Niall Grogan: 3 Product Rules to Live By

Niall Grogan
April 24, 2024

DraftWise Head of Product, Niall Grogan, taps into his expertise to share product rules to live by for creating a strong connection between a product and the end user. 

Niall has spent his career building products that make a tangible impact on people’s daily lives. His diverse background across technology and product management has included tenures at Bank of America and Palantir Technologies, helping top 5 Wall Street banks and hedge funds unlock the value of their unstructured data. Joining DraftWise was an exciting opportunity to bring this expertise to the legal community, building a product that improves the working lives of lawyers and helps law firms put their data to work.

Here, Niall shares 3 lessons that shape his perspective on product, starting with the importance of understanding a day in your user's life, all to craft solutions that bring lasting benefits to people's lives. 

The best products are built in the field 

Before joining DraftWise I spent five years at Palantir deploying Foundry, an AI-powered workflow builder, to solve some of the world’s most complex data challenges. Palantir pioneers the idea of Field Engineering - getting out of the office and sitting beside your end user, living a day in their life, and truly understanding their needs. I saw ground-breaking products developed this way and was eager to join DraftWise when I learned that they live by the same principle.

The key to DraftWise’s success thus far has been building a product that lawyers genuinely enjoy using, something that makes their lives easier, while helping them produce better results for their clients and their firm. We prioritize time in front of lawyers, stress testing our products, and zeroing in on the areas we can provide the most value. I am particularly grateful to our partners, Mischon de Reya, Orrick, and Chapman, who have recently hosted us onsite for multi-day product feedback sessions with their lawyers.  As the team grows, I am excited to continue deploying our engineers and product managers to the field to better understand the customer and our products' impact on their day-to-day.

10x excellence: redefine standards in quality

“Make sure your product is 10X better than your competitors” – Bill Gross

Nowhere is this quote more true than in the legal tech industry in 2024. Lawyers' time is extremely precious and to convince them to change their process and invest time in trying a new solution, you need to be able to offer outsized, 10X value to them. Saving a lawyer 30 seconds switching between a document or running a redline is no longer an acceptable bar for value - we need to strive for a product that fundamentally changes the type of work a single attorney can output, giving them a true competitive advantage over peers, and giving their practice more bandwidth to take on more deals.

At DraftWise, we ask ourselves this question every day:  Will this new product provide a 10X improvement to a lawyer's work, or a 10X improvement to a firm’s ability to find and win new business? If the answer is no, we need to get back in the field, talk to our users, and start tackling the right problems for them.

Problem-solving comes first 

I’m brimming with excitement for the next 6 months at DraftWise. Compared to our peers in the industry, we have taken a different approach to deploying Generative AI. Instead of rushing out incomplete solutions with unclear value propositions, we’re working closely with a number of our largest partners, refining a suite of new products that enable lawyers to leverage the power of generative AI to solve specific problems – like spotting and fixing issues in the first pass of an agreement and automating mechanical edits across entire documents.

The players that will win in this intensely competitive market are those that have truly lived and understood the pains of lawyers, built an intentional product that solves those pains and ultimately offer legal teams a 10X improvement in their operations.

The DraftWise team set out to solve concrete problems that transactional lawyers face when drafting and negotiating contracts — and that’s why the product has made it off the shelf and into the hands of the best firms in the world. 

To learn more about DraftWise, talk to our team.

Supercharge your drafting and negotiating.

Experience the power of AI in legal document drafting and analysis.