Highlighting the talents and perspectives of our individual team members, our newly relaunched "Meet a Text IQer" blog series provides an insider view of the key players who drive our company.
This installment features Ashley Mangus, Director of Strategy and Customer Success. Ashley graduated cum laude from Northwestern University School of Law and prior to joining Text IQ, served as a member of the employment and trade secret litigation team at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and worked in-house at the Clorox Company
How did you get involved with Text IQ?
I was a law firm summer associate in San Francisco with Omar Haroun, who’s now Text IQ’s COO. We had some mutual friends, and one was an early round investor in Text IQ who called me prior to investing to get a lawyer’s perspective of the company. I advised him that there was definitely a significant need for the technology Text IQ was building. I’d done large scale document review early on in my legal career, so I understood those pain points all too well.
When I started to consider leaving the practice of law, I learned that Text IQ was doing another round of investing, so I decided to invest myself. Six months later, when I heard they were planning to hire more full-time team members, I threw my hat in the ring after having seen so much promise in the company’s technology from an investor’s standpoint. That was four years ago.
What do you do at Text IQ?
I am the Director of Strategy and Customer Success, so I have the opportunity to play a role in various tasks across the company.
I joined Text IQ early on as the fifth member of the team and the first non-technical hire. Given my background, our co-founders Omar and Apoorv Agarwal thought I would have a good understanding of our customers’ pain points. That initial approach evolved into the customer success and strategy role we have today. I serve to bridge the gap between our tech team, our product and engineering teams, and our project team, which is more customer-facing. In addition to coordinating that deliverables are met in accordance with customer expectations, I also convey feedback to the tech and product teams to ensure that we’re building and developing products that best meet our customers’ needs.
What were your early conversations with the founders like?
Because my first association with Text IQ was as an investor, my initial conversations were a bit unique.
What appealed to me most from day one was that Text IQ was not rooted exclusively in the legal industry, and I found the idea of building technology potentially applicable to various sectors intriguing.
Something else that really struck me from those initial conversations was our CEO Apoorv’s approach. Coming from a data science background, he believes in learning as much as he can about a problem by researching and speaking to experts in relevant fields in order to develop data-based solutions. He values taking the time to dig in and discover the root of a problem and builds from there to make sure the solutions our team creates are scalable and applicable across a wide spectrum of issues as opposed to offering just a one-off intervention.
What was your first impression of Text IQ’s technology?
I thought it was truly groundbreaking. I’ve always been interested in the intersection of law, business, and technology, which at that time was not as widely discussed and certainly wasn’t as prevalent in practice. When I was at a law firm earlier in my career, I wasn’t able to utilize or leverage much technology in my work. That’s not to say that my firm wasn’t on the forefront of experimenting with tech-based cost-saving techniques, but there simply wasn’t much useful technology out there.
I recognized that doc review was a significant pain point at every level. The economy was suffering at that time, and we were trying to leverage large outsourced review teams, which you see a lot more now, though it was less common then. I saw a general movement toward lower-cost review, but that shift was still so dependent on manual effort, which was both expensive and less effective than we would have liked. So I already saw an opening and widespread need for tech to come in and alleviate this burden in the industry.
What do you like most about working for Text IQ?
I enjoy being able to bring these various disciplines together and have learned so much about the engineering and product sides of the company. I also like translating that knowledge into real-world applications that benefit our customers. Working at Text IQ is a well-rounded day-to-day experience that I didn’t have when I was practicing law, and I appreciate how this role has enhanced my ability to identify dynamic solutions to the problems our customers face.
I love being able to trace a concept from theory all the way through to application. Because we are kind of a lean team with so many amazing resources and experts in the field, we’re able to execute those concepts in ways that larger companies aren’t able to manage as adeptly. I think a lot of large companies can get bloated, which inevitably slows down the innovation process. A company of our size is able to quickly identify pain points, listen to customers, and develop solutions on an expedited timeline. It’s exciting to be part of that process.