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A Message To Legal Tech: 4 Signs Winter Is Coming
A Message To Legal Tech: 4 Signs Winter Is Coming 1024 683 Raymond Blijd

After a couple of record breaking months during the Hottest Summer in Legal Tech,  I believe winter is upon us and here’s why.

#1 Lots of Legal, Little Tech

While Legal Startup numbers look spectacular, the reality is that the quality of startups is more of the same. Some geographies are doing better than others (see #4). However, the majority of registering startups are marketplaces, solo’s or niche practices that use simple & little tech. As the chart below illustrates, this year started very encouragingly. In January and February, Tech was winning. Yet in the heat of summer, the lead started to melt away. Clever company names will not disguise the fact, it is not tech you’re selling, it is just legal. This September we passed 40 again but don’t rejoice: since legal tech life should begin at 40.

#2 Lacking Creativity

There is only so much spin and juice one can put on “Uber for legal” before you start smelling the rot. So I like to give a nod to Paper, who aims to automate the legal workflow associated with creating your business. By putting the legal flow in a UI instead of documents and making lawyers an “In-App” purchase. They also launched their site with an SSL Certificate or more commonly known as HTTPS. I’m not a security expert but I do feel more confident when sites have https. This makes Paper very rare on Angellist and I’m hoping to see more of them.

#3 Startup Winter

Angellist is preparing for winter because of a decelerating startup scene. They are not alone as Y Combinator, the world largest incubator, is also changing strategies. Both CB Insights (image below) and Mattermark are warning of a slowdown.  So I’m a bit bemused by the fact Legal is jumping on the accelerator. It takes, at best, 4 years for a business to find traction and 5 to flourish or exit. Moreover, if your startup is selling to the legal professionals market beware. Law firms have notoriously long sales cycles and this will only become more fickle as market pressures mount on them.

winter-cbinsightsSo when the Pro’s pause, Legal steps on the gas. And that approach may work but I do see the benefits of breaking so bear with me..

***Mr. Robot Spoiler Alert***

While my head is still reeling from Mr. Robot season 2 finale, I captured an important message dubbed “Python Approach“. One of the characters explains that a python’s primary attacking tactic is to wait for its prey to come. Patiently tracking it over long periods of time and snapping it up when the time is right. As Dom states, Pythons can go up to a year without food.

******

In short, startups should not expect Capital to be heading their way, so it’s time to bootstrap and focus on the other C: Customers. Choose them well.

#4 A Bright Spot

There are bright spots, as seen in this video: Where do Legal Startups come from? In October, I’ll publish more stats so here’s a preview: it seems the rest of the world is picking up the slack and I see quality legal startups emerging from Asia and Africa. Diversity & necessity may be better drivers for quality startups than venture capital or accelerators.

2015 Year in Review: The Cool, The Beautiful & The Intelligent
2015 Year in Review: The Cool, The Beautiful & The Intelligent 1024 576 Raymond Blijd

2015 was quite an eventful year in legal tech. Here’s my shortlist in random order:

But 2015 is also the year legal startup growth stalled:

  • In October, I didn’t de-dup startups tagged as both legal tech and legal so the real numbers aren’t that spectacular.
  • In 2014 (337), we had a 56% increase compared to 2013 (215). 2015 is just 2% (349)
  • Yet, tagged as Legal Tech (139) almost doubled compared to last year (78)

I made a breakdown of types of legal startups registered in December 2015 on Angel.co and it seems that:

Dec 15 AngelList2
  • But Angel.co isn’t the only place to hunt legal startups. Mattermark.com (paid) of CB Insights (paid), or Dealroom.co (freemium) are also excellent sources;
  • Heck, there even is a dedicated legal startup tracker called LawHackers.co;
  • And I also discovered that there are about 946 in the US while roughly 1405 legal startups come from outside The States (Source: Mattermark.com, Dec. 9, 2015);
  • I was also happy to see a cool tax startup make it on ProductHunt;

And now for the moment you all have been waiting for: Legalcomplex awards for the coolest, the most beautiful and the most intelligent legal tech of 2015…envelope please

The Cool

Blockchain

I feel this is the beginning of something epic for the internet and the law.

