I was one of the lucky Mitratech employees selected to go to South by Southwest Interactive. Although I am considerably older than the rest of the Mitratech attendees and older than most of the attendees overall, I’m very skilled when it comes to learning new tricks. There was an incredible amount to learn at SXSW, and I am exceedingly glad that I was selected to go. In general, the sessions that I attended were in three tracks: New Technology, Public Policy, and Food.
If there was a general observation from all of the sessions that I attended, it can be summed up in one word – passion. In presentations about the newest design technology from Adobe, the presenter was passionate about how the technology would make an impact on design and prototyping. In a presentation on the use of art in public libraries, the presenter was passionate about how art displays of various types were impacting the library and the community as a whole. In a presentation on the problem of food waste in America, the presenters were passionate about the impact of store-based end of shelf life diversion programs on keeping food out of landfills and getting it to people that need it. Nearly every presenter that I heard had a story to tell and was passionate about how that story was having an impact on their world.
The other big takeaway from my SXSW Interactive experience was how technology can be used to empower people to gain more control over their lives. I attended a presentation on the Prison Technology Boom, and one of the speakers was the owner of Flikshop. This is a company that allows people to take pictures from their phones which are then turned into postcards to be sent to loved ones in prison. He explained how the loss of communication with family is one of the biggest devastations of those in prison, and this tool bridged the gap. Another presentation focused on a community program called All Star Code. This program is geared towards helping young men of color develop skills that will enable them to get into computer science programs in college. This is a hugely important program as it helps bridge the opportunity gap that currently exists between these boys and the tech industry.
So how does all of this impact the implementation of legal matter management software? What we do impacts others. While we are not in the business of solving world hunger or developing cutting edge technology for curing diseases, we do solve problems. Very simply put, by solving problems passionately, we end up with better solutions; by thinking about how solutions empower others, we end up with happier clients.