A new year means new resolutions for Dennis and Tom. In the final 2017 episode of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell talk about whether they kept last year’s resolutions, their suggestions for how to keep resolutions throughout the year, and what technology goals they have for 2018. Like their resolution episode last year, they group their goals into themes and share how they want these themes to shape the year. Dennis also makes an important announcement that heralds change for his future. As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.
Dennis and Tom also have a resolution for their listeners! It’s an easy one too, just call Dennis and Tom’s Tech Question Hotline at 720-441-6820 for the answers to your most burning tech questions.
Special thanks to our sponsors, ServeNow and TextExpander.
Mentioned in This Episode
The Kennedy-Mighell Report
2018 Goals and Tech Resolutions
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Intro: Web 2.0, Innovation, Trend, Collaboration, Software, Metadata… Got the world turning as fast as it can, here how technology can help, legally speaking with two of the top legal technology experts, authors and lawyers Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Welcome to The Kennedy-Mighell Report here on the Legal Talk Network.
Dennis Kennedy: And welcome to Episode 205 of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I am Dennis Kennedy in St. Louis.
Tom Mighell: And I am Tom Mighell in Dallas.
Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode we wrapped up 2017 with our version of the ESPN Pardon The Interruption Show format. It’s a fast-paced and fun show that I recommend to you if you haven’t already listened to it. Another tradition we have on the podcast is launching each New Year with our own personal technology resolutions.
Tom, what’s all on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well, Dennis, I am fresh off from my victory in the previous podcast and happy to announce that in this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell report we will indeed be sharing our 2018 technology resolutions.
In our second segment, I will be asking Dennis some questions about a big change that he is making and excited about that. And as usual, we will finish up with our parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can start to use the second that this podcast is over.
But first up, technology resolutions, this is the time of year when I think everyone; bloggers, podcasters, Instagramers, everyone out there is posting their predictions for next year, what does the future hold for legal tech or telling you the best gifts to get others for the holidays, and while I like all of that, I am lousy at predictions. I can’t stand it.
And so we usually take a different approach and I really like this approach that we take and we look upon the New Year as an occasion for renewal and improvement and discuss our upcoming resolutions technology-wise for the coming year. Also gives us a chance to feel good about ourselves before the New Year starts and things start to get real.
Dennis, first off, how did you do on last year’s tech resolutions and I guess should people go back to last year’s episode to check?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I think that I actually did pretty well. And I noticed that we did something different last year, which was, we kind of picked three words for the year. So mine were prune, master, and learn. And so I know I had some specific examples, but one thing that I like about that approach is that it allows you to say, hmm, that first idea I had isn’t quite right. There’s something else that does fit that category.
So I think I actually did pretty well, but I think that in any of these resolutions in technology, accountability is really important, but so was, as I said, the ability to be a little bit flexible and to adapt to circumstances.
So if I think I am going to — my resolution for the year is to learn X, which I think was data analytics last year, but as things turned out, I — because of some other things I was doing, it was actually blockchain and artificial intelligence that were probably the areas that I learned or perhaps you could even say the blockchain is an area that I went even deeper than I expected, then that flexibility comes in.
And I also think with resolutions, as I look at the agile method, there was this notion of failing fast and so if you have