Contract infrastructure must be flexible

If you’re building a fruit-processing plant, you want to know what kind of fruit you’re going to be dealing with. If it’s just oranges, that’s great. They come in different shapes and sizes, but you don’t have to worry about the problems you get with bananas, apples, or grapes.

If the world of documents is like the world of fruit, invoices are like oranges. You only have to worry about one set of problems. They’re automatically generated by computers so their structure is predictable, even from one company to the next. There’s also predictability around which kinds of information you want to capture.

If invoices are like oranges, contracts are like the entire world of fruit. They are pretty much as wild as the world of documents in general.

Why? Humans. Humans are messy. Humans are strange. Humans create and edit contracts in all sorts of crazy ways. You have zero guarantees over structure or content, which means you need to account for all possibilities. Unsurprisingly, this is much more difficult.

Luckily, we’ve already done the hard work of building a uniquely flexible infrastructure that can handle any kind of document. If you’re looking at other solutions, make sure they’ve done the same (spoiler: they haven’t).