Dana Denis-Smith, ex-lawyer and journalist, founded obelisksupport.com in 2010 to keep City lawyers, especially mothers, working flexibly, around their family or other personal commitments and to provide clients with an affordable and quality legal support.
Obelisk has grown at over 100% a year since foundation and now counts 1,200 lawyers on its books – initially almost exclusively women though men now make up almost 25% of the service providers.
ObeliskSupport was named by The Times as one of UK’s Top 50 Employers for Women in 2015 and 2016 and Dana was described as, “constantly finding new ways to get alternate ways of working accepted and has helped provide a voice of reason in a hotly debated area”.
Human First. Everything Else Comes After
Consciously bootstrapped from day one, Dana focused early effort on building a community and creating a product that meets a market need.
Early customers and clients were managed on spreadsheets, then a relatively primitive, off the shelf CRM system. She realised the critical piece in making the business successful was managing the relationships between people on both sides of the transaction and it was only when you could understand this dynamic that there was any value in investing in technology at the point that you could not scale without it. Dana will share insights into her quest for product market fit as well as thoughts on ways that all companies can tap into undervalued talent pools.