The world of technology and innovation has often been described as the Wild West, and with the way the media reports on companies that generate the right kind of “buzz”, it’s no surprise. Pundits and media outlets provide considerable publicity to new technology companies’ claims that their products are going to revolutionize industries, but how much follow-through is there in those claims? Tech companies rise and fall almost on a daily basis in today’s world. Here’s the most recent case in point.
In 2004, an undergrad at Stanford by the name of Elizabeth Holmes had a revolutionary idea that would supposedly enable doctors to diagnose hundreds of different diseases with just a few drops of blood. With that idea and the help of a high school classmate, she dropped out of college and founded the company Theranos.
The promise of cheaper and faster blood testing was so alluring that by 2010, the new startup was pursuing contracts with national pharmacies like Safeway and Walgreens. Things looked bright for the company, and few questioned the disruptive claims the company made until a 2015 report from the Wall Street Journal.
The report exposed that Theranos had not only been making false claims, but had been covering up the fact that its tech wasn’t ready for prime time. The company had been using old blood testing technology sourced from third parties while telling investors that the results had been generated in-house using Theranos’ proprietary techniques. The report was so eye opening that the SEC got involved, and it appears that Theranos is about to meet its end. So, what can we learn from this incident here in the legal tech world?
There are many legal technology companies out there claiming that they are doing amazing things with the most cutting-edge technology. From AI and smart documents to blockchain integration, these companies are promising accurate results, faster researching, and documents tailored to clients’ legal needs. However, before we believe these claims, we need to take a closer look.
How are these legal tech companies achieving their results? Can they show that their new technology is actually producing these results? Have they repackaged old methods as new? These are all questions that the Theranos scandal should be teaching the legal industry to ask. That’s part of what the IT professionals at Exactify.IT try to do. There are many legal tech questions out there that we have the answers to, so don’t be afraid to ask them if you want to avoid the potential Theranoses of legal tech.