Logikcull wasn’t started as a cloud-based platform using AI to transform the way legal teams approach e-discovery, according to CEO and co-founder Andy Wilson.“The company was designed to help not print paper, basically,” Wilson told LexBlab, a podcast produced by UC Hasting’s College of Law, about Logikcull’s earliest origins in 2004.
As an early-career programmer, Wilson found himself working for a printing company in Washington, DC, producing millions of pages of digital content for law firms and government agencies. As he and co-founder and CTO Sheng Yang worked through “mega-litigation projects,” they saw an opportunity to bring their backgrounds in computer science to the archaic and inefficient discovery process.
“So, one day we thought, ‘What if this e-discovery thing was so easy, fast and affordable that anyone could do it, from anywhere?’ And the idea for Logikcull was born,” Wilson explained to Built In.
By making e-discovery more efficient, Logikcull’s mission extends far beyond government and big law litigation. “Our mission is to democratize discovery,” he told LexBlab. “You shouldn't block somebody from access to justice just because there's a large hard drive in the way. We set out to fix that.”
In the early days of the company, those large hard drives were a literal hurdle for the Logikcull team. Clients would ship data-filled hard drives to Wilson’s apartment in DC, which was filled with servers that would allow the early Logikcull team to process the data and return the drives to clients.
“We had to keep the AC down at 50 degrees, so it would stay at 75,” Wilson said of his dining room server rack. “The cloud did not exist — you had to build your own.”
Even as Wilson worried about keeping the business financially afloat and the product moving forward, he never doubted his ability to keep pushing ahead.
“I have a never-give-up stubbornness about me,” he said. That tenacity served Wilson well as he and Yang saw an opportunity to disrupt their own business.
As the cloud emerged as a powerful force, Logikcull opened the doors for people to upload data directly, rather than mailing hard drives, making the process even more efficient for clients and for the company.
Logikcull’s work simplifying e-discovery was perfectly timed for a world experiencing an exponential increase in data.
“It’s this explosion of data, and it’s not slowing down,” he said. “Discovery is where you’re finding the truth of these matters. There’s juicy pieces of information in there. The problem is you have this noise where the smoking gun is getting buried beneath the data flow and discovery.”
While the value of e-discovery is clear to those trying to work through immense amounts of information, storage costs for keeping that data secure on the cloud became similarly insurmountable.
“Storing all that noise is only getting more and more expensive, so it’s blocking people from pursuing their matter in court,” he said. “We see this as a way to help people access justice. Logikull helps people find those smoking gun emails. Data is a new kind of darkness, and Logikcull is like a big flashlight.”
“When we say we have to democratize this process, we see this as a way to help people access justice.”
Logikcull has indeed been used to shine a light on complexities hidden in data and usher in change. In 2018, for example, the Sierra Club and journalistic partners used the platform to parse a deluge of Freedom of Information Act documents regarding the Environmental Protection Agency and former EPA head Scott Pruitt. Logikcull allowed the Sierra Club to parse through massive document dumps to access the most valuable data — which ultimately led to a change in leadership at the very top of the EPA and a clear use-case for Logikcull’s power to transform e-discovery.
What’s next for Wilson and Logikcull as the company approaches two decades of changing the way data can be turned into action?
“Getting to 10,000 customers and announcing some mind-blowing AI features.”
Far beyond individual hard drive processing and in-home server banks, Wilson and Logikcull are ready to drive the next generation of data and AI possibilities ahead with smart, fast, integrated solutions for customers — and exciting challenges ahead for creative and ambitious talent looking to transform the future of e-discovery.