The July/August issue of Law Practice magazine is now out, the theme is “Big Ideas,” and one of the big ideas included in the issue is covered in an article I wrote.
In “Link to article,” I dive into the ways that lawyers might explore efforts made in other professions and industries in turning services into products. In general, I mean “information products,” but you might think even more broadly than I did in the article.
The article gives some examples that gave me something to think about, explores how a “productized” approach might work and why it might be beneficial in today’s economic climate, and suggests a structure for launching productization efforts. I think of this structure as a starting point for further discussion.
To help illustrate what I meant by information products, I used the following examples:
- Ernst & Young creates and publishes a popular (as I write this, in the top 100 among taxation books on Amazon) and affordable ($24.95) annual tax guide for the public.
- Attorney Larry Katzenstein creates and sells a widely used software program called Tiger Tables that computes actuarial factors for tax calculations and planning.
- A prominent technology company sought out a law firm to create a document assembly application for standard agreements that the company would license on an annual subscription basis.
- A law firm produces training videos on legal topics for sale to the public.
- A law firm packages research information updated on an annual basis as a subscription offering.
I have been pleased with the positive comments and feedback I’ve gotten on this article. I’ve also been thinking that might be a topic I’d like to turn into a presentation for the appropriate audiences, but I’d mainly like to start the conversation.
There’s also a new term I use in the article – “law practice exceptionalism.” I’ll let you read the article to see what I meant. When I wrote the article at the first of the year, I knew the term was unique when I ran a Google search. I wasn’t sure that it would be when the article appeared, but it actually still is. I remember back in the early days of blogging when you could coin new terms in your blog very easily and see that you had the only hits for them in Google – at least for a little while. Now, it’s much harder to do that, so it’s fun to cook up something new again, at least according to Google.
The Money Quote:
The prudent approach is to create new revenue streams to supplement and even enhance traditional services, rather than trying to squeeze more profit out of a time-based service business model.
Of course, I also recommend that you make some time to read the whole issue and see some of the other Big Ideas featured there.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.