Episode 53: Ibrahim Aissam – Building for Justice: Unlocking Accessibility Through Creative Solutions

In today’s SaaS Fuel™ Founder Episode, Jeff is joined by Ibrahim Aissam, Founder of CourtDate, The Multilingual Communication Platform for Justice. Ibrahim shares his experience of transitioning from a web development agency to working with government customers, including the United Nations and defense contractors. He explains how he developed a process for pitching to state and local levels, as well as the differences between what he expected and what he experienced in terms of sales cycles. We also discuss the importance of understanding what customers want versus what they need, and how to build a product that meets their needs. 

Tune in for an insightful conversation about navigating the government space!

Key Takeaways

00:01:47   Going back to the 21st century, entrepreneurs have to be visionaries

00:02:52   Creativity and vision cannot come from AI, but rather from founders 

00:05:12   Ibrahim Aissam: A Warrior For Justice

00:07:17   Governments are using tech more outdated than software used on Mars

00:08:56   Cracking The Government Space: MVP And Iteration Strategies

00:12:33   Developing Products For Big And Small Courts

00:14:05   The US Justice System Should Be Designed with a Top-Down Approach

00:14:35   Selling The Right Product: The Challenge Of Meeting Customer Needs

00:16:38   A Software Product Needs an API to Interoperate With Other Systems

00:17:41   Interoperability For Improved Design And Faster Decision Making

00:19:28   When Entering To A New State, You Need To Have Customers In That Same State

00:21:42   Attempting To Use Supernova Energy Into The Product

00:22:36   Challenges Of Multi-language And Multi-channel Courts

00:23:25   Solving Multilingual Barriers and Communication Saves Cost

00:26:10   Easy And Accessible Court Portal For All Devices

00:27:47   Product's Vision: A Unified Communication Platform

00:31:10   Potential Future Translation Marketplace 

00:32:15   Pursue Funding or Continue Bootstrapped?

00:33:42   Closer To Product-Market Fit With Investment And Time

00:38:24   Finding Inspiration Through Mentorship Programs

00:40:00   Don't work as hard. Take a break. Sleep more.

00:41:25   Similarities Between Writers And Coders

Tweetable Quotes

“If anybody can do it, an entrepreneur certainly can.” – 00:08:40 Jeff Mains

“You have to think about what would be the minimum viable for the customers. Not what would be the minimum viable product your team has developed. Cause that does not always necessarily go hand in hand.” – 00:12:19  Ibrahim Aissam

“Whether it's a competition or somebody that told you you can't do it, or whether it's yourself that told you you can't do it, or thought  that you can't do it, beating somebody or beating some goal.” – 00:31:29 Ibrahim Aissam

“It takes time to build a product. It takes time to learn your users, to learn your market, to understand what you need.” – 00:33:45 Ibrahim Aissam

“You have to be creative. You have to be scrappy. You have to find ways to succeed. Not just throw money at problems and hope they go away.” – 00:37:05 Jeff Mains

“I think you can always find inspiration from people in all kinds of fields, sometimes from surprising fields.” – 00:38:25 Ibrahim Aissam

SaaS Leadership Lessons

  1. Learn how to differentiate yourself when there are big players trying to keep others out. 
  2. Mentoring: Real-world experience is what people find valuable and not credentials given by institutions.
  3. Courts should be able to provide interpreters in your preferred language in order to save costs, and to avoid misunderstandings too! Does this affect your solutions?
  4. To create something that someone will pay for, you need to talk to your users.
  5. Constraints can force you to be creative.
  6. Understand your users to understand your market and what you need to create to serve them well.
  7. Create a product with the potential of mass user adoption.

Guest Resources

Ibrahim’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ai-ibrahim/

Website: ecourtdate.com

eCourtDate LinkedIn: :https://www.linkedin.com/company/ecourtdate

eCourtDate Twitter: https://twitter.com/ecourtdate

Resources Mentioned

Book: Creativity Inc, by Ed Catmull

Ford (Website): https://www.ford.com/

VoIP : https://www.techtarget.com/searchunifiedcommunications/definition/VoIP

Episode Sponsor

Today’s episode is sponsored by SaaSOpen. Join 1,000+ SaaS Leaders, Get an Inside Look at the Future of Software, and spend time with the people making it happen. There will be 5 stages with valuable content delivered in short 20-minute segments built for SaaS founders, CMOs, heads of product, sales, and engineering. The best way to predict the future is to create it so come do that with us on March 16 & 17 in NYC. I’ll be there and would love to meet you. We’re hosting a dinner get-together called We Love Bootstrappers while we’re there. Get full details at SaaSOpen.com 

Small Fish, Big Pond – https://smallfishbigpond.com/ Use the promo code ‘SaaSFuel’

Champion Leadership Group™ – https://championleadership.com/