The lawyers in both instances understood there are technology solutions and process workflows that would help them, and they are content to leave it at that. In private conversations some demonstrated intellectual intrigue for what we do – after all, when you are one of the few discovery solutions providers at a conference without a discovery focus, you are a bit of a curiosity. But if someone tried to get too far in a rabbit hole about how it works, the conversation would quickly fade.
The adage that “people buy a quarter inch hole, not a quarter inch drill bit” resonated as true for these lawyers. Perhaps our industry should follow suit.
I find this to be true with my students too. Sure, there are some who want to dive into the algorithms and the technology behind clustering, email threading, or TAR, but many are simply focused on “how do I find what I need?”. Truth is, there’s nothing wrong with that. The first job in eDiscovery is about finding the relevant data, not having abstract discussions about algorithms. Sure it’s important for the people creating those algorithms to be responsible with the data their systems offer up as results, but once we all agree that the commonly used algorithms do that well enough, it’s about using the results to get to the relevant data.
In other words, it’s having the hole that’s the important bit, not the physics of the drill bit used, as the quote above says.