This is a repost post of an essay I wrote a while ago about how technology and e-signatures have changed my life and why I'm so excited about the future.
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There is a magical moment that you experience when you try something new for the first time and immediately you know that your life will change forever.
The moment you realise that you can never go back to how things were. Things will never be the same again.
The first time you rode your bicycle without your dad holding the seat, your first wave standing up on your surfboard or your first driving lesson. You know straight away that you can't go back to how things were before.
The same happens online all the time! When you open a new application and you immediately know that your life is about to get a whole lot better. Remember when you used Facebook for the first time, watched your first streaming movie or series or when you sent first used bbm, whatsapp or twitter. It just made sense. It put a smile on your face. There are plenty of apps like this.
Go to Product hunt you will find them all.
I have personally had that experience with a few apps I have tried over the years and trust me there have been many. I am a bit of a geek when it comes to gadgets and apps. (I would buy every gadget and subscribe to every app if I could). If it makes me more productive and efficient, I'm game, count me in.
The most recent time I had that feeling was with Buffer. It just made complete sense. Same with Dropbox. These apps have changed the way I do things online forever.
And now having co-founded Quicklysign I wanted to tell you about my first experience with electronic signatures and how it changed my life forever. Maybe it will explain why I'm doing what I am and give some perspective on me and our company.
It was the end of 2012 and my co founders and I had applied for funding with 88mph accelerator program in Cape Town. It was one of the first of it's kind in South Africa and we were extremely excited. We had developed an app for managing agents and boards of trustees to collaborate and we knew we were going to take the property industry by storm. (we didn't, but that's another story. Getting some funding and going through the 88mph program would take us to the next level. We had to get accepted.
Patiently waiting to hear if we got in or not, (they only invest in a certain amount of companies) we eventually got the email that was going to change our lives. My co-founder (Wayne) and I read through the contract, asked for a change or two and then another updated version came for us to sign. We double checked it over, and agreed to go ahead.
This is when the magic started.
We received an email asking us to sign the agreement. Wayne clicked a few buttons, type his name and just like that, he had signed the contract. A few seconds later I got an email with a link to follow the same procedure he had just done, which of course I did. Again just like that I had signed the contract.
We were amazed. “You mean no printing, faxing, scanning and emailing? It couldn't be? Could it?" Is this legal I thought? I didn't spend too much time wondering because if Kresten and Sylvia (the founders of 88mph) were happy to sign the agreement like this, then we were all in. In fact we were ecstatic.
The feeling I was talking about earlier, well that's what I had.
The only problem was that we needed our 3rd co-founder to sign the agreement ASAP. It was the last day it needed to be submitted (always the last minute). Unfortunately she was out on one of her daily runs. So we called her and said before she runs another meter she needs to check her email on her phone and click the link (which had been automatically sent to her once I had completed my signing), and sign her name and complete the contract.
She did and within a minute we had all been emailed a copy of the contract (including Kresten and silvia who both had signed as well) with everyone's signature on one document and a link back to the original agreement online for reference.
To say that I was impressed was an understatement. This was amazing, we had just signed a major agreement for a fairly large sum of money using what we later found out was an electronic signature platform.
I knew from that day onwards I would never print, scan or fax another document ever again. And honestly I haven’t. Once you know there is an easier, more convenient, safe and legal way to do this, there is just no way you can go back to the fax machine. Never.
Since that day I always knew that I wanted to implement e-signatures into our app at the time, but this didn't work out like we planned. We eventually started to look at building another app, it was logical that we dive straight into building our own electronic signature application for the property market and beyond.
Quicklysign was born.
It truly has changed my life for the better and our wish is for everyone not only here in South Africa but all over Africa and the rest of the world, to have the same enjoyable experience of finding an application that can change everything or at the very least make your life easier.
I love the fact that e-signatures can help change peoples lives for the better. I know that can seem a bit dramatic but it's true, think about it.
It doesn't matter what you sign, it could a small internal office memo, the lease to your brand new home or the new employment contract for your dream job. Either way I personally know the satisfaction that will come when you don't need to print, scan or fax.
I realised a while ago that we were not just selling a ‘digital / virtual pen’ or an 'easier way to sign a document'. We were allowing people to find a new home or secure the lease to a new piece of equipment that will change their business forever. We allow the sales guy or independent freelance developer to finally close the big deal they had been working so hard for. Even the big bad insurance guys use e-signatures so they can give you the peace of mind that you, your family, and your belongings are safe and secure.
It comes down to giving people the peace of mind along with the convenience they expect in the world today. Its why I'm so excited about technology and the amazing apps that are built everyday by amazing developers and entrepreneurs.
My life has changed for the better because of technology and we are only just getting started.
All I know is I can't go back to the way things were before.