Honorable mentionMachine Learning

The Beautiful

Kresolve

I was smitten by the use of gif’s to convey the beauty in legal.

Honorable mentionZocDoc

The Intelligent

Lawbot.co

I see brilliance in its simplicity and power of its potential.

👏 👏 👏

Disclosure: This review was compiled based on my 2015 stats from Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, My Blog, Medium etc so it’s completely bias and non-scientific.😇

Legal Startups Charts
Legal Startups Charts 1024 520 Raymond Blijd

Last updated: November 21, 2018

Corrected: Do Legal Unicorns Exist? Yes, They Will
Corrected: Do Legal Unicorns Exist? Yes, They Will 698 393 Raymond Blijd

Sometimes we make bold statements just to challenge our own assumptions. Dare ourselves to look closer and see if our reality is just a lie. While charting 912+ legal startups I wrote: “I did not spot a unicorn…yet“. How would I know what a legal startup unicorn looks like? What is a unicorn anyway and could these ever roam in a legal startup landscape?

What is a Unicorn?

A unicorn is a venture-backed private company worth more than a billion dollars…on paper. For argument’s sake, let’s pick the top unicorn valuation ($47+ Billion) and benchmark this amount against the market value of the #1 rank company in the world ($270+ Billion)*. A unicorn would be about 17 % the value of the industry pinnacle. With this number we can now measure a unicorn in any industry. So when a startup valuation ventures into the 15-17%  bracket of the industry leader in revenue or market value, it becomes a Unicorn.

An additional observation: the name Startup implies that it’s a young company. Meaning we’ll need to set a time constraint so we’ll state that they shouldn’t be older than 5 years.

 

unicorn2*Note: Apple has the biggest market cap however its numbers are just too crazy to use as a benchmark.

What is a Legal Unicorn?

Looking at the list of the biggest players in the legal service market, the #1 Law Firm has a reported $2.5 Billion in revenue. So according to my scientific ratio a legal startup with a $45.9 Million $459 Million  valuation would be a Legal Unicorn. You can also do this exercise on neighboring industries such as legal information providers. However, this would raise the bar to $214.2 million $2.142 Billion but I shall not dwell on this track. For this exercise, we’ll stick with looking at companies trying to displace the Practice of Law e.g. Law Firms not the Business of Law e.g. Legal Information Providers.

Do Legal Unicorns Exist?

When I said: I did not spot any unicorns, my reasoning was clouded by ego devoid of data…and this happens often 😉. I believed I would know it when I see it, even when camouflaged and hidden in the 912+ legal startups on Angel.co or anywhere else. Now that I devised this yardstick, I can more accurately assess if my intuition was correct. So between 40-50 million dollars valuation a legal startup would reach Unicorn status. Do we currently have legal startups with valuations in this range?

To answer this question, I needed to descent into this absurd world of venture capital, fundraising,  Pre-money or Post-Money Convertible Notes etc. In short, there seems to be no limit on valuations, yet there is a sanity on the willingness to fund. And the logic reveals itself in so-called rounds. Herein lies the key to my argument: funding usually starts with seeding after which follows a series A, B rounds and so forth. I stated that there are few rules on limits but it appears that each round of funding has a virtual ceiling e.g. 100k-$1million usually is considered Seeding. And between $1 million- $5+ million is considered to be Series A. Now stay with me: when you are entering in Series funding than investors expect at least a 10x return on investment. Example: a successful $2 million series A round will put a company at a minimum $20 million valuation.

