play whereas within the startup community it's more about being agile and being able to adjust that plan and being able to pivot if need be so learning to be flexible that was a big part as well and having a large degree of patience know I think that that's good advice and I mean it's always I think the business plans if any were to ask I think business plans are well worth of meaning while almost inevitably every startup is going to have to PIM pivot or adjust or figure out whether a niche is and what their focus is and so some people say well then what's the point of a business plan because you're never gonna use it in half the time you're gonna throw it out I would almost say as much of it is said when you are going through the planning stage you're almost convincing yourself this is a good idea that it can work that I can make a go of it and you're also seeing how serious you are yourself and others issue if you can stick with it meaning if you can't even get a business plan out highly unlikely you're going to get all the way to the the end of the startup and be successful and so I think that there's still a lot of merit and doing the business plan with the idea that likely it is the business plan will get thrown out or gonna have to pivot or adjust so that so next six months to a year where do you think you guys are going oh you know our our goal is to become a you know a business white best practices that's our that's our goal because it provides that extra standard of care and it also helps you know as a competitive advantage for those that utilize the platform and it helps them to reduce their costs we have been invited as a use case for canopy which is the insurance industry's blockchain initiative because we do offer the opportunity to either port through encrypted file transfer or via a smart contract so we plan on continuing to grow our partnerships and to grow through our existing networks and and going on from there so staying to the plan that you mentioned adapting and and and growing knowing those are all good thoughts and sounds like an exciting yet sighting next step for the business so but I farted now shifters we kind of reach towards the end of the podcast and I always have kind of the two questions I'll hit it there hit at the end of the podcast we'll kind of put on those now so the one the first question I always ask is what was the worst business decision he ever made oh I would say that was with would it be the worst yeah I would say I think that when it comes to teammates that you have to really look at and make certain that they align with your interests and that's that's coming from the first startup that I have and so I I learned that lesson and I also learn timing is very important that you and that's why it's important to interview as many of your target market as possible so that you can actually gauge that well so those would be two so kind of if you say the worst businesses was not hiring people their vision or idea for the company or what they saw going was didn't align with where you wanted it to go or where it made sense to go and then which can be detrimental in a sense if you have someone that's trying to pull the company a different direction or doesn't have the vision it can be much more difficult and counterproductive so okay that was a first question second question I always ask is so you had somebody that's wanting to just getting the startups wanting to get into small businesses or just jumped in just got started what would be the one piece of advice you give them documentation of processes right from the start I think that's so critical and key to have consistency because as a startup you're going to conduct you know you would hope a sufficient amount of planning but as you're doing that you also need to be documenting your processes so that hopefully you'll come to a point where you won't have time to do that you know so that's something that I think is very important because it also helps with your business plan you know while you're documenting processes that are critical to running the business it also helps you to think along the lines of the business plan and the earlier the better okay no I that's great advice so well cool well I think that both lessons learned from failure as well as great advice I think those are both key lessons for people to learn on documentation and the importance of it so if you is if people are wanting to reach out you get connected be whether it's learn more about your business be a customer making investment or otherwise just get engaged what's the best way to reach out to you directly through jo-lynn period Clements at I've been vedat calm and/or contact at I fit bed it calm perfect alright we'll make sure to have people email you that email and visit your website and in the meantime good luck with things for all those of you that are interested in being on the inventive journey love to have you as a guest if you want to go to inventive journey calm and apply to be on the podcast we'd love to have you on and hear about your journey and for those of you that are interested in patents and trademarks and looking for help with your startup for home business certainly feel free to reach out out to us at Miller IP law well Jolin has been fun to have you on the podcast you've been a great guest and appreciate you sharing your your journey and wish you all the best in your upcoming journey and thanks for coming on thank you [Music] [Music] English (auto-generated) All Sales Related From Miller IP Law Recently uploaded

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