Signing My Name
I sign my name a lot. When we close deals, I sign the documents. When things change in our companies and they need consents, I sign them. I sign tax returns, filings, permits, and a host of other documents all the time.
As I have written here before, I have a hard time with what they used to call “penmanship” in school. It’s something about my dexterity (or lack thereof) in my hands. My hands get tired quickly and my handwriting gets illegible just as quickly.
Technology has been a godsend for me in this regard. Computers (and word processors before them) saved me from having to write by hand before I got out of high school. Phew.
The same has been true over the past few years when it comes to signing documents. I still do it by hand way more than I’d like but services like Docusign are being adopted by more and more companies and it seems like I Docusign now as much or possibly more than I physically sign.
My colleague Nick needed me to sign something last week. I said “please docusign it.” He did and within a few minutes the documents were signed. I sent him an email saying “that was so great, i wish everyone did it that way.” So this is a plea to everyone out there to skip the paper and go electronic when signatures are needed.
But as good as Docusign is, and it is really good, my all time favorite signing experience is on the Square checkout app. I’m not sure what it is, maybe its the angle (vertical but with a slight slope), or maybe it is the size of the signature box, or maybe it is the iPad’s screen, but whatever it is, I absolutely love signing my name on a Square checkout. If every signing experience was like that, I’d be a very happy man.
I am consistently surprised at how well I sign my name with my fingertip, on Square.Love it.When I first touched – emphasis on touch, obviously – an iPad, I called my wife and told her that it was going to be huge.I think wildly impactful products embrace the elemental and powerful ( Jobs realizing that touching the screen is a game changer, Garret Camp wanting to ‘press a button to get a car’) and avoid the juvenile or infantile (a certain website with a hacking issue comes to mind).
To paraphrase what you said…I was sooo excited when I first touched it that I called my wife and said it was going to be huge.Well said, albeit a little too personal for this forum, if I may say so.
What was the first thing Adam told Eve? “Stand back. I’m not sure how big it’s going to get.”
When SQ and other SV techcos can do this…Finger written on my iPad just now. Much much more complex for the machine to do optical recognition and pattern recognition matching on this than 26 letters of the alphabet and 0-9.It’s why, IF the Natural Language problem in Machine Intelligence, will be solved…It’s likely a bilingual (or even polyglot) East+West computer scientist will solve it, :*).
signnow has the same feature – its awesome
Dig Square as well. Somehow it’s more gratifying than Apple pay (or the like). Maybe the ease of tech married with the comfort of a signature is why.I do wish they nailed that ID system they promised where you’d walk in to a place, it would recognize you and autopay. That would make feeling like a regular megabadass.
Garret Camp has that ‘taken care of’ feature on Reserve.
Yeah, I tried Reserve. Not a great experience for me. Never even got a table. Cover and Resy are trying the same things. Very limited. I want something like Uber (who have perfected it, as much as it pains me to say that). Where I walk in my coffee shop. Tap a button and walk out. Like I own the joint. 😉
Garret & the crew @ Expa aren’t blowing up my inbox for help, but I know where they missed the boat here.The are looking up the wrong product stack.
They could steal the mayor idea from Foursquare/Swarm, but tie it to money spent instead of number of visits.
Does DocSign let you sign different pages within a document and then recreate one PDF?Always annoying to have multiple pdfs from different pages in a doc.Seems unnecessarily messy.
One doc, in my experience
Yes, if you are the creator of that doc. If you are receiving it, it depends how they put it together.
It’s fairly easy to use docusign. The problem is when you need to have someone who is not familiar with docusign sign something with docusign. Take a look at the website.  In that case if you are making a deal it takes time to explain and get them onboard typically with the concept. In a recent deal I simply avoided docusign (even though the buyer’s lawyer wanted it) because it would have been a CF having the seller use it. Sign up, understand the concept and so on. My reward is getting something done, not using technology to get something done. Plus by the golden rule the entity that you want something from is the one who has the gold that needs to be accommodated.Anyway they were able to print out a pdf, sign, scan and get back to me. Not always the case. Sometimes people don’t have a scanner handy. If they couldn’t do that I would have simply sent them a fax and have them fax that back to me.Docusign is fine for people familiar with docusign, however honestly in cases where you just need a signature from someone that you don’t want to have, and this is really important (as you no doubt know), cold feet or friction much better to just go the traditional route which they already understand (which is what I did in the situation that I am talking about). Like a wine store for someone who doesn’t know wine and just wants a bottle for dinner at a friends house.
