Successful businesses don’t just pop out of the ether. Were that true, the world would be full of lazy (but rich!) entrepreneurs just sloth’ing around wallowing in their achievements, and there would be nothing left to invent or innovate!
No, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it!), getting your ideas off the ground with any measure of success requires the ability to see well into the future.
You must shake off blinders and embrace tangential, big picture thinking, welcome technology that brings change and efficiency, and shrug off fear or self-doubt in favour of confidence, creativity and courage.
And that, my friends, is how Markably was born. *end of post*
Of course that’s not the end of this story!
All good origin stories are much richer and deeper than that, I’m told. (And if what I read and hear is any indication, that would certainly be accurate.)
Though it’s often hard to see the value of yourself in anything resembling an ‘origin’ narrative of any type because that’s entirely loaded with superhero overtones.
Yet, if I don’t tell my own story, what chance do I have of convincing you of the value of your brain and your intellectual property?
So in an effort to drink some of my own brightly coloured, artificially flavoured beverage, I’ll take a bash at this.
I am Cynthia Mason.
The creator and owner of Markably.
On the surface of it, I am a Canadian lawyer and registered trademark agent with over 17 years of experience in trademark law.
Yeah, right, snoozefest; I know.
That right there might be just it. That’s the last thing I am.
Fairly certain I know the answer in 9.875 out of 10 cases.
Rarely able to convey that level of confidence to the outside world in every interaction.
In my one-on-one legal work, for sure.
But surely there was more than that.
And there is.
Snoozefest I am not.
So you have one of two choices.
- Come with me on this 3-part journey as I tell you my who, why and how.
- Or head here and read the whole story (If you’re like me, impatient.)
“52 Pickup” Your Faith in Innovation
Who remembers the game 52 Pickup? Depending on the rules, it’s the game that became ‘Solitaire’ – one of the earliest ubiquitous pieces of gaming software that was built into our mainstream user systems.
Random fact: Did you know that the first piece of demonstrated computer gamification, a variation of tic-tac-toe was in 1950, created for the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) by Josef Kates, the Canadian engineer who also invented the computerized traffic signalling system as the world knows it?
Yes, people not crashing into one another in fast moving vehicles, aided by computer, is also a Canadian invention.
No accident he also invented a game.
See my point? It’s never just a snoozefest.
So 52 Pickup. You know, where someone asks you if you want to play, you say “Hell yeah!” – and they proceed to toss an entire deck of cards into the air and say “Ok. Pick ‘em up!”
Well, I am both the “thrower” and the “picker upper.”
Taking a mess and organizing it – that’s my superpower! It’s literally in my DNA.
I realized early on in my life that I knew how to do things differently, and better, than many people.
This does NOT mean I was instantly imbued with the powers to be unafraid to shake things up and instigate change.
Instead I went off and studied biology. As you do when you want to be a patent lawyer.
I could bore you with the rest, but in the interest of the anti-snoozefest, let’s skip to when I started working as a trademark lawyer, with a trademark lawyer.
A very brilliant, if OLD SCHOOL trademark lawyer.
Picture the scene:
Walls upon walls lined with boxes of files, a room full of secretaries diligently typing away, an antiquated, manual billing and tracking system, and the ever-present Dictaphone.
Having been in the game a long time, he also had a book of clients that would knock your socks off, and he had them for a reason, so he became a trusted mentor.
Every story takes a sticky turn and out of it comes personal growth. (I’ve tried to find that personal growth without the sticky turn and it has proved elusive, I’m on it!)
My mentor was not invincible. And health failed him. Of which came a leave of absence for him, leaving me at the helm, as the only other lawyer his clients knew and trusted.
I was ill-prepared. And didn’t ask for this.
But I knew I had it.
It was simply a matter of picking up those metaphorical 52 cards.
But there would be no dictaphones in my future.
Of that I was sure.
So I changed his system completely.
There HAS to Be an Easier Way! And there always is. It’s called evolution.
I did what I guess some people would refer to as bringing his business into the modern world.
Updating filing systems.
Creating templates that can cut time on customization
Oh, and I turned his antiquated billing system upside down – and in a good way!
Billing increased and efficiencies were prioritized. I breathed easy.
And that should’ve been my “A-HA!” moment!
But it was 17 years ago. I didn’t know how to A-HA this into something spectacular. I do now.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
By going through that process of “re-stacking the wood” so to speak – at that firm, I realized that I could, THEORETICALLY, do this same thing for everyone.
