In the world of tech startups, legal can be synonymous with difficult, complicated or even slow. We have made it our mission to change that point of view.
Our Legal team at Ontop has come up with a bold new approach to creating legal solutions for MVPs (Minimum Viable Products). The Minimum Legal Product, or MLP for short, is the essential, indispensable legal framework that needs to be put in place in order to regulate the rights and obligations arising from an MVP.
Shervin Naimi and Carolina Rincon, Corporate Legal Executive and VP of Legal at Ontop, have cowritten an MLP Article that takes care in describing this novel way to look at solving legal problems in the startup ecosystem. We believe that MLPs should have some fundamental characteristics: they need to be (1) dynamic and fluid; (2) agile; (3) simple and easy to understand; (4) innovative and disruptive; and have a (5) clear value proposition.
In the Foreword to the MLP Article, our COO and Co-Founder Julian Torres Gomez said the following:
We have arrived at a point in history where technology is constantly growing and accelerating at an unprecedented pace, much faster than the capacity that we human beings and our societies have to adapt; lawmakers and regulators need to adapt their methodologies to be able to keep up.
In another excerpt, the MLP Article gets into how the legal mindset needs to undergo a paradigm shift in the tech sector:
As in-house counsel at a tech startup, our function is very different from that of external counsel or even lawmakers. We need to enable the business and help it to move forward in a way that reduces or mitigates risk, obviously in compliance with the applicable laws and regulations. There is no way to eliminate 100% of all risks in any given situation [...]
It goes on to describe the need for speed over perfection:
While you could be spending weeks or even months preparing that perfectly-drafted legal document for an MVP, the product was pushed for early launch because of internal pressures from other areas and is already being offered to the external market [...] the MVP can be wildly different from its initial form or may no longer exist because it was discontinued for lack of traction within the market. That’s why it is so important for us lawyers to recognize the need of an MLP to keep up with the fast pace of development of MVPs and their respective life cycles, similarly ensuring that the legal framework continues evolving and changing over time.
Want to read more about the MLP? You can find the full article here: MLP Article