I’m really excited about this post because it represents a scoop in more ways than one.
- First, PM Blog is breaking the news about DriveThruLegal.com (DTL)
- Second, DTL puts its mass customization model front and center
So, what do we mean by mass customization? We’re talking about the process of taking cookie-cutter elements and assembling them in real time to suit individual customers … uh, clients. And if that sounds familiar, it should: it’s what happens each time you order a burger (did you really think that they were making that fish sandwich just for you?). And just in case you missed the fast-food allusion in the name of the site, DTL even sports a menu of legal services and products that could have been printed at your local fast food emporium.
Is DTL the beginning of mass customization in legal services? Hardly. Fact is nearly every document, case, memo, opinion, and idea produced by a lawyer is an extension or modification of its predecessors or the articulation of a core set of principals applied to a particular situation. So what why refer to that age-old process as mass customization? As it becomes ever easier to store and retrieve information, then refer to and use that information in an entirely new way, we are finding more than ever that what worked yesterday can be made to work again today, and in ways we hadn’t thought of before. These same factors have given rise to so-called knowledge management, a practice that is being put into place in any number of ways in law firms of all sizes. [ed. note: it’s worth noting that the term “knowledge management” was originally coined by vendors to sell $100,000 search engines to big-firm customers — just ask West KM — too bad those overpriced systems are being replaced by free or near-free alternatives these days].
On Friday I spoke with DTL’s founder Jerry Mowery who says he was inspired by his work with SCORE® — a service of the U.S. Small Business Administration — and spurred into action by a fortuitous episode of “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.” In classic entrepreneur fashion Mowery turned his instincts into action and produced DTL without so much as a web designer to help him. The result is the most non-legal legal website we’ve ever seen. Good on you Jerry. Good on you indeed.
DTL Founder Jerry Mowery
“Order your next non-compete agreement with our special sauce and a side of home-made cole-slaw!”
Technorati tags: mass customization, law, legal, website, knowledge management, practice management, business, business of law, unbundling, legal services