How We Got to 'eDiscovery Starting at $27 a Month' [Memoirs of a Software Designer]

26 July 2020 by Anith eDiscovery

Takeaway: It’s been a long road perfecting our eDiscovery software ‘GoldFynch’. And today we’re proud to be able to offer eDiscovery starting at $27 a month. So, in response to FAQs from our customers, here’s our story: (1) We started with what we knew: Building powerful search engines. (2) We built our software from the ground up, keeping it as simple as possible. (3) We made our system efficient, which cut costs. (4) We cut out the middle people. Customers subscribe to our eDiscovery service directly from our website. (5) We’ve never had a large sales team or wasted money frivolously on marketing. Instead, we focus on delivering value.

“How are your prices a fraction of your competitors’, yet you offer all the same eDiscovery features?”

This is a question we get quite often about our eDiscovery software GoldFynch. And it’s understandable. eDiscovery has gone mainstream and there are dozens of applications all trying to be the next big thing. But how many of them are tailored to small and midsize firms like yours? So in this post, we want to go over how our software is so cost-effective but potent.

1. We started with what we knew: Building powerful search engines.

We’ve been in the tech space for a while, now. And we’ve worked on perfecting the art of designing search engines.

Search engines find keywords, which are at the heart of any eDiscovery case.

Let’s use an example: Say you’re working on a case about a car accident. You’ve been given hundreds (or thousands) of files to review–emails, scanned documents, Word files, PDFs, etc. You don’t know which ones are relevant, and it’ll take days to read through them all. But it’ll take GoldFynch just seconds to pull up files with the keyword ‘accident.’ And now you’ve got something to work with. [Note: Usually, every application (Microsoft Word, Gmail, etc.) has a decent inbuilt search engine. But it’ll only search its own file types (Word documents, emails, etc.). GoldFynch, on the other hand, searches for keywords across all file types.]

But we wanted to go beyond just finding keywords. We wanted to design a search engine that’s an extension of your thinking.

In our example of the ‘accident’ case, what you really want is more specific than just any file with the keyword ‘accident’ in it. Instead, you’re interested in emails sent between two custodians discussing an accident that happened in the first week of March. Wouldn’t it be convenient if you could get your software to do that search? We thought it would. So, we focused on giving GoldFynch ‘advanced’ search capabilities like this by harnessing file/email metadata (things like when the file was created, or the email sent) and using the magic of Boolean logic. And once GoldFynch could do this, everything else just fell into place.

2. We built our software from the ground up, keeping it as simple as possible.

There’s a lot to be said about not reinventing the wheel. But sometimes, it’s worth starting with a blank slate, so you don’t unwittingly use clunky software features just out of habit. And that’s what we did with GoldFynch. Our priority was making the software easy to use. So, we started with the user experience we wanted to design and worked backwards from there. With GoldFynch, you:

  1. Log in as you do with email. Open your web browser (Chrome recommended), go to the GoldFynch website, and sign in.
  2. Move files around like in Windows. To upload files to GoldFynch, drag-and-drop them into your browser. GoldFynch handles all the complicated processing that follows.
  3. Search as you do with Google. GoldFynch makes creating custom searches easy.
  4. Access files like you do with Dropbox. Since GoldFynch is in the Cloud (explained below), you can get at your files from anywhere – you’ll only need a laptop and an internet connection. This is perfect for when you’re on the go (e.g., stuck at the airport, waiting for your flight). And many firms use GoldFynch and the Cloud to collaborate internationally.

3. We made our system efficient, which cut costs.

We’ve always wanted GoldFynch to be able to scale on demand because that’s how you can offer customers affordable pricing. So, rather than making them download and install our software, we set it up in the Cloud. That is, in the global network of servers which most of the world now runs on. (Find out more about the Cloud.) So, GoldFynch’s storage capacity can expand and shrink on demand, which means a level of efficiency we could never have achieved with a non-Cloud business model.

4. We cut out the middle people. Customers subscribe to our eDiscovery service directly from our website.

The more intermediaries between our customers and us, the more time and money gets wasted. So, we knew that our customers had to be able to start GoldFynching right from our website. And so we set up an easy-to-understand pricing system (fixed-volume pricing with a per-GB rate as reference) that you can navigate with a simple slider. This cuts out all the sales and price-negotiation calls that test everyone’s patience. And as we’ve come to realize, these inconveniences don’t need to be there if you design things right.

5. We’ve never had a large sales team or wasted money frivolously on marketing. Instead, we focus on delivering value.

Good work speaks for itself and that holds for eDiscovery software. So by continually delivering value, we’ve been able to save on our sales and marketing budgets. And delivering value, in our experience, is about prioritizing.

Ferraris vs. Corvettes: A fun analogy that summarizes our philosophy.

In the world of fast cars, there’s the Corvette and the Ferrari. And each comes with a vastly different price tag.

The Corvette driver is in love with speed. They want a car that runs well and looks good. The Ferrari driver loves speed but also loves what it means to own a Ferrari. The social status it brings. So, what’s the difference? The Ferrari has a slightly more powerful engine. It does 0-60 in 3 seconds, while the Corvette takes 4 seconds. And its top speed is 211 mph, while the Corvette’s is 185 mph. Both engines are remarkable (though the Corvette’s requires less maintenance and is more fuel-efficient). And both cars have plush, comfortable interiors. But the Ferrari is three times as expensive as the Corvette.

So, is it worth buying a Ferrari? It depends on what you’re looking for.

We see eDiscovery as being the same. If you’re a large law firm with deep pockets and massive cases, there are a lot of eDiscovery extras you might want. For example, technology-assisted reviews (TARs), advanced analytics, etc. But these features come with a hefty price tag. Instead, think of GoldFynch as the Corvette of eDiscovery. You get high performance at a fraction of the cost because we focus on the essentials and do them well. And as our customers will often tell us, that’s what matters to small and midsize law firms looking to grow their business.

Curious about GoldFynch? Here are some other things it’s known for.

  • It costs just $27 a month for a 3 GB case: That’s significantly less than most comparable software. With GoldFynch, you know what you’re paying for exactly – its pricing is simple and readily available on the website.
  • It’s easy to budget for. GoldFynch charges only for storage (processing is free). So, choose from a range of plans (3 GB to 150+ GB) and know up front how much you’ll be paying. It takes just a few clicks to move from one plan to another, and billing is prorated – so you’ll pay only for the time you spend on any given plan. With legacy software, pricing is much less predictable.
  • It takes just minutes to get going. As we’ve seen, GoldFynch runs in the Cloud, so you use it through your web browser (Google Chrome recommended). No installation. No sales calls or emails. Plus, you get a free trial case (0.5 GB of data and processing cap of 1 GB), without adding a credit card.
  • It keeps you flexible. To build a defensible case, you need to be able to add and delete files freely. Many applications charge to process each file you upload, so you’ll be reluctant to let your case organically shrink and grow. And this stifles you. With GoldFynch, you get unlimited processing for free. So, on a 1 GB plan, you could add and delete 5 GB of data at no extra cost – as long as there’s only 1 GB in your case at any point. And if you do cross 1 GB, your plan upgrades automatically and you’ll be charged for only the time spent on each plan. That’s the beauty of prorated pricing.
  • Access it from anywhere. And 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud.

Want to learn more about GoldFynch?