However, companies aren’t bound by this limit and they can set their valuations much higher e.g. Buffer raised $3.5 million at a valuation of $60 million post-money. By this reasoning, if a legal startup receives $2+ million or more in VC money, it’s roaming Legal Unicorn meadow. And if they are able to get between $500k – $1+ million then we can call them Legal Centaurs.

Yes, eventually we will have Legal Unicorns . One example: Shake raised a total of $4 million before it got acquired. This would put its valuation between $40 – $70 million, according to our Buffer Theorem.

There is one more thing: above I briefly mentioned age but did not elaborate on how it equates to the value of startups. Looking back at my previous post, I was searching for a correlation between the creation of legal startups vs economic events. I may have been looking at it all wrong…bold statement 💪.

 

[updated: July 8, 2015. Thanks to Ron Friedman for pointing the error of my ways 😔].

Who will beat Law Firms
Who will beat Law Firms? An Interactive Chart
Who will beat Law Firms? An Interactive Chart 1024 576 Raymond Blijd

** Charts updated: Dec, 2015 **

In my previous post I wondered: If the increased demand for legal services is shifting away from law firms, where is it heading? Some believe it’s mostly heading back to corporate counsels and law departments. But that’s basically rebuilding a law firm within a company. Moreover, it seems wasteful to me to produce expensive legal solutions for a single company and not reuse it for others. There may be another option and I’m curious to see if it could replace Law Firms?

Legal Startups

Venture Capitalist are rolling dice in a global casino in search for unicorns, centaurs and sacrificing dinosaurs. I listen to them explain why incumbent businesses will go extinct and be replaced by startups. So I went charting the landscape of legal startups and across databases such as CrunchBase, Kickstarter and Wefunder. I even checked out Dutch crowd funders such as Symbid to see if I could find a category “Legal”. While CrunchBase seems to have the largest database (2,191), it also includes DLA Piper which I hardly consider a startup. So I settle on Angel.co and thus began a journey with unexpected turns but rewarding discoveries*.

Numbers

The question which initially fired my legal Producthunt (22) was: Did the 2009 crash or any other event influenced legal startup activity? I’m undecided, but it has been a steady growth of new startups on Angel.co from 2010 (2) through 2014 (337).

There are approximately 900+ registered startups and in the last couple of months we’re averaging one startup every day. The most popular month is February (Average: 27) and but if the chart below is any indication, we have a nice streak (July, August, September) ahead of us.

Note that Angel.co has two categories: Legal  and a newer one: Legal Tech. Startups can register multiple tags so there was overlap between the two categories. In the above chart, both categories are included.

I questioned if this division of tech vs traditional is normal or unique among ‘dinosaurs’ such as finance. It seems the 80/20 rule is more pervasive than we think. [update: June 15, 2015]

Since Legal Tech is the freshest category I was curious to see if growth would be more dramatic but it looks too early to judge.

Observations

 

I’ve been reading weekly alerts ever since I registered with Angel.co and here are a couple of observations:

  • Compared to other industries, it seems the Legal Startup scene is still in its infancy with 900+
  • Specifically, Legal Tech is just 150+ compared to Fin Tech 1500+ and growth seems slow.
  • The sheer volume may not be enough to produce unicorns and thus attract high rollers.
  • The most popular models seem to be Management (149) and Marketplace (72) e.g. Legalzoom
  • I was hoping for more Compliance (40) e.g. Lawbot.co or Access to Justice (20)  startups like Modria. Models which replace not support legal processes.
  • This leads me to believe that the majority of legal startups don’t chase markets that can not afford legal services. Not even the ones that can afford, but mainly the ones that benefit from the complexity of legal services.

Back to my initial question: Will startups beat law firms? I did not spot a unicorn…yet. I believe the numbers need to go up to attract more Bondrew’s and investments. I wish the legal startup scene would stop chasing its tail and finds its tennis ball.  That’s why I applaud any initiatives that stir passion and reignite the practice of law.  So while I’m certain disruption is imminent, it may not go as fast.


*This was a labor of love over the last 4 months. Along the way, I learned to use API’s, understand JSON and even getting JSON feeds into Google Spreadsheet. But my proudest achievement was born out of a simple desire to display the numbers above in interactive charts . I thought I could only do that by controlling the platform so I needed to build my own site.  I was probably wrong to think I could not do it any other way, but I’m glad I was .

DESH 3: Smart Legal Tech on your Wrist
DESH 3: Smart Legal Tech on your Wrist 1024 576 Raymond Blijd

A while ago I wrote that I did not believe in legal technology on your wrist. I changed my mind shortly thereafter but I was haunted by my wavering because: how would it work?

DESH

DESH debuted on June 17, 2013, in “DESH: Your Personal Legal Assistant with Sense.” The idea: a robot that ‘reads’ your legal matter and assists in making intelligent decisions. It was inspired by the rise of personal assistants such as Google Now and Mynd. Google Now tells me if I would encounter traffic wherever I am. Mynd calculates my travel time and notifies me when I should leave for my next appointment. Both need little configuration and run invisibly in the background. I envisioned DESH to do the same for your legal activity.

 

desh2

Loupe (prequel)

DESH actually originated from an earlier concept called Loupe. While DESH is a front-end, Loupe would be the backend. Loupe is a concept whereby the (search) engine would convert any information into a  legal context query. For example, if Loupe recognized an amount or a date it would check the meaning within a specific legal domain. Similar to how Wolfram Alpha calculates data within a certain domain. Loupe rules would be:

“ 10 million” in Competition Law → Cartels = fine

“ 10 million” in Competition Law → Merger = Acquisition Price

DESH (sequel)

In “Seymour: Maybe I Was Wrong About Legal Wearables” I realized why wearables would be especially significant for legal professionals: mobility. I believe legal counsels, like physicians, would travel from client to client with little or no time to pause and do stationary PC work. However, pride prevented me from reducing DESH to a mundane calendar app. I needed it to be this intelligent decision-making machine.

 

desh3

DESH (today)

Compromise: it’s both. Rational: if it were a smartphone app with more screen real estate it would make sense to have it do a lot of fancy #Robolaw. But on your wrist is a different story. While mobile is the starting point, providing simple straightforward data is the max on a ‘watch.’ Apple encourages “light interaction” and describes these as “glances.”

How it works

  1. Launch the app to ‘glance’ your legal activity progress*;
  2. Turn the dial or swipe up to reveal your legal activity in a calendar item.

*News is approx 75% read, Cases read at 30%, Contract drafting is at 15%. That’s it. Does this make any sense?

This article first appeared on Medium.

5 Confessions of a Trackaholic
5 Confessions of a Trackaholic 1024 481 Raymond Blijd
On Sunday, February 22, at precisely 16:44, my Fitbit Flex stopped syncing with my iPhone. I just finished 20 minutes on my elliptical trainer and I was feverishly waiting for my workout to appear…I realized I was shackled and gripped by the fear of losing my metrics. These stats made me healthy and happy so I didn’t want to let go…but should I?

 Fear Zero

tr2

I was a pack-a-day smoker until one Wednesday, after recovering from yet another flu, I decided to quit. I wanted to see how long I could go without smoking a cigarette. Since my brain was a bit preoccupied suppressing nicotine urges I decided to ‘outsource’ keeping track of time to a robot.

Smoke Free keeps track of several metrics, but the most important one for me was: Time. I started with seconds, then minutes which turned into hours, days and weeks. With each new record, my fear grew that these stats would return to zero. That fear kept me going.

Most champions agree: retaining a crown is very different than winning it the first time.

What I learned: my most powerful motivator was not the excitement of achieving a new record but rather the fear of losing my stats.

Meanwhile, another war was raging in my body: Fat. I ballooned to a panda-like 84 kilos. According to every app I used to calculate this I was obese. Then I met this wonderful person who told me a little secret: You can eat whatever you desired and still lose weight…Wow! It’s incredible! I was super excited I found salvation and consciously downplayed what came after…by counting Calories.

Diet Disillusionment

 

tr3I set out to find the perfect robot to help with this minor calorie caveat. Myfitnesspal was the best because it did 3 things right:

  • Have a rich database including some obscure Suriname dishes
  • Was supported by a wide range of apps and services i.e. Argus,Runtastic’s Six Pack andPush Ups;
  • Most importantly: they did not hold my data hostage by playing nice with others.

Now everyone warned me it was a bad idea to quit smoking and diet at the same time but in hindsight, it was brilliant. I was literally consumed by thoughts of food for months while battling a nicotine addiction. Under duress, my brain couldn’t multi-thread and was forced to pick a craving. Each time it picked food over cigarettes.

What I learned: Hunger trumps nicotine hands down.

Calorie Cap

 

tr4I hit my goal of 75 kilo in 6 months -losing over 7 kilos in the process by trying to stick to 1470 calories-a-day.

While April- June were pretty tough, I caught a wave in July and headed for a race to the bottom.

Here’s when Fitbit entered my life and gave me a much-needed boost.

I couldn’t stay under 1470 unless I burned more calories. However, I couldn’t precisely track how much I burned with just my iPhone motion tracking. I simply didn’t have it on me all the time.

With Fitbit Flex, I was able to literally track myself 24–7. Without a heart rate monitor, it’s not as accurate but at least it gave me some guidance on burn rate.

Ultimately, it wasn’t the fact that I kept count which helped me achieve these changes but the fact that I had to transform my life to do it. Not only with my nutritional choices, but my approach to life changed. I learned to get comfortable with continuous disruptions of my routines.

What I learned: Hacking Habits should be your habit as well. Dare to try something different every now and then.

Sleep Debt

 

tr5After conquering my demons (or perhaps just silencing them), I turned my focus on perhaps the darkest frontier in tracking: Sleep.

Raising babies reminded me how vital a good night’s sleep is. Better yet, sleep deprivation is equal to waterboarding in terms of effective torture techniques.

I set out to find a method to properly measure my body’s battery levels. I foundSleepdebt to be a simple and straightforward way to accomplish this.

Sleepdebt uses the Fitbit API to pull in your numbers and calculate your charge in terms of time.

However, adding this minor metric to my arsenal of stats finally made me come undone. It meant wearing my Fitbit Flex to bed…shackled in my sleep.

I never wore a watch. My dear old Dad, God rest his soul, always insisted I wear one but Imay never yield. Yet I wore this wristband while asleep so I would not be a grumpy jerk while awake. After 131 days of sleeping with Flex, on February 22, I was finally set free.

What I learned: I’m much happier being Untethered

Unshackled

tr6In writing this article, I made some discoveries:

  • Counting calories actually taught me about nutrition i.e. what to eat and how much;
  • My data is dispersed and siloed across the web, but that’s adifferent agony;
  • Freedom encourages -not inhibits- my discipline.

In my pursuit of self-improvement, I discovered what metrics really matter to me and how I can measure it.

Build, Measure, Learn is not only the cornerstone of any lean startup but eventually for any lean life. We are Born and then we’ll Measure and Learn to stay Lean.

This post was originally posted by Legal Complex on Medium.

Seymour: Maybe I Was Wrong About Legal Wearables
Seymour: Maybe I Was Wrong About Legal Wearables 1024 880 Raymond Blijd

 

Maybe I was wrong about wearables because I needed to go beyond my comfort zone to see what’s around the bend. I too easily settled for limits. Seymour is the project name for one of the ideas that took shape during the Innovation Tournament and while it’s a technical challenge, it may not be entirely without merit and here’s why.

Business Intake made Easy 

I once attended an Intellectual Property audit for a niche software company to support their Intellectual Asset Management. We had an extensive paper questionnaire and preparation meeting to ensure our visit would be fruitful. The goal was to get as much of the questions answered without making the client feel like it’s an inquisition. When we arrived, it was a bit chaotic and nobody managed to get all the answers. We left with boxes of documents to help us finalize the form.

Modern day logic would dictate we would need some kind of database for the intake. Even better if it was a mobile app with just a checklist and we could divide the load across the team during our visit. It would help if we already had information pre-populated and we just needed to fill in the blanks. Looks good on ‘paper,’ right?

Well I believe in the last decade, our process thinking has resulted in convoluted systems. We used the wishful add-on: “it should be easy to use and intuitive” like a sprinkle of angel dust to make the core product usable. Assuming the core product, the database, iswhat it is all about. No, it isn’t because nobody can use an empty database or worse – outdated data. So the time of laborious data entries should be in our past.

Seymour, See, Save, Share

I suspect wearables will play a major role in this space. Wearables will be the fastest way to grow any database simply because data entry will be more convenient. Forbes reported this as the first useful Glassware and seeing their video, you might agree:

“Sullivan Solar Power …developed a Google Glass app that gives its field technicians “volumes” of electrical system data in a hands’ free, or close to it, manner—which I would imagine to be a welcome delivery mode for someone wrestling with heavy equipment on a rooftop.”

Being fed real-time contextual information in situations where it’s slightly awkward to break out the laptop and do desktop legal research seems extremely powerful. Only consuming information might not make it ‘killer’ for me but if you can combine it with creation it will be close. A quote from this Glass wearing president and creative director:

“…The thing I use it for the most is taking notes. I tap it and say, “Take a note,” and then a microphone shows up and it will accurately dictate everything I say for about 30 seconds. And then when I stop talking it sends it to Evernote. At the same time, if someone else is using Evernote, they can send the note to me and it will appear in my screen.”

sey1

First Look: Evernote for Google Glass

This maybe farfetched, but the possibilities of having a checklist as Glassware and just ‘nodding’ off the list would be quite cool. Better yet, just tapping your wrist will be even cooler:

Tick off checklists for groceries with the Pebble, which syncs to Evernote, for a hands-free shopping experience. Evernote Reminders are supported, so you’ll always have your notifications and to-dos close to you.

sey2

Evernote on the Go: Introducing Evernote for Pebble

If we just infuse the right legal context into these workflows, we can even make legal research fun again. Shopping for groceries is not that different from shopping for Intellectual Property, it can only be made more pleasant by the tools we use.

Going off the grid

There was one little caveat with wearables, actually any internet connected device: its needs an internet connection. Well maybe not. Let me introduce you to “Wireless Mesh Networking.” This enables device to device communication in a free-form, non-internet dependent way. And that’s almost perfect for having wearables talk to our phone – or each other. It’s one of the best kept secrets in the latest iOS 7 and what Google is betting on to extent wearables and even home automation.

Last year I just had a name and a notion. Now it’s slowly making sense and Seymour is my reminder to keep going beyond the bend.

 

It’s A Rebirth, Not A Reinvention of Law
It’s A Rebirth, Not A Reinvention of Law 1024 576 Raymond Blijd
 You may have noticed a steady stream of stories surrounding the law and its need to reinvent. But actually it’s specifically targeted at the need to modernize the practice of law and the business model, which gave rise to a $300+/- billion empire. The law itself is complex and will stay that way for awhile – as long as human interaction and perceptions evolve. Yet, it always has been about solving consumer and business problems, not legal problems.

Reset Your Priorities for Clients 

I discovered an interesting graph in a survey done on Law Firm Knowledge Management Priorities. As the author duly noted:

 “The one consistent finding (and this is true even before 2012) is the respondents keep expecting (hoping?!?) to spend time on client-facing KM system but then do not.”

Another study went even further with an extensive dissection of law firm technology and found some astonishing figures in terms of investing in efficiency. When asked: What software does your firm use for experience management/tracking? 82% said: None. In the previous year it was 62%. These numbers conjecture thoughts of inward thinking.

However, one of reason lawyers choose to publish books, blogs, and tweets is to expose their expertise to drive new business. To get in touch with and track potential clients, measure reach, and effectiveness as counsel. Above all, hone their ability as problems solvers.

Revolutionize Your Relationship with Clients

Sometimes the solution might be as simple as creating new alliances with your customers by providing a better network to access legal expertise. Or just a promise to continuously improve your service by adopting industry standards for efficiency. There are way too many links to articles that discuss the evil of the billable hour and the persistent of lawyers to seed Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) to generate more revenue. I believe it has tarnished the trust in this noble profession of being without prejudice.

 Reboot Your Focus on Client Problems 

A simple handshake might suffice instead of a 23 page contract with 14 page addendum because no contract will ever absolve you completely from any litigation. Yet, these tendencies have fueled an $88 billion latent market of DIY legal services. A market which is dynamically upscaling to the fortunate who can afford counsel. Even spawning innovated apps which bring us back to the humble beginnings: to solve real world problems in simple and clear language…and shake hands.

The Power of Privacy and The Value of Confidentiality
The Power of Privacy and The Value of Confidentiality 453 276 Raymond Blijd

Google’s Vint Cerf, who is recognized as one of “the fathers of the Internet,” stated “Privacy May Be An Anomaly.” Historically, he is right in some context. We used to bathe in the open and wore less and more revealing clothes in the past. Some won’t mind going back to those days but ever since humans acquired the ability to communicate it always had the option to do it in private. Moreover, confidentiality is the corner-stone of several business sectors such as Health, Legal and Finance. So the question is: as a professional, who will you trust?

 

Privacy

Snapchat – a service that provides self destruct photo messaging – turned down a reported$3 billion offer from Facebook. Whatsapp claims to have more users than Twitter and handles more messages than Facebook. Bear in mind that Twitter and Facebook are free and Whatsapp is not*. In Asia, Wechat and QQ combined rule the messaging airwaves with more than a billion users. All these social messaging services enable users to communicate much in the same way we use email and SMS. Better yet, social messaging challenges the connections we make by phone, email or SMS. A recent study by industry-analysts Informa indicated that by the end of 2013 OTT (Over The Top) messaging traffic should be twice that of traditional SMS texts, topping out at around 41 billion messages sent every day (compared to 19.5 billion sent via SMS). More importantly: I believe services like Snapchat are popular because they simulate a sense of privacy traditional communication use to provide.

 

trust3Confidentiality

One might suspect that the push for more privacy is driven by an older more conservative demographic. Actually, it is quite the opposite. Recent studies revealed teens are fleeing social networks while elders, the only growing group, are encouraging them to stay on and broadcast. So if those who share scatter, but the spectators multiply, it is likely that privacy backlash will lead a ‘Trust Revolution’. This is already evident in the legal industry were legal tech experts predict ‘security awareness’ to be among the top priorities for law firms in 2014. To be specific: maintaining confidentiality of client information will be the top priority for law firms according to this article. This is especially more pertinent where professionals rush to the clouds out of convenience. Thus the question is: who can you trust?

Trust

In a previous post, I touched upon Apple’s fingerprint technology as a valuable breakthrough which might have far-reaching implications in how we communicate. Imagine securing not only your phone but all your documents with a fingerprint instead of passwords orproperly identify parties you communicate with and have them sign with their hands instead of a John Hancock. While I’m truly grateful I’m still hesitant to completely place my faith in any one company that either needs to lock me in or lure me to reveal information for ads. Free is very attractive but my soul is priceless and I value a whisper among the trees as much as shouting from the rooftop. As a legal professional, I can imagine doing business with a company that understands my needs. As a Wolters Kluwer employee, I will always strive to secure the trust our customers place in us.

 

*Whatsapp is a subscription service.