A welcome new addition to the eDiscovery blogosphere (now that “blogosphere” has been mentioned in an English judgment, I suppose it is all right to use it) is one called Flipping the Gorilla by Marc Jenkins, VP Knowledge Strategy at Cicayda and Adjunct Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University. I will leave you to work out what Gorillas have to do with it. You can find the blog posts, with other Cicayda resources, here.
Marc Jenkins is presenting a webinar on 19 December at 12.00pm EST with the title Lessons from David & Goliath on legal process improvement and litigation search methodology. Its theme, and the David and Goliath reference, comes from Malcolm Gladwell’s book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants.
The Giants in this context are the big law firms or other big players in the provision of services to the legal market, assumed by virtue of their size alone to have the advantage over puny rivals. The small businesses, so conventional wisdom has it, stand no chance of taking market share away from these large and confident players. Yet David won his battle with Goliath; why should a nimble, small business not defeat a bigger player in the same way?
Gladwell’s point is that Goliath was doomed from the moment David dropped by the battlefield to deliver bread and cheese (note that David wasn’t even supposed to be taking part in the battle but was the equivalent of the pizza delivery boy who happened to be in the office when Goliath turned out to do his chest-beating thing). A large oaf in heavy bronze armour stood no chance against an agile youth with a sling with which he had already killed a lion and a bear. It is not merely plausible that a small player – and a passing amateur at that – should defeat the giant, but inevitable.
The parallel is obvious, even if it only runs only so far. Small businesses can overthrow much bigger ones with a better proposition for clients. The Israelites effectively outsourced the task to someone else, someone without the traditional formal training but with a specific skill which did the job with minimal use of resources. They wanted to kit him out with conventional equipment (armour, a helmet and a sword) but he preferred his own tools. He did the job.