The Relative Advantage Calculator

To decide whether to buy one of our products, you need to know if it'll save you money. The Relative Advantage Calculator shows the cost savings of a task done with one of the legal products on PartnerVine compared to the same task done manually. We hope that it will help you understand how much you can save using our software.

Below is the Relative Advantage Calculator with initial estimates for a hypothetical product that costs $250. There are notes after the calculator that may be helpful. Please play around with it and write us a comment below. We'd love to know what you think.

Should I buy this product?

Relative Advantage Calculator

You can change the assumptions. The initial estimates were given by the firm that supplied the product.

hours minutes hours minutes times $ cost per hour
Total Manual Cost: $
Automation Cost:
Yes. According to the relative advantage calculator, this product will save you time and money.
No. According to the relative advantage calculator, you should do this task manually.

There are a few issues that we have simplified to streamline the user experience for the Relative Advantage Calculator. We note them here for you:

  • A person doing a task manually often has a higher level of expertise than the person doing a task with software. That means that the manual time estimate is likely to be shorter than it should be, because that expertise is necessary to do the task. We've assumed the same person can do the task manually and with one of our products, which tends to undercount the value of our products. 
  • The number of times a task will be done is for a given time frame. For some of our products, the time frame is provided by the terms of the products. For those products with a term, you won't be able to do the task again after your access to the product expires, or you will need to purchase access to the product again, which will change the calculation provided by the Relative Advantage Calculator. 
  • The cost per hour of a person doing a task manually is often more expensive than the cost per hour of a person doing a task with software. For instance, you may need to hire an outside counsel to do a task manually, while a junior lawyer on your team can do the same task with software. That tends to undercount the value of our products.

It's important to note two things:

  • There is no discussion of risk mitigation in the Relative Advantage Calculator. That is because risk mitigation is generally hard to value and we want to make the case for our products assuming no additional benefits from risk mitigation. We believe there are substantial risk mitigation benefits to using our products. Generally, the products tend to lead to less risk of human error, higher expertise in the execution of the task than may otherwise be the case and a more thorough review of the issues included in the software. For the sake of full disclosure, using one of our products may also lead you to decide you can do the work in-house, in which case you will not be sharing your legal risk with a law firm. The products on PartnerVine have product-specific terms and conditions, but so far all are sold on a non-reliance basis. To keep things simple, the Relative Advantage Calculator does not address risk mitigation benefits.
  • The Relative Advantage Calculator can only estimate what your experience will be. It can't tell the future or speak to every user's situation. It will hopefully help you make a decision on whether you can do things better with software.

We've put together the Relative Advantage Calculator to address one of the five variables determining the rate of adoption of new technology as identified by Everett Rogers. We are big fans of Bill Henderson, who has been applying Rogers' diffusion theory to legal technology for many years, including on his excellent online publication Legal Evolution. The variable we are addressing here is the perception that the innovative products on PartnerVine are better than the usual course of business. That variable is called the relative advantage of an innovation, and we hope that the Relative Advantage Calculator clearly makes the case for our products in terms of the money you will save. 

We'll roll out product-specific versions of the Relative Advantage Calculator as we receive estimates for each product. 

Your PartnerVine Team

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