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Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Otto Hanson, CEO and founder of TermScout, a contract review platform that has raised $7 million in funding. Join us as we dive into the transformative journey of Term Scout, aiming to make contract review accessible and understandable for businesses of all sizes.

  • A Legal Background Fuels Innovation: Otto transitioned from entrepreneurship to law to tackle the complexities of contracts head-on, spotting inefficiencies in legal processes that led to the creation of Term Scout.
  • Stressful but Rewarding Legal Experience: Working in a large corporate law firm presented grueling challenges but also offered deep insights into the pain points Term Scout aims to solve.
  • Admiration for Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia: Otto admires Patagonia’s founder for his genuine commitment to environmental and social causes, seeing him as a model for responsible entrepreneurship.
  • Embracing Lean Startup Principles: The Lean Startup book deeply influences Term Scout’s approach, emphasizing rapid learning and adaptation to pivot towards what truly works in the market.
  • Addressing Contract Complexity with AI: Term Scout leverages AI to provide insights into contracts, aiming to make them more negotiable and understandable, and reducing the negotiation drag on business transactions.
  • Vision for the Future: Otto envisions a world where contracts are demystified for everyone, aiming to make Term Scout a tool that ensures fairness and clarity in contractual agreements for both businesses and individuals.


Leverage Your Unique Background to Identify Niche Problems:

Otto’s transition from entrepreneur to law student and back to entrepreneurship, driven by a desire to understand and tackle legal complexities, highlights the importance of leveraging unique personal and professional experiences to identify and solve niche problems in your industry.

Invest Heavily in Product and Technology:

Term Scout's focus on building a robust product and employing cutting-edge technology, including AI, for contract review and analysis shows the value of prioritizing product development to solve complex issues effectively and build trust with users.

Create Value by Reducing Friction in Business Processes:

Term Scout’s mission to make contracts simple and useful addresses the significant pain point of contract negotiation delays in business transactions. By focusing on reducing such friction, startups can create immense value for their customers, leading to rapid growth and adoption.

Use Objective Data to Build Trust and Transparency:

Term Scout’s approach of using neutral, independent third-party data to assess contracts underscores the importance of objectivity and transparency in building trust with both sides of a transaction. This can be a powerful differentiator in markets where subjective negotiation is the norm.

Embrace and Contribute to Category Creation:

While Term Scout operates in the crowded space of contract review technology, its focus on contract certification as a category-creating offering highlights the potential for startups to not only compete within existing markets but also to define new ones. By positioning your solution as a category creator, you can establish leadership and drive market education and adoption.