Technology strategy

IBM Watson & Machine Learning

Last week here in New York we had the opportunity to invite a couple of dozen law firms to “An Introduction to IBM Watson” at the brand new $1-billion IBM Watson facility down on Astor Place. This is not going to be a report on that event, except insofar as it helped advance our thinking
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Articles, Leadership, Strategy, Technology strategy

Complexity Requires Systems

Much talk has been devoted lately to whether the growth of in-house law departments will take market share from Big Law, or, posed more in the language of economics, whether in-house lawyers are a reasonable substitute for outside counsel. Confessing that I have not devoted concerted effort to exploring the issue, I suppose my own
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Articles, Business Models, Finance, Strategy, Technology strategy

Can Big Firms Innovate?

“Innovation” seems to be on everyone’s lips these days. Among other things, the problems are: Many people, lawyers in particular, are stumped when it comes to describing what “innovation” actually is; Business history proves to a fare-thee-well that it’s extremely challenging for successful incumbents to actually follow through with anything innovative; And of course there’s
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Strategy, Technology strategy

“Converge” Conference/NYC

If you haven’t yet heard about Above the Law‘s “Converge” conference coming up here in NYC on Wednesday, March 18th, you’re about to. It’s a full-day conference at the marvelous University Club (Fifth @ 54th, McKim, Mead and White, 1900) designed to “help lawyers navigate emerging trends in media and technology.” Highlights include: Keynote by
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Articles, Just Plain Interesting, Marketing, Technology strategy

Watson: Boring or Terrifying?

Nearly four years have passed since IBM’s Watson beat two human beings at Jeopardy, and not just any two human beings: Ken Jennings, record-holder for longest winning streak (74 appearances) and Brad Rudder, largest single money-winner ($3.25-million). As I’ve noted before, IBM moved with alacrity to begin commercializing the Watson technology and now the Wharton
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Technology strategy

Watson, I Presume?

I’m often asked—on a panel last month in Europe and on a panel later this month right here in New York at the Law Firm COO & CFO Forum, for example—what I think about “disruption” in the legal industry. Bypassing the obversation that it’s a large and amorphous question, it immediately seems to summon forth
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Articles, Technology strategy

The Blind Men & Big Data

This column is by our Senior Adviser, Doug Caddell: A few weeks ago I returned from the 37th annual ILTA education conference, which was held this year at the Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville. The Gaylord in Nashville is not my favorite venue.  It was cobbled together from the original Opryland Hotel when the Gaylord
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Articles, Business Models, Technology strategy

Change is neither good nor bad: It is

With this, his inaugural column, it is my great pleasure to introduce to our readers and clients Doug Caddell, who is formally joining Adam Smith, Esq. as a senior advisor (see the About Us page for more on Doug’s distinguished background). Doug brings over three decades of experience in strategy-focused technology leadership in our industry
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Articles, Knowledge Management, Leadership, Strategy, Technology strategy

“ReInvent Law:” Real or Memorex?

For years, there was a prominent, and ultimately iconic, billboard in Times Square advertising the Memorex brand of recording tape, displaying an image of a stoner being  blasted back in his chair by music coming from, presumably, a Memorex tape.  Since recording tape has gone the way of camera film, the billboard has long since
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Articles, Business Models, Knowledge Management, Strategy, Technology strategy

Growth is Dead: Part 8-Now What?

If you’ve traveled this far in this series, you may be wondering what I think you actually ought to do. Recognizing that diagnosis is eaiser than prescription, the remaininig installments—starting with this one—will try to address that. One other caveat: Not all of what I’m going to suggest will be advisable, or even appliable, to all
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Articles, Business Models, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Globalization, Leadership, Marketing, Strategy, Technology strategy