In “Who will beat Law Firms?” I mention that Product Hunt had just 22 legal apps. That number seemed a bit low, so I went back to see if I could find more. And what I found was Epic. Here are my 3 main insights while collecting legal apps on Product Hunt.
Product Hunt (PH) is a site were new products get submitted and Product Hunters can upvote them. This creates a daily list of most popular products. The main difference between startups syndicates, crowdfunding or other marketplaces is:
a) PH primairily hosts real products you can start using right away;
b) And this makes the PH experience, one grounded in practice rather than promise,
First, I did a couple of searches with keywords like “legal” or “law” but my results missed some valid products. I then expanded my keywords and browsed other collections, which is another cool feature of PH. These collections broaden my horizons and boosted serendipity. This resulted in a tangible “Legal Tech Hunt” collection with 65+ apps which nicely offsets my fantasy “Legal Visualizations & Designs” board on Pinterest.
My Cool is Cold
What struck me was the fact that cool products had little upvotes. Premonition uses AI to find the best lawyers, how cool is that! It had only 1 vote ?…so I gave it one more. ROSS, an AI powered Attorney, did ok so I guess AI may only be suitable for judging the law but not the lawyers. But it’s not just me, legal industry darlings like Ravellaw or Casetext got relatively little love from Product Hunters. I initially found 22 apps because I was looking for particular legal characteristics. Eventually, I found more legal apps when I stopped looking for legal apps.
Insight: I view products from the perspective of a Practitioner of Law and not as a Consumer of Law. Therefore, I subconsciously love the things that would only work for me.
Practical is Popular
Topping the collection are straightforward legal apps for entrepreneurs. The top 3 are products which basically replace lawyers and empower consumers of law. Actually, 2 of them look similar to a well-known Legal Unicorn. The rest of the list is sprinkle with simple tools that help you avoid lawyers and court battles e.g. Clear helps you find and clear potentially damaging social media posts. Or Clerky which makes startup legal paperwork painless. These products make legal complexity invisible and anybody can use them right away.
Insight: Product hunters like practical, simple and fast. Their psychology towards legal services has evolved and so have their product preferences.
I’ll be honest, I’m no expert on Bitcoin nor Blockchain but I think it’s awesome. I’m not the only one getting all warm and giddy ? at the promise this technology embodies for the legal market. Examples like Ascribe or Bitproof help protect Intellectual Property with Blockchain. Any Intellectual Property Attorney, with enough alcohol running through their veins, will admit that copyright law in a digital space can actually not exist. Computers copy, it’s how they operate on every level. So if the law states it’s illegal to copy then we would never be able to use the Internet. No lawyer nor contract can protect you from actual digital theft, but cryptography can. It’s Epic.
Insight: Technology is not only making legal protocols invisible, it’s making them redundant in a digital space.
Summary: Legal professionals may not be the best at picking the hottest apps. Hunters (and future CEO’s) prefer the most practical apps to accomplish business goals and personal fulfillment. In the end, technology will make the need for legal protocols obsolete. Now before these exquisite specimens get sued into extinction…Come hunt with me…
[icon name=”pinterest-square” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Legal Visualizations & Designs