I always struggle to attend conferences. Partly because I’m introverted, and in part because I’m much more engaged by doing rather than talking about doing. It was a well executed conference, and I think very valuable for many. I felt particularly fortunate to sit with such high quality people.
The forces of change occurring in the industry are fascinating. And having lawyers leading the discussions meant there was no shortage of strongly held opinions and intellectual certainty. On the surface, it appears like the perfect conditions for technology-enabled disruption. Ripe conditions for a serial technology entrepreneur.
And yet, when I had the chance to connect with a few other technology developers there was a palpable frustration, bordering on desperation, in their speech. Selling into law firms, GC’s, ABS’s, etc. is an incredibly challenging task. Breaking into a risk averse, precedent-based, environment where homogeneity is king and highly educated, high earning, successful professionals who spend all day having people listen to them and take their counsel, are not exactly itching to upend how they do things.
It is all very reasonable and understandable of course. I’ve written before on how power, prestige and performance, make you stupid, stubborn and resistant to valid evidence, but right now, the LegalTech market still feels a bit like High School sex; lots of people talking about it, but very few are successfully doing it.