Nick Watson & Calum Whytock reflect on their month of collaborations

Although 2022 is coming to its conclusion, it doesn’t mean we’ve slowed down. In fact, the team here at Ruby Datum have pushed themselves further during the final quarter. We want to celebrate and share the teams’ efforts. Therefore, we sat down for a catch-up with our newly appointed Business Development Specialist, Calum Whytock and CEO Nick Watson to discuss their experience working together over the past few months at Ruby Datum.

Calum joined the team in September and has been eagerly collaborating with companies behind the scenes. CEO Nick Watson attended numerous events during October and November including GAIA, Tomorrow Matters, MDR Lab and asked Calum to join him at Legal Innovators.

“It was great to finally meet Calum and work alongside him”, said Nick. “He’s someone whose values perfectly aligned with Ruby Datum. He has so much enthusiasm, he’s great with people and he’s going to be huge in propelling this company into the future.” At Ruby Datum, we all work together remotely, therefore it always feels special when we can collaborate in person.

Not only was it the first time Nick and Calum had met in real life, but it was Calum’s first event. “It was great to represent Ruby Datum”, said Calum. “The Legal Innovators event was my first-ever conference and it was very lively. The lawyers there were very open to innovation & I could clearly see their keenness to adopt new tech that would make law in their firm or company more effective.”

The events bought together similar-thinking companies that want to pioneer a more progressive way of operating within their businesses, with the environment and people’s well-being at the forefront of this effort.

“GAIA, Tomorrow Matters were incredible”. Nick continued saying, “It was good to see so many Green-led companies that shape the future for tomorrow, all under one roof and engaging in conversations about what we can do to make a difference. MDR Lab was good to showcase some really innovative companies and see so many familiar faces after so long.” While attending Legal Innovators, Nick was a part of a panel that discussed work-life balance. This important conversation really stood out as a key moment for Calum.

“The discussion was around the fact that new tech – that saves time – doesn’t usually result in a better work-life balance for the employees of the firm. ‘The billable hours’ is the culprit here. That time saved is then spent on other tasks for the lawyer to fulfil their billable hours.” The point Calum makes is something that has been a conversation in and around Ruby Datum for some time. In fact, Nick Watson spoke about this topic earlier this year on LawTech.Live with Helen Pamely and Jens Nasstrom.

Calum then went on to say, “The conversations I had after the panel were incredibly interesting around this point; the billable hour seems to have real, tangible benefits to the firm and client but there’s a feeling of excitement that other pricing formats are emerging from smaller firms”.

After spending time with clients and peers in the industry, Calum felt that Ruby Datum could be a cornerstone solution to a lot of problems that were discussed over the events.

“I initially thought that the easy navigation in Ruby Datum’s data room would reduce manual tasks, which will save our clients’ time. However from the conference, I came to see that Ruby Datum is much more than just that. Firstly, I spoke to some clients that endorse Ruby Datum for its customisability, especially when it comes to the plethora of user permissions. Then I came across people who just wanted the right kind of support when it comes to tech; having an actual human on ‘the other end of the line’. This seems to be the most important feature to lawyers; something we’re renowned for at Ruby Datum.”

Following a set of successful events, Nick followed Calum back to Istanbul where they continued to collaborate together. The trip gave the pair time to discuss new ideas and work through solutions. While there, the pair worked on another collaboration between Ruby Datum and Calum’s own company SouthChalk.

Nick explained, “While in Istanbul we simply just worked together which resulted in intriguing conversations to collaborate with South Chalk. It just felt right to do because as a sustainable led company with so many green initiatives and passion for the environment… it just made perfect sense.”

Calum started with SouthChalk with his wife with the aim to make up-cycled and ethically made jumpers. “I think it was after the first conversation I had with Nick that I had the idea to make him and the team Ruby Datum branded SouthChalk jumpers” said Calum. “On special occasions we will gift individuals who really match the values of our brand a jumper as a token of our appreciation of ‘their awesomeness’; this was no different. The values of sustainability & mindfulness that Nick has put into Ruby Datum is exactly the type of awesomeness that we want to support. We love the way the jumpers came out with the ‘hand-stitched’ Ruby Datum logo, Zekiye (mom.chalk) did an amazing job with it, as always!”

While we’ve enjoyed reflecting on some of our 2022 highlights, we are as motivated as ever to take the company to the next level in 2023. We’re planning to collaborate with people and companies who align with our values regardless of their size. So to round off our chat with Calum we asked, what does the next year have in store for you?

“In 2023 I aim to collaborate with many more in the law industry – provide people with the best tool to get their work done efficiently & effectively. I am also very excited to be collaborating with ESG consultants. We are working with them to publish a white-paper series. We want it to benefit them and their customers in a very direct way while using the Ruby Datum software to centralise their knowledge and expertise.”