Stick a pin in that. I didn’t do a whole lot with that giant realization at the time.
Life Moves Fast, Doesn’t It?
Before I knew it, 10 years with the Intellectual Property division of a big Bay Street law firm had passed.
The time came for more.
That couldn’t be it.
9-5 couldn’t be it for me.
And if by that you think I mean 9 am to 5 pm, ha! (obviously I haven’t as yet impressed on you the super-ness of my powers.)
I mean 9am -9pm, then thinking about work till 5am.
Because, who doesn’t if they are deeply passionate? And I am told only the brave venture out on their own. So I must be brave, because I left and grew my own bricks and mortar boutique trademark law firm, Mason PC.
The true training grounds in which I flexed my unfettered legal superpowers.
And it is, as advertised, possible to remove glass ceilings.
I streamlined my OWN processes over the years.
It’s funny, this drive I have to rearrange and reorganize everything as often as it needs. It’s not a perfectionist thing. I mean, I’m not Swiss, and I’m certainly no Marie Kondo.
It’s not like I can tell if there is a glitch in the Matrix.
I just find the errors, though. They jump out at me.
I find – and fix – mistakes or inefficiencies. 😂
Trust me. I can pick apart the work of German engineers. And it’s only 0.125% of the time I’m wrong. Ask my partner. (Hopefully this little nugget won’t make me single again *fingers crossed*)
And that is my why.
If you know an easier way, how can you NOT tell people about it?
That’s why after decades of carefully chosen words, verging on silence, I’m finally chatty as heck.
Because I have plenty to say now.
The age of my brain has arrived.
Thank you for staying with me. I deeply value your time.
As the online world evolved, I realized what I called ‘housekeeping’ was a system.
Systems are what make one half of the population glaze over. And the other half of the population the energy needed to put on that superhero cape and protect the brilliance of the people whose eyes have, in fact, glazed over.
Because those are the people who have the ideas.
The thing that will make world poverty go away.
Or perhaps the thing that will finally make cross platform integration on the interwebs possible.
The people who never pause in passing along their ideas to someone else, because they know that if someone steals them, they will think of more.
And the idea of offering the easiest online brand protection to those bands of renegades and game-changers excited me and elevated my own belief in myself.
(Insert image of BetterMed testimonial)
When I read things like that it blows my mind. Not fully computing.
If there is a chance that I could save even 1 person that kind of money, then I owed it to the Universe didn’t I? (I haven’t decided if it’s DC or Marvel, or an upshot of recently massive proportions. Stay tuned)
I put on that cape.
And I took the makings of the perfect trademark registration system I had on my hands, and I smithed it.
I put my head down and built a comprehensive online trademark registration and monitoring system.
And that, my friends, is actually how Markably was born.
The registration system is open for registration. (I love a pun, and my marketing agency loves an SEO opportunity *wink*)
Today, protecting your brand online is more important than ever.
It is the age on the mind.
Of Dragon’s Den dreams.
And runaway sucessesses.
And that little idea you had that has kept your family fed for years.
It is valid.
Markably is technology I can’t believe I have breathed into reality.
Come take a look please?
I feel comfortable finally saying you can easily and affordably take the hassle – and the risk – out of trademark registration.
Remember the Canadian gamification we referenced earlier?
That’s reflective of how easy we’ve made this.
- Unlike current DIY options, we have NO open ended text boxes that strike fear in most people’s heads.
- Instead, welcome to multiple choice options!
- Easy user interfaces and selections will walk you through the system with explainers along the way, in written, audio and video format, as needed.
- Responsive technology will kill the noise of unnecessary choices. (Ie: if you choose one category, it won’t show you the rest. Because, why???)
All things should be as easy as playing a game online.
Because, why not?
We will get it there as this thing unfolds. For now it’s ready for V1. Thankfully!!!!!
It took 17 years.
On the bright side, someone as self-critical as me is a good person to have on a software build. A lot less glitches.
I’ll tell you what… if you hit a glitch in the system over the next 24 hours, I’ll refund you the base user fees per registration of $195. Deal? If you use the system and it doesn’t work as it should, I’ll refund you the user fee and you’ll just owe the government (remember, I’m a lawyer, I’ll know if you lie ;))
That’s as close as it comes to a lawyer giving you a ‘guarantee’.
Markably launches January 20, 2020.
17 years in the making felt like it needed a milestone date.