Yeah, signing my signature with a mouse is awkward. Signing on Square is easier, as you mention – also because you can use your finger on a touchscreen.
with signnow – you simply use your finger on your phone…..its awesome.
That makes sense
+1 re Square.DocSign is 80% there. As someone who regularly collects multiple signatures it would be really helpful if someone would enable the merging of signed docs regardless of the app so I wouldn’t need to go the old fashioned route of printing and scanning.
Can you describe a little more how the square signing experience work? I did it a few times and didn’t notice anything special. Ps you have a typo at colleague
Thanks. Will fix
It’s such a time saving. I use DocuSign and EchoSign, both pretty close in capabilities.
Both are not bad and do save time, but I definitely think the experience could be much better. I feel like this space is still not quite locked in. Definitely would like to see a better UX from these two.
love docusign. 25 years in the trading pits and I write worse than a doctor does when he signs a prescription. thank goodness for typing and virtual communication.
I virtually communicate ALL the time. As a matter of fact, I virtually communicated with Albert Einstein just yesterday afternoon. I’ve been virtually communicating ever since I was a kid. Started with my virtual friend, Morris.
Let me know when they can transmit body language, wait, no don’t let me know that.
>As a matter of fact, I virtually communicated with Albert Einstein just yesterday afternoon.Ouija board? or do I mean planchette? Sorry, I’m not too up-to-date on these higher matters …Also, do you virtually communicate or communicate virtually?
That’s thought provoking
Its an absolute game changer. I sign documents all the time. (NDA’s, Contracts, board consents and on and on) – its a game changer because i can sign all of these on my phone from whereever i am – and the storage features becomes our virtual data room in any kind of diligence. No more heavy lifting on document assembly – its all in our docusign account for anyone to review……startup game changer.update: We use signnow.
>its a game changer because i can sign all of these on my phone from whereever i amHow are the security aspects?
they got bought by Barracuda networks.I have to believe its core to how they think about their product.
I am definitely a fan of Square’s checkout app. Such a great UX. And UI for that matter.
Does anyone know if square allows you to utilize their doc signing feature as a standalone service for app developers? I tried to find on their site but seems its just part of the Square platform. In unique spot where we are building a new app and e-signing is definitely something we want to integrate..thx for any advice
Using @docusign for the past 4 years. I’m a very happy user.
Anything that reduces the amount of physical paper on my desk is a winner in my book.
The right step forward will be when people start using digital certificates as means of authentication. Particularly in Europe these are legally binding even when dealing with government. Basically if you have a digital certificate you can sign electronically anything with significantly higher reliability and security. All of my emails are digitally signed, I don’t even have to think about it.DocuSign solves a problem of traceability and multiple signature management, but it does not adequately solve the problem of authentication. Settling for visual recognition of a hand scribbled signature on a document as a proof of authenticity is a poor compromise. It’s a 500 years old technology, and so easily forged.As far as I know DocuSign allows for digital certificates to be used, but for reasons that I don’t understand, most of the people don’t use it.
post on Square signature – https://corner.squareup.com…
Why we still sign merchant receipts is the question i keep asking.
Typically and generally a merchant needs to provide a signature in order to be able to fight a chargeback request. It’s baked into the banking system. What’s interesting is that the signature on many pos pads isn’t even really your signature it’s a non recognizable scribble. However it’s typically the same scribble for hundreds of transactions that you have not complained about, so it doesn’t even matter if it’s your sig, just that it’s similar to those other sigs in some way.
No joke (I know, coming from me that’s hard to believe, right?) a friend of mine used to sign his credit card receipts at restaurants as Elmer Fudd. Never had a problem.
