One of my favorite analogies is comparing the legal technology market to people waiting for a jetpack. But jetpacks clearly aren’t a feasible technology. And that’s the funny thing about technology, a good idea is just that – a good idea. Doesn’t mean it’s practical or it works.
Sort of like the idea of being able to search all of the data everywhere in your enterprise and return it at the touch of a button with only the relevant information you need from the relevant folks you need it from, only for the time period you are interested in. Sounds pretty jetpacky to me.
Or being able to store all the data you need to review and keep track of for every litigation the company is involved in, inside your firewall, because that’s the way you can make sure it’s “secure” – very jetpacky.
Sure these are great ideas – they are just practically impossible to implement.
A much better idea is to get small, focus on putting in practices that make sense, use efficient, lean technology you can move in and out of, not get buried into a proprietary platform. Do your best, be smart, and avoid flailing around from shock to trance. That’s what the judges are saying about e-Discovery, do your best, be professional, be able to defend your decisions.
That’s it. Its simple in the end. Simpler than a jetpack. Believe in the flywheel concept of technology transformation in great companies identified by Jim Collins. It’s slow and steady, adding the next step best today — not expecting a huge investment, a huge capital expenditure, or some feature in a technology to fix the problem.
Don’t get me wrong, I love jetpacks. I want one. I’m frankly angry I don’t have one yet. I grew up fully expecting to be flying around via a jetpack by today, personal propulsion is obviously the wave of the future. At a minimum, I thought I’d have a hovercraft at least . . . .
That said, I never thought about the internet. Or digitial cameras. Or Amazon. The right technology emerges organically, not as a result of massively centralized design and deploy strategies. Avoid them, you’ll spend less, sleep better, and be happier generally.