Yohei Fujii, an experienced engineer, met Hiroshi Watanabe, an attorney studying at Stanford, while studying at MIT. Yohei and Watanabe, both interested in startups, began brainstorming twice a week for 2-3 hours about what they would do if they were to start a business.
One day, Yohei happened to see Hiroshi drafting a legal document.
Yohei said, "Why are you scrolling and searching so much? You spend most of your time scrolling and searching."
Hiroshi "Legal documents have defined terms, and definitions can be found somewhere in this file . But I don't know where it is, so I'm searching for it. And then there are documents that have a lot of references, but there is often no table of contents, so you have to scroll through it.
When we measured the time it took to read just two lines of the article with a stopwatch, it actually took more than 10 minutes. The majority of the time was spent scrolling to other clauses or searching for keywords.
Yohei comes from a software engineering background. When programming, he uses a programming editor (IDE) such as Visual Studio, VS Code, Intelli J, etc. Knowing that programming editors solve the scrolling/searching problem well, Yohei showed Hiroshi the programming editor and explained it to him.
Yohei "In the software engineering world, the scrolling/searching problem is solved."
Hiroshi "That's great. If we could apply this to legal documents, wouldn't that dramatically improve efficiency?"
Realizing the sensitive nature of legal documents and the penetration rate of MS Word, Hiroshi and Yohei took the approach of upgrading MS Word rather than creating their own document editor software.
After a rough draft of the idea was completed, a list of issues for further legal document review was made. We wrote down inefficiencies that were pointed out to us by the awareness of issues that Hiroshi had accumulated while working as a lawyer and by Yohei, a software engineer who is a professional in efficiency improvement with no legal knowledge, from his viewpoint.
The number of inefficiencies reached more than 100. After more than 100 user interviews, we evaluated and extracted items from the list of issues that were particularly painful for those who handle legal documents.
After about a year, the quality of the product was sufficiently high to launch it as a commercial product. Now, two years after its launch, the product has been adopted by almost all large and medium-sized law firms in Japan, as well as the legal departments of many large and medium-sized companies, almost exclusively by word of mouth, without any extensive advertising.
BoostDraft is a concept in which Yohei, with his cutting-edge technology and advanced engineering skills, and Hiroshi, with his global professional network and in-depth knowledge of professional document editing, join forces to apply cutting-edge technology used by engineers to the work of professionals who are active worldwide.
The concept is to apply cutting-edge technology utilized by engineers to the work of professionals who work around the world. Before Yohei met Hiroshi, he had no knowledge of legal matters, and Hiroshi had no knowledge of programming. When Yohei and Hiroshi met, they discovered a solution to their problem.
Until now, creating legal documents involved a lot of manual work, not only scrolling and searching, but also error checking and formatting. We at BoostDraft have innovated legal document review by applying cutting-edge technology to these challenges and dramatically improving MS Word to provide a completely new legal document review experience.