Oh I can top that story (I offer, as if I’m bragging).We get checks often (yes we still get checks they are still in use) and they often lack a signature. So we just put a little swash over the signature line and presto bank it! Actually don’t really have to even do that (just superstition and it’s so easy).No jokeHow many years did your friend get and did you send him lubricant for his stay? (You said “used to sign..”).
I have no friends in prison. So I think it went well and he’s happily lubricated at home.
I’ll be the oddball here. Back in my lawyer days I mostly litigated but also did appellate work for fun. That would be the original brief and upwards of 27 true copies, one for each judge, their clerks and other staffers. Each one signed separately. At first it was annoying. What turned it around is I started thinking of my sig as being a way to send positive thoughts to the reader. Sort of like a little blessing on our case. Stuck with me over the years for any signing. Fast forward to today. I love Square because it feels like a way cool techie experience but also gives me that oddball satisfaction of feeling I’m sending a little blessing to the owner of the (preferably small and local) business.
this is interesting. i’ve never developed a consistent handwriting style. from one day to the next the style can be completely different, and i find that slightly embarrassing, and for that reason i do not like other people to see anything i’ve written down by my own hand.
I started by career in the PKI business back in 1998. back then we had solutions for digital signatures and for signing all kinds of stuff. tax returns, email, contract documents etc…. unfortunately we came to the market too early and the company imploded after a dual Nasdaq and LSE listing but its really interesting to see this technology still playing out in 2015 !
Electronic Signatures aren’t legal tender in many parts of the world. I love electronic signatures but sometimes when working with overseas investors, it’s taken ages because paper has to go back and forth. So too for company registrations, incorporations, and other tasks.We operate 5 subsidiaries and all employee agreements are signed on paper there because the courts would not accept digital signatures as valid during a dispute.I wonder what kind of security would make digital signatures secure enough for governments to accept them?Maybe Bitcoin?
I believe this court acceptance has less to do with the underlying technology and more to do with it being a generally accepted practice. (No one loves precedence as much as the courts do.) It’ll get there, but will take time.
Yes, true – but in developing countries unless there’s some violent shove to accept the progress, everything just meanders along aimlessly.In the meanwhile it sucks to have half a set of digital docs and half a set of physical docs we have to scan.
The military is pretty bad at this. As much as I loved the four day weekends and “block leave” ( that’s 2 weeks of vacation at a time with almost everybody in the unit mandated to use it) signing 65 requests by hand was tedious.
Reminds me of a recent experience. I am moving to LA and found a new apartment. The management company uses an app called on-site (https://www.on-site.com/)The whole process was online from scheduling a viewing to a drip email campaign to remind me of the unit/building to signing all documents related to the lease.Most impressive, applying for the unit online triggered an application which OFAC and credit checked me instantly. Once approved, I received a copy of the report it generated as well as a lease to e-sign. The whole experience was fabulous and took maybe 20-30 minutes.
My mind likes to play tricks on me with certain words — for example, I couldn’t correctly spell ‘entrepreneur’ for close to a decade (irony, on the other hand, seems to be quite easy to spell). The word ‘signing’ is one of those words that I always read as SINGING — so I landed on this post wondering why on Earth is Fred singing his own name…
that’s hilarious. for me it’s calander and rediculous
for me, its getting an alternate name in my head for someone.I have a friend who prefers that I call her Julie, in stead of her given name Jennifer, because she finds it so funny.And, for sure, Fred goes around singing his own name, under his breath.
Since my name is rather short my nickname is actually longer than my name (and one must have at least one nickname bestowed upon them growing up) so I’ve gotten that strange look when someone refers to me by my nickname in front of someone else who only knows me by my name. My Aussie friends would gleefully answer to ‘Bruce’ regardless of their actual name. It also served as a great filter against people who didn’t have a sense of humor/weren’t familiar w/ Monty Python. Was also killer trick at parties.Names are fun!
You’re not alone. George Bush reportedly said the reason there aren’t many French entrepreneurs is because they don’t have a word to describe that kind of business innovation.
I understand he also helped them discover the antonyms for erudite, worldly, and eloquent.
