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15 Jan 2019

Innovation - We Need You

Over the last decade, we have experienced some of the greatest technology innovations in history. Apple launched this technology phase with its all-in-one product, the iPhone®, completely revolutionizing the way consumers think of mobile phones. They were the first to create and market a product as a necessity, catapulting the success of their brand. After the iPhone® came applications (known as apps) hosted on the iPhone® system. There are many successful apps that rake in millions if not billions of dollars for their developers as a result of the iPhone® - leading you to think, what would life be like without it? You'd still be designating a driver on Saturday nights instead of using Uber® and waiting to find out who won the football game after you got home. Apple introduced an era of portable internet - opening a realm of possibilities for consumers and other technology giants to take advantage of. Leading us to wonder, how can they top that?

Apple has continually made updates to the iPhone - there have been over 10 versions and software updates in less than 12 years since its creation. The last five versions of the iPhone haven't varied much between product design and capability. Changes like enhancements in the battery power, screen size and home button combined with drastic price increases have consumers questioning why they are paying anywhere from $750 to $1,000 to upgrade their phone. Apple came out strong in 2007 with a revolutionary product, making it hard to top moving forward. That is why, the minds of Apple are constantly trying to stay one step ahead of the innovation curve.

Under Tim Cook's management, Apple reached a $1 trillion valuation in August 2018, making it the first American company to do so. But over the past six months, that valuation has only fallen and quickly. As the new year rings in, investors are wondering what's the next innovation coming from Apple and will it be a departure from their flagship product, the iPhone®?

I only focus on Apple because it has been the pioneer of innovative consumer products for the last few decades making it a good predictor for the rest of the technology industry. Not only has it pioneered the industry, it is also in part responsible for the creation of some of the most successful tech companies: Snapchat® (worth $19 billion), Twitter® (worth $16 billion) and Instagram® (worth $102 billion). Without an iPhone, these popular apps would not have had the opportunity to build such a successful and lucrative platform. But every app I just mentioned has been around for 8 - 10 years, and the iPhone for 12 years. So, I think it's clear the entire tech industry is searching for the next major invention - and frantically, as more stock prices fall.

This leads me to wonder, where is the next greatest innovation going to come from? I don't think we've reached the point of flying cars yet; The Jetsons® are still beating us there. But seriously, what is it and who is developing it?

I think we are in desperate need of innovation - whether from the companies mentioned here or not. Most of the technology products we use today have been in use for over a decade. There doesn't seem to be a new idea everyone can embrace and move forward with. We seem to be stuck as a society using the same products and services over and over with upgrades being the only thing that's new. As the previous blog post mentioned, we need innovation. Innovation is what drives societies, businesses and law firms such as yours to move forward and grow. Without it, we find ourselves stuck. I think that's where the brilliant minds in Silicon Valley find themselves right now.

Luckily, the legal industry has experienced some of the most revolutionary advancements and has not stopped innovating. Compared to Apple, it's made more progress developing new products in the last 5 -10 years than any iPhone. More and more ideas on how to make your life easier and your job more manageable are giving attorneys the flexibility and reliance technology is meant for. This demonstrates the importance innovation has to offer our lives. Artificial intelligence, predictive language analytics, judicial reports and insight - I could go on and on about the technology the legal industry has been cranking out. But all I will say is this: It is a testament to innovation, demonstrating how much we need it in all aspects of our lives.

As for Apple and other tech companies, I hope they find their stride again. Without their products, I don't know where we would be - they've truly revolutionized so many industries and changed the way we think of everything from entertainment to business. Unfortunately, that's a high standard to maintain, which is why I think they're struggling to stay there.

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