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3 Epic Insights From Hunting Legal Apps on Product Hunt
3 Epic Insights From Hunting Legal Apps on Product Hunt 1024 640 Raymond Blijd

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 Hunting

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.


epic 2

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.

 

epic 3Blockchain is Epic

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.

 

epic 4

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…

🎯 Legal Tech Hunt

 Legal Visualizations & Designs

#Robolaw Is A World Without Law
#Robolaw Is A World Without Law 1024 576 Raymond Blijd

…I get my receipt and check the numbers. There is fine print at the bottom stating something legal. It is referencing some other texts and is suppose to enlighten me about liability, indemnification etc…I believe its evidence…

 The law blankets our society like an invisible fabric. It is a web that governs every human interaction. It materializes on paper and thru the voices of patrons like a code only a programmer can decompile. We mostly do not understand the law yet it is supposed to make things clear.

So why is the law so complicated?


Guardians of Legalcomplex

Unlike the other ‘things’ that (will) run our lives, the law has been romanticized in science, literature and film as something righteous yet secretive. A language only a few have mastered yet is revered and adhered. Its practitioners are modern-days saints which guard us from mayhem and malice. But there is a dark side to this benevolence. Legal work intent is to provide clarity but to the contrary: it is cleverly disguised complexity. One that is perpetuated by its guardians, who are the ones bestowed with the power to decrypt. I call this LegaLCompleX.

Now many strive to unravel and democratize this mesh of rules from the inside out and outside in. Yet there might be another force which is inadvertently cracking this barrier of complexity: Money. Simply said:

most legal rules exist to regulate the flow of money.

The law (especially tax law) was initially conceived to distribute wealth in an orderly fashion. Now that money as currency has fundamentally change from paper to digital, so does its governance. As this wonderful article more eloquently explains: the event of crypto currency such as Bitcoin is forcing us to fundamentally rethink our legal contracts required to regulate the flow of money.


Vanishing Legal

So while preachers of law have consistently pressed this complexity, they are also engineering its inexplicable evanesce.

The more complex the law and its language has become, the more intolerable we will be to its use and visibility in either small or fine print.

We are entering a perfectly designed world of convenience which will not tolerate complexity. In any industry this is a fact:

if your product is too complicated to comprehend, it will fail.

The law as a product to regulate us will fail unless it gets more sophisticated in its applicability and ease of use.

Moreover, if its too complex, none will comply. Either the complexity is fully automated and made invisible or it will be designed out of existence. The law will vanish in code that will be computed not argued. Better to let logical If – Then – Else statements negotiate human interactions where trust is required.

Ultimately, it is trust we try to enforce with rules so if we delegate this trust to software it might free humanity.

rob2

Engineering Bondrew

Smart contracts are legal contracts running on computer logic rather than human language and the inevitable emotions it conveys. These contracts will be used by robots of law in resolving legal issues. No judge, jury or jurist just run and debug. I do not believe making the law simpler is easily achievable, I do believe its complexity can be hidden in software. Just click: “I agree” and trust that your Robo-lawyer has acted in your best interest.

Bondrew: transform rules into code and puts code into robots. Robots support humans. #Bondrew = Rise.

Originally posted on Medium