Many other misspellings:cobra <-> CORBAform <-> from (common in India, even in high-tech cos I’ve worked in)to <-> too (@LE, I’m looking at you 🙂 <-> two…- Sgt. V. Ram,The Spelling Police.
I still can’t spell that word…. and don’t worry about it.
Love Square! Pet peeve though: some of our local Brooklyn take-away shops have set it to require a tip – they eliminated the “no tip” option when you sign out so the only option is to pay a % tip even to buy a coffee to go
Can you choose to leave a 0% tip?
No – lowest option is 10% (they set it that way – other places have a “no tip” option)
I wish that DocuSign or another esig platform would host a bootcamp for transactional lawyers. It is possible to use DocuSign for a complex transaction, but in practice it is not done. There’s a proper workflow in DS to make this happen, and it requires cooperation by all the lawyers on a deal. I’ve never seen this happen in the wild. Maybe if DS financed a junket where we get trained in proper workflow for large signings, toss in some CLE credit, we could make this the norm rather than a rare exception.A big bank will use DS to host a home loan signing (a surprisingly complex transaction) b/c the docs are static, not negotiated. For corporate deals where everything is negotiated, lawyers tend to revert to e-mailed PDF sig pages, which is an atrocious way to authenticate contracts b/c if there’s ever a dispute as to proper authentication, the e-mail record would need to be produced. Even if DS is used in a complex signing, it’s only as a method to collect something that looks like a signature on a separate signature page, which is detached from its contractual context; the page is then sent as a PDF via e-mail to opposing counsel, depriving the parties of the key benefits of electronic authentication. It would be far better for lawyers to use DS or another platform as a “host” for their clients, and authenticate the full text of all transaction docs within that platform *at closing*. It can be done, but requires industry-wide agreement and training to make this the standard.
I use docusign as well however it’s a bit of a concern that they store so many important documents. I am sure they have the standard “we are secure and have it all figured out” but the truth is since they are a juicy trove of documents (in final form no less and with signatures) they are a very likely target for a hacking at some point.
The square sigh off is my artwork of the day.
Docusign, or a similar service, would be a blockbuster if it could manage the process of document and deal negotiation between the various parties in certain transactions. (Subject to my concerns about security of course in my other comment.)For example there are typically 2 or more attorneys as well as a buyer, a seller (or their equivalents in other deals “the two party principles” let’s say). Plus advisors (accountants, consultants) Docusign is used as you describe only to get signatures once a document is finished and ready, not to fully manage the editing, commenting and negotiation process among all of the parties. Microsoft word and email is used for that typically. Very messy and leaves a chance that things can be left out and forgotten.Something that was ubiquitous and well known in the cloud (and there are most likely things that are doing this already that I haven’t heard of that haven’t replace word documents and tracking changes) would be extremely helpful instead of emailing word documents back and forth and making modifications that way. (Not to mention the security risk of emailing documents).So you login, see some change, make your comments, or your attorney does with another attorney and so on. Preferences and granularity manage who gets to see what in a document and most importantly, when.No reason a platform couldn’t do this type of thing giving all parties the chance to make comments (as security preferences allowed for each party).Could be branded differently rather than under the docusign name. The reason is in some documents you definitely don’t want to allow a party to even know that something can be changed or edited or negotiated. The “rule of the prefilled, “the way it’s done it’s standard practice.” So yes online document signing is great however it is only a very small part of what could easily be automated and made much better. And profitable. So yes there are cases where you don’t want someone to know that it is even possible to edit or change a part of a deal you want them to think that things are “standard and the way this type of thing is done”. Like car dealers who print fees right on the form instead of manually filling them in, an example being the “doc fee – $275.00”.
even better, if it tracked changes – because flagging those, always a headache
So is: Dropbox + workflow + Docusign = Less paper/More trees??
Check out Signix. I’ve used it for a lot of deals recently and it works really well. It’s still a relatively new company and the product is evolving, but it’s a good set of features for deals.
