Picture It Settled: A Geekdom Startup Building A Negotiation-Modeling Platform On The Rackspace Managed Cloud

Negotiation between legal parties has historically been a process dominated by uncertainty, guessing games and anxiety. However, today’s professionals can make strategic decisions based on deep data and predictive analytics to improve conventional wisdom and to correct cognitive errors in judgment.

Using neural networks to examine the behavior of negotiators in thousands of cases, Picture It Settled makes software that can predict what an opponent will do, thereby saving time and money while optimizing settlements. Picture It Settled’s software does not replace lawyers – instead, it is a critically important resource that gives them a distinct edge in the negotiation process.

“I began to notice a pattern in the negotiation of litigated cases,” explains Don Philbin, president of Picture It Settled. “So we gathered data on the pace at which offers are made in two dimensions – money and time. Using learning systems, we developed behavioral software that predicts where a negotiating round will likely end based upon the first few offers.”

The Picture It Settled startup became reality at Geekdom in downtown San Antonio, a collaborative workplace where entrepreneurs, technologists, makers and creatives help each other build businesses.

Geekdom is more of a technology incubator and accelerator,” Philbin says. “Bright, ambitious people thrive in that environment. I wanted us to be around such folks. Nick Longo (co-founder of Geekdom) and Pat Condon (co-founder of Rackspace) have been great sounding boards and resources.”

Through its affiliation with Geekdom, Picture It Settled enrolled in the Rackspace Startup Program.

“Rackspace is a hometown favorite started by Trinity students and run by friends,” Philbin says. “The support from the Rackspace Startup Program has been great and it’s great to trial the product while conserving cash for a new startup.”

With Picture It Settled blazing a path in the legal vertical, Philbin hopes the startup will be among the first to bring intelligent systems to the practice of law.

“The intelligence of Picture It Settled becomes actionable when parties use the prediction to establish (and adjust) targets,” he says. “The system will suggest the most effective route to that target drawing on other successful patterns. The result is more deals on better terms.”

And Philbin says he is looking beyond law at other avenues for the Picture It Settled negotiation-modeling platform.

“The negotiating models we’ve developed may also work in shorter tail, consumer transactions like home and car purchases,” he says.

The Rackspace Startup Program was there to help Picture It Settled build its negotiation-modeling platform on the Rackspace Managed Cloud. Drop the Startup Team a note and let us know if you need help building your startup.

John McKenna loves startups and was a Space Cowboy with the Rackspace Startup Program. He also crafted customer stories and produced really cool videos for the Customer Reference Program. John enjoys telling stories through his writings…and loves the beach, the ranch, his dog Blue and most of all his three beautiful daughters.


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