The
View from Initialized

A Smart Timekeeper For Knowledge Workers

Why Initialized Capital is Funding Ping

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The Ping Team; photo credit: Margot Duane

I went to law school because I thought that being a lawyer would give me the superpower of understanding how to operate within the legal system, much like many of my friends have told me that being able to code is their superpower.

After graduating from law school, instead of going to the district attorney’s office or the U.S. attorney’s office, I took the easier path and joined a big law firm. Little did I know that working at a big firm was short on glamour and long on tedium.

The most tedious aspect of all was time tracking.

I spent four years of my career tracking my time in six-minute increments. This exercise was so detestable that it usually devolved into an end-of-month review session of all of my e-mails and my calendar. I would take rough stabs at how I spent my time. The cornerstone of my billing method would be the 7.1 hours billed with a long, run-on paragraph of my time:

See e.g.

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What I should have done was the following:

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That part of my brain hasn’t been in use for over a dozen years and now you can see why. No one — and I mean no one — wants to chop up their day and keep a constant tally of all of their productive behavior.

When I met Ryan Alshak, I immediately understood the problem he was trying to solve. His company Ping creates intelligent timekeeping software for knowledge workers. Not only do legal professionals have to track their time, so do accountants and consultants. It’s the type of enterprise software that you want to invest in — the kind that helps people be more productive. On top of that, it’s a product for which employees and employers are fully aligned.

Moreover, the software that these industries use for billing has not improved since I first started practicing law nearly 20 years ago. I don’t even know how that is possible, but it is. There is no reason that software can’t integrate with what professionals use on a daily basis — laptops, phones, e-mail — and intelligently detect what that person is doing and for whom they are doing it. Ping’s software does just this. It identifies billable activities, drafts descriptions of that action, and populates the client and matter, project, or number.

How much would a company pay to bill 20 percent more? How much would a person pay to get 10 percent of their non-billable time back?

There is more to Ping’s vision, but for now, it’s sufficient to say that the company plans to dramatically change the way knowledge workers work. Having them do less work to get paid more is a pretty good start.

Lastly, there’s much more to this company than the practical product and compelling vision. Ping’s founding team, their ability to work together and their ability to execute are even more important. To that end, the Ping team has amazed me with their tenacity. They responded to rejections from Y Combinator by doubling down on their mission. They found free office space. They recruited a founding team to work on what was a shoestring budget and signed a global law firm to pilot their product before raising any substantial capital.

Since our investment a year and a half ago, the team’s heart and tenacity has been world-class. Ryan has written candidly about his experience building a company as his mom battled cancer. Through these experiences, he has found strength and perseverance as a leader. We’re delighted that they’ve found Series A investors who appreciate this vision, and more importantly, understand the value of the team.

Get in touch with Ping today.