Maybe I missed this in the comments…but you can use docusign with ANY document that someone sends you via email. The sender does not have to be using docusign for you to digitally sign it.You open the document (PDF or Word, maybe others?) as an attachment on your phone, and just select “open with docusign”. Once the docusign app opens it, you then just tap anywhere on the document and you can add whatever you want, including dropping your previously stored signature anywhere you want it. You can also add initials, contact info, title and other things you’ve previously stored. You can also auto-insert the date, and any free-form text you want to insert. The font size is sometimes small, but you can stretch it bigger if you want. You then “finish” the document and can email it back to the sender. Any document that comes to me in an email, I sign this way…never print, sign and scan anymore.I use Android, so I know it works on that at least.
wow, i had no idea. that’s huge for me. thanks for letting me know Dan. i am going to do that.
Joseph here, co-founder of HelloSign.Would love to hear what you think of our signing experience:https://www.hellosign.com/You might have also seen our API out in the wild. We power the signing experience on a lot of other sites:https://www.hellosign.com/api
This following is boilerplate “we’ve got this shit figured out” language:Your company’s data stays secure with SSL encryption and world-class server infrastructure hosted at a state-of-the-art Tier III, SSAE-16 certified data center with ISO 27001 certification.Per my other comment you might want to expand on this a bit to let people know (especially developers and compliance departments) why they should trust that you are actually secure as opposed to you saying you are secure. Which as you know, everybody says. It’s like asking the fish monger what fish is fresh nobody tells you fish isn’t fresh…And the things that you mention with the exception of SSL (which is kind of obvious in this day and age) are physical security (the data center) and I don’t really recall any case of data centers physically being breached and assaulted and once again all of that is standard in this day and age.Also your “about us” lists only your investors and not anyone on your team, why is that?https://www.hellosign.com/i…Docusign has this:https://www.docusign.com/co…
i use hellosign for some of our portfolio companies. i like docusign better because i use it more frequently and am more comfortable and used to the flow. but hellosign is a fine alternative
Nice! What would it take to win you over?
He doesn’t choose. The companies sending him stuff do.
There’s a whole family of document signing (coming from YC) with HelloSign, eShares, IronClad (current batch) and if you think about FundersClub, it could be their own integrated solution. Give those services a try, as well — though I know you know eShares.
Oh, interesting. Where do you _stick_ that signature?
right where it belongs–*Get the LikeFolio app *for iPhone <http: t.sidekickopen03.com=”” e1t=”” c=”” 5=”” f18dqhb0s7lc8ddmpbw2n0x6l2b9nmjw7t5xyg4y95dhn6445qzdnxrxw7fk3rs56dyvbf5-fgrf02?t=”https%3A%2F%2Fappsto.re%2Fus%2FLxRQ7.i&si=6176152590221312&pi=c78aab61-6cab-4951-c58f-f4ff9f577ca9″> or Android <http: t.sidekickopen03.com=”” e1t=”” c=”” 5=”” f18dqhb0s7lc8ddmpbw2n0x6l2b9nmjw7t5xyg4y95dhn6445qzdnxrxw7fk3rs56dyvbf5-fgrf02?t=”https%3A%2F%2Fplay.google.com%2Fstore%2Fapps%2Fdetails%3Fid%3Dcom.goodbarber.likefolio&si=6176152590221312&pi=c78aab61-6cab-4951-c58f-f4ff9f577ca9″> now!
Me too (about the penmanship/dexterity thing) And yes, I noticed the square app is really good for one off signatures. I have no idea why that is.
Glad you’re having a great experience with DocuSign. We love to hear our customers use DocuSign as a better way to do business. Need to get a transaction done fast, easy and secure? “Just DocuSign it!” Again, thanks for being a customer and advocate!
recently refinanced through Quicken and electronic signings through out the process was great.
I suffer the same thing. I use the being a lefty and having crappy doctor’s handwriting excuse a lot (old/played out). Agreed it’s annoying that most individuals and businesses don’t just send DocuSign. Leases are the worst. I prefer HelloSign, to be honest. And Square is awesome. My signature actually looks nice and artsy on the app. And after years of being lefty shamed, that’s a good feeling to walk out of my local coffee shop with… Maybe those clever engineers and marketers designed the signature box to recognize shitty handwriting and make it look cool.
Fred,Great post!Identity remains a problematic frontier on the Web and Internet. As you’ve attested, signatures in the real-world are fraught with problems that don’t exist in the digital realm, thanks to PKI.One thing that remains of profound concern to a number of us associated with Web Identity is the degree to which Identity related issues remain of secondary concern to users, technology providers, and investors.We can’t solve ever increasing privacy challenges without verifiable identity. That’s why we continue to grapple with: Email Spam — most email users don’t sign emails (partly to do with historic problems with X.509 certificate generation and poor S/MIME implementation in compliant email packages) which makes pragmatic email filtering cumbersome and frail Phishing — unsigned emails negate in-built UI/UX cues in S/MIME compliant emails packages that would otherwise significantly reduce vulnerability to this kind of socially-engineered attack.The key to solving Identity on the Web & Internet starts by actually taking advantage of existing technology: HTTP URI — Naming Mechanism X.509 Certificate — which include a Subject Alternative Name (SAN) field that supports HTTP URIs Text based Profile Document — that describes the Agent identified (named) using an HTTP URI HTTPS/TLS — Protocol for secure data transmission and exchange.Basically, when you generate an X.509 certificate that includes an HTTP URI in its SAN, that resolves to a profile docuement, you end up with a critical “proof of work” feature that’s functional, flexible, and scalable.Links: http://kidehen.blogspot.com… — Importance of signing and encrypting emails http://kidehen.blogspot.com… http://www.w3.org/2005/Incu… — WebID-TLS Identity Verification Protocol http://youid.openlinksw.com — X.509 Certificate Generator that includes support for WebIDs in SAN https://www.youtube.com/wat… — Animated demonstration using LinkedIn Profile Data and WebID-TLS Identity verification protocol.
I am personally worried about Docusign, you know? If Sony was hacked in the past, Apple was hacked in the past, Ashley Madison was hacked in the past… I fear what may happen if people’s signatures would be stolen.
But a problem nonetheless
Let me mull this over for a second……nope, I would rather be trying to figure out how to sign documents more effectively than scavenge for food or avoid ISIS overlords.
I went out to dinner with my daughters recently and they fed me the “first world problem” line and I proceeded to put them in their place about that silly shit. Back when we were growing up it was simply “there are children starving in Africa” and similar.Interesting that I read last night that the LGB movement didn’t initially embrace transgender because they felt that it would somehow not help getting their cause adopted. Once again showing that people always do what is in their best interest (even with equality) but they are always right there to throw stones on others for their behavior when, and this is super important, it doesn’t effect them.
People’s approach to signatures are something that has changed a lot, over time the generations.My father admitted to me that he spent probably 100 hours perfecting his, while in law school in the late 1940’s. He knew he would be using it for decades and considered it a reflection of his professionalism. I will try & find a pic of it – work of art really.My father’s law partner – Valray J. Longworth – had very round writing and started his career in the late 1950’s, signing his full name. By the time I worked with him, he was so tired of signing his full name that his signature was 13 (I caught him counting one time) up & down strokes, with the crossing of the ‘th’ slashing across the last two, at the end. In its own practical way, also a work of art.I don’t think anybody puts much thought into any more – I used to but I have since chopped it down for efficiency.
First world has the capital pay to for the solutions to their first world problems
Interesting. I had to use them a while ago for an online site on which I do some software work – a marketplace. It was a few months ago, but IIRC, it went smoothly – which is a somewhat rare occurrence with many startups’s services, oddly and sadly enough – even though they talk a lot about “changing the world” and how enterprise software sucks (not that it doesn’t).
Speaking of the phrase “changing the world”, my guess is that it originates in that famous quote of Steve Jobs, when recruiting John Sculley (then Pepsi head) to Apple:”Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?”Had read it in an article or book about Jobs a while ago (before startups were all the rage), that’s why I think the phrase might originate with that story. Could be wrong though, of course. It could have been from earlier, from some other person or situation.).https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…See section “1983–93: Apple Inc.” at above link.Wonder whether that’s why so many startup devs use Macs.
Joseph here, co-founder of HelloSign.Vasudevram, glad to hear you had a smooth experience with it. The marketplace must have integrated our eSignature API: https://www.hellosign.com/api