Mar 17, 2020

COVID-19 Response: A Contract is a Plan

We sent out a note to our customers yesterday to remind and reassure them that Outlaw’s service as a contract platform will not be interrupted by COVID-19.

As an Internet business whose core service is providing cloud-based computer systems, Outlaw is fortunate to not need to worry in the immediate term about continuity of services. However, we’re also headquartered in NYC, the epicenter of the small, local business. I took a short walk yesterday — taking care, of course, to maintain social distancing — and I couldn’t help notice that while all the mechanical and computerized systems can just keep on running automatically in the midst of a global pandemic, the human world has just simply, and completely… stopped.

We’ve seen similar crises throughout recent history, and even in our current state, other parts of the world have already effectively “flattened the curve” to contain the spread of coronavirus. So we know that 1) managing it is possible, and that 2) the measures needed to do so will ultimately be temporary (though how long is the big question).

And because people know, on some level, that we’ll ultimately pull through this together, they’re already planning for what happens on the other side. We ended our note to customers with the following:

At its core, a contract is a plan about the future. And while it can absolutely feel (especially today, in the heart of NYC) as if the world has stopped turning, we’ve found one thing to be immensely reassuring: you, our customers, are still actively signing contracts in the midst of it all. You’re still making plans. We’re inspired to see that, and we’re honored to help.

It’s true. Outlaw has customers across a wide range of industries, and they’re all still making plans by executing contracts. Professional service companies are still signing clients, record labels are still licensing music… hell, we just signed up a financial planner as I was writing this post.

One of our highly active customers right now is a summer day camp outside of NYC. While schools and local businesses are temporarily shuttering, this day camp is gearing up for high season, hiring counselors and vendors in the event that things are under control by summertime. Some might cynically call this behavior naive, but our whole team at Outlaw finds it to be a tremendously inspiring symbol of New Yorkers’ unique brand of unstoppable optimism.

So we say: our day camp customer (who is going to get a free lifetime license, btw) has reminded us that the world will start turning again at some point. In the meantime: keep on partnering, keep on negotiating, and keep on planning.

Written by Evan Schneyer

Co-Founder & CEO of Outlaw

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