Do you know what B-to-G means? Maybe not what you think. These days it means business-to-geek. And that’s exactly what’s trending for law firm professionals.
Law is one of the world’s oldest and most established industries. It’s made a name for itself by not being trendy, rather, traditional. So why pay attention to trends now?
Well, for one, technology is pervasive in today’s society, and understanding it will not only bring your firm more clients, but it will prepare your firm to better defend them. If you haven’t already formed a dedicated legal team for “technology and emerging companies,” your firm is missing out on a not-so-niche sector.
Entrepreneurs, public and private emerging growth companies, and venture capital and private equity firms are among law firms’ biggest and (potentially) wealthiest clients. If lawyers don’t understand the mainstream and trendy tech trends, it will be difficult to represent the interests, including litigation, advisory, and contractual work, of defense technology, e-commerce, Internet and social media, medical devices, semiconductors, or wireless communications companies.
But B-to-G (don’t forget, business-to-geek) is really describing the future of homes and offices. Nest—a success story for one of this decade’s biggest breakthrough tech companies—embodies everything the modern consumer is looking for in their household and their local neighborhood business.
“I think in the next five years there will be hundreds of millions of smart new home networks,” Mike Maples, Venture Capitalist, said to Forbes, about smarter wifi networks, an area ripe for disruption.
“Right now, I think Linksys and Netgear basically just call China up and say, ‘Can you make the box in my color so I can sell it?’”
But business-to-geek also means developing new business strategies, such as mobile on-demand services. Just like food service or taxis, venture capitalist James Slavet said to Forbes, “The core concept is that with smartphones, we’re all transacting with compressed planning cycles and addictive ease.”
“If you get sick at 2 a.m., rather than going down to urgent care, you’ll be able to pull up your phone and have a consult with a doctor on demand.”
Ping Li, another VC, said to Forbes in agreement: “The marketplace effects are really powerful. These things are not taking years to happen. They’re taking months.”
Law firms confront different kinds of policy and insurance issues than the average services industry. Nevertheless, legal services online and on-demand are on the horizon. Avvo Inc., already launched in 2014 an on-demand service that provides legal advice at a fixed rate via your iPhone, Android phone, or smart tablet.
No, business-to-geek may not have been why you signed up for the legal profession, but it is here to stay. Technology has, in many ways, made the law both harder and easier to practice. The same tools that facilitate doc review may also convolute it.
The same tools that streamline operations and increase profits weigh firms down in extensive training and infrastructure costs.
Still, it’s important for law firm managers to be as up-to-date on technology trends as legal ones. Don’t worry, if you’re struggling, there are now ample online courses here to help. The hardest part will be identifying the best way to transition your team from businessmen to geeks.
Here’s a good start: http://www.c4cm.com/lawfirm/recordings.htm