‘We wondered what it would be like to recreate the desktop from the 1980’s and then emulate its transformation through the computer age. We wanted to illustrate how technology has changed our world, un-cluttering our desks and simplifying our lives. While gradual change from year to year is often hard to perceive, a longer snapshot gives us a much more dramatic view of the technological progression we have experienced.’

The Evolution of the Desk by the Harvard Innovation Lab

The past 35 years has seen the transformation of the everyday things that surround us traverse from tangible to virtual. A digital app exists for everything from world mapping to paying bills, completely re-contextualizing the tools we use in the workplace. A team at the Harvard Innovation Lab has encapsulated this history of technology, as it relates to the office, in a video, ‘the history of the computer desk‘, demonstrating the steep shift from cork boards and fax machines to Pinterest and PDFs.

As such, legal startups are overruling the law industry’s objection to innovation.

Michael Chasin, co-founder of law industry-focused CRM company Lexicata, has stated that “lawyers tend to adopt technology at the speed of a tortoise.” Not because they’re afraid of being replaced by it, but thanks in part to privacy concerns and confidentiality issues, their industry is extremely risk averse.

Additionally, lawyers traditionally run cost-agnostic businesses. If their hours increase, they charge more. As such, workflow optimization is not a priority the way it is in other industries like software development.

The conventional wisdom appears to be ‘better slow and safe than sorry’.

However, legal casework involves piles of information and heterogeneous data that simply scream for software solutions. As customers increasingly look online for time and cost-effective solutions for every service they need, law firms are going to have to start competing. Thus, automation, efficiency and transparency will become the key to success.

When it comes to B2B startups for law firms, software companies are establishing their services as must haves, optimizing everything from team collaboration and document management to databases.

Lawyers may adopt technology at the speed of a tortoise, but the turtle won the race with the rabbit, right?

But that was along time ago, before gadgets and apps.