Silicon Valley vs Old School: how to persuade seniors that the Internet is not that scary?


Guess what? Even Silicon Valley guys can have trouble doing business electronically and e-sign contracts!

Are you watching Season 6 of HBO’s Silicon Valley? We at SignNow are big fans! And in the recent 3rd episode, Richard and his team were put through a scenario that was painfully familiar to many of us:

Several senior Board members are refusing to sign a contract electronically and instead insist on personal delivery of paper copies directly to their offices. Thus, four people had to get into their cars and rush to have everything signed under a tight deadline.

No matter what industry you are working in, there are always people who would prefer to do everything the old school way – sign contracts on paper, fax documents, use Internet Explorer, etc.

You can always choose to leave them in peace and accept them the way they are. But – this would losing serious amounts of time and money in the end. Having to personally deliver documents for signing means at least an hour of your valuable business time wasted while you could have spent just a couple of minutes e-signing the same document.


So, how can you reform a contract misoneist? There are several options, but to name just a few:

You’ll need to make an explicit demonstration that the suggested innovation is:

  • Fully legal
  • Convenient and easy
  • Saves a lot of time and money

If a respectable lawyer in your neighborhood is already using e-signatures, that’s a solid argument.

If you can e-sign just once and then save your e-signature for further use – that’s very handy and will satisfy even the laziest among us.

If you can present really impressive ROI with a really simple example – that’s inspirational.

One of the most widely spread fears among all old schoolers is that the Internet is full of viruses, scams, suspicious spam emails, etc. In this case, your immediate argument should be that the suggested solution completely prevents all of these scary things.

Take SignNow, for example:

  • Document exchange is completely virus-free
  • There are several ways to confirm the identity of your signers (SMS, call, secret password)
  • The interface is completely ads-free. There is zero chance the sender or signer can accidently click on a banner or push the wrong button and thus download malware.

One of the key reasons for resistance can be lying on the surface but the person might be ashamed to admit it – health issues:

Many senior citizens are reluctant to use the Internet more often simply because fonts are too small! This makes both reading and typing a much harder task as compared to reading/writing on paper. How can you help?

Make sure the solution you are offering has a handy zoom feature:

e-sign contract


Another widely spread problem among senior users is arthritis. This is where voice recognition comes to the rescue! Instead of typing long text into a document, a user can use simply dictate the text, read more about that here.

The segment of older Internet users is gradually growing worldwide, despite many restraints, stereotypes and fears. When it comes to training senior citizens to use internet-connected products, our general recommendation is plain and simple: be patient and start with really simple things.

SignNow can be a good starting point in this journey:

  • It has a user-friendly interface with a few icons, all of which are named in the obvious way
  • It offers automatic guidance through the entire process of e-signing
  • Already used documents can be stored as templates for further re-use, thus eliminating the necessity to create new documents from scratch
  • Electronic signatures can be applied just once and then stored for future use.