12 | Jonathan Tobin: Business Automation

Today’s episode of Digital Rage features Programmer turned Lawyer Jonathan Tobin to discuss automation, as well as legalities content creators run into. We talk trademarks, training videos, Calendar automation, and Jeff has a cold.

If you automate a bad process, you can magnify your problems.

Jonathan Tobin

Show Notes

  • Formerly a programmer
  • Now an attorney
  • Heads Counsel for Creators

Show transcripts from Jonathan

This is not LEGAL ADVICE

  • A lot of the automation tools and a lot of the APIs, there’s actually a lot less hands-on code that you need to do in order to build a product.
  • I had been developing software for a while. I’ve been a programmer, did some design, and I’d worked for a few startups, a few larger companies as well, and I started to get curious about what went on behind the scenes, sort of what went on in the businesses – how are people taking ideas, software, and turning them into a viable business.
  • I realized I would have loved to have known these things when I was a designer or a software developer because there’s a lot of legal basics that I think a lot of people aren’t exposed to. And so that was the genesis of my practice. That was sort of how I decided this is what I’m going to do and this is how I’m going to help people with law.
  • One thing we implemented really early on was scheduling automation.
  • It takes out that whole process of trying to schedule a phone call with the emails back and forth. Anytime I’m automating something, I’m looking for something that can reduce a task or take away something that just essentially takes up time.
  • We want to make sure we track our leads and track any communications with leads.
  • Anything that helps us to share easily is definitely helpful.
  • We use Slack a lot internally. We use Slack for our internal conversations, but also for notification.
  • We get an email from Adobe Sign saying that the document is signed via Slack, so we know we have a new client and it’s time to do something.
  • Regarding automation: It’s a passion in so far as it’s bringing me closer to what my vision for the business is. Automate as much as possible so that everybody can do more high-end work. So even if that’s been an administrative assistant, they can focus more on our client relationships rather than scheduling appointments.
  • You can set out the terms of a scope of work. Hey, I’ll build you a website for X amount of dollars and I’ll deliver it by this date. Those things are easy to do. Now one of the things, you know, the reason why I usually recommend some sort of formal contract somewhere in that process is because you run into things like… when you talk about legal boiler plate, there are actually important things in there.
  • Surprisingly there are people who are like, I asked a question on Quora, this attorney answered my question, and I did the things the attorney said. It got completely screwed up because maybe I didn’t provide all the facts or the attorney wasn’t accurate or misunderstood something. I lost a bunch of money and I want somebody else to pay for it. I want somebody to pay for that. There are people out there who are seeking payback, I guess you could say, when they feel like they’ve received bad legal advice, even if it’s not legal advice. And so, the bar has talked about that you want to be really careful to make sure people know that this is not legal advice.
  • You want to make sure that all those relationships are clear. Same thing if you hire somebody, make sure that you have a contract with them. So, let’s just say you have someone who does a logo for you or some part of what it is you’re making. Make sure that there’s an agreement with them. And so that usually that can be a formal agreement or it can just be like, hey, we talked about it and we have a sense. Obviously, I recommend a more formal arrangement and at least working through those issues.

Show Links

Host, Web Designer, SEO
About the Author
Jeff Byer has been designing identities and building websites since 1995. He is the CEO and co-founder of Print Fellas LLC, and the President at Byer Company, a division of Jeff Byer Inc, a web design company in Los Angeles. Jeff has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. He is a certified Project Manager by Franklin-Covey and has qualifications in Photoshop, Illustrator, HTML, PHP, JavaScript, MySQL, SEO, Bing Ads, and Google Ads. Jeff Byer is a co-author on 5 US Patents related to content management systems he has created on the internet.

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