I'm blogging this on the last working day of Q4, the busiest sales day of the year. And I have the time to blog this because of a seriously great deal execution web service called EchoSign.
This morning I had a deal to be done with someone who doesn't use Word out of principle (hey, we are wiki guys and all for it), threw away their fax machine when spam ate all the ink and paper and didn't have access to a scanner. Another person was on vacation and I didn't want to burden them with the manual labor or a Kinko's run. I signed up for a free account, uploaded an agreement, sent them, tracked progress during the day and got counter electronic signatures. CCd the lawyer in the process. Deal done hassle free.
I can't think of many reasons not to do business like this. There will be some larger enterprises that will need to be sold on the process, but the mid-market is ripe for this. And the good old fashioned signing ceremony for big deals won't go away. But at the very least, the Valley should work this way, from VCs to Law Firms to Boards to Sales teams.
They happen to be two doors down from Socialtext in Palo Alto 2.0 and the funny thing is I first met them when they bought an AdWord on our brand. I walked in and complained. Next time I checked they bought a new ad supporting our Wiki Wednesday event. Cool. Now we wave while they get refreshers from Peet's.
If you want to try it, send me your email address and I'll send you a license agreement to buy a wiki anytime. Happy closing.