Interview with Daryl Bernstein (RightSignature)
RightSignature is a web-based application that allows users to sign documents using their mouse.
I interviewed Daryl Bernstein, RightSignature co-founder and CEO to find out more. This interview is the hundred and fourth in a series of DW interviews. Big thank you to Daryl!
Give us the elevator pitch. How would you describe RightSignature in under 50 words?
RightSignature is a beautifully-designed, all-in-one solution for getting documents filled out and signed online. You can upload a document and send it for e-signature in seconds, and your recipients can apply a legally-binding, hand-drawn electronic signature in any web browser or on an iPad, iPhone, or Android device.
How does it actually work?
Users upload any document or grab a file from our integrations with Google Docs, Dropbox, Freshbooks, Evernote and other file sources. They enter the name and email of each signing party, place any required text fields or signature boxes on the document, and click Send. RightSignature has proprietary navigation tools to walk signers step-by-step through filling out and signing the document online
RightSignature also has a powerful feature called Reusable Templates, which are documents set up for frequent use. These can contain merge fields, to enable users to merge data into a document before sending it out for signature. Another powerful new feature is Online Forms, which enable users to embed the RightSignature online document signing experience inside their own websites.
You are a self-proclaimed ‘born entrepreneur’ who has been launching and running different businesses since you were was a kid. What sort of businesses did you dabble with? How successful were they?
Yes, I joke that I emerged from the womb with a business plan in hand. When I was a kid, I spent my time playing baseball and launching startups. I tried the proverbial lemonade stand and quickly realized I build bigger businesses by fulfilling more pressing pain points. In the span of a few years, I tested and shuttered a dozen startups. This was the rapid pivot (before pivot became a strategy).
When I was 12, I founded a company on my kitchen table that I grew into the largest distributor and producer of educational videos for the K-12 market. It was acquired by a publicly-traded education company when I was 24.
How did your interest and specialty in software-as-a-service develop?
I’m passionate about the online software revolution. Installing and maintaining desktop software is generally a pain in the a#@. Years ago, I recognized that if businesses could handle everything in a web browser and let other people worry about software maintenance, they would do it in a heartbeat. I began investing in business SaaS about ten years ago and continue to invest in and advise innovating SaaS startups today.
What was technically the most challenging part of developing RightSignature?
While RightSignature functions in a simple, beautiful way on the surface, there is a huge amount of technical complexity in developing and maintaining an online document system at scale. Most SaaS products, CRM being an example, are data repositories. In contrast, RightSignature processes user-uploaded documents and makes them viewable and actionable online. Like YouTube or even Facebook photos, whenever you’re taking in user-provided files in a variety of formats and trying to normalize them, there’s a significant technical challenge.
Are signatures obtained via RightSignature legally valid?
Yes, documents executed on RightSignature are legally binding in compliance with the US ESIGN Act, UETA, and international laws. Completed documents include a Signature Certificate, which includes signer authentication data and an audit log.
Do you have any new features in the pipeline?
Our pace of innovation is one of our greatest strengths, and we are always adding cutting-edge features to our service. In addition, we continually refine the user experience to ensure the process of sending and signing documents is as elegant and intuitive as it can be on all browsers and devices.
Where do you see RightSignature in 5 years time?
Our goal has always been to become a key tool for modern businesses. To run a company, you need an email provider, a website, a CRM program, accounting software, team collaboration software, file sharing, and online document signing. We will have accomplished what we set out to do if, in 5 years, for most businesses around the world that online document signing service is RightSignature.
Who would you say is your biggest competitor?
Our biggest competitor is paper. On any given day, most of the world’s contracts and forms are still printed, signed, and then faxed, scanned, or snail mailed.
When you’re not in the office, where can you be found?
Taking a walk or run on the beach. It’s where I clear my head and sort the dozens of priorities that we balance every day as a growing company.
With your background in startups, what one piece of advice would you give to someone starting up their own business?
Almost everyone I meet has a startup idea in the back of their head. They spend way too much time thinking about the risks and obstacles, talking to advisors, and pondering the right time to get started. Every business has challenges and pitfalls, and there is a lot you can’t know until you are in the game. My advice is start now (even if that means staying up really late after work), deal with the issues as they arise, and learn as you go. Starting a business is the adventure of a lifetime.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
After years of hard work, RightSignature has reached a point of ubiquity, with solo professionals, small businesses, and enterprises around the world using our service. Our next chapter is all about managing growth and scaling, which are exciting challenges that define truly great SaaS companies.
Can you convince the reader to start using RightSignature in under 50 words?
Sign up for a free trial of RightSignature to streamline your business, impress customers, reduce costs, and close deals faster. You can set up your frequently used documents as Reusable Templates or Online Forms, so getting NDA’s, new hire paperwork, and sales agreements signed becomes a one-minute task.
Finished reading? Check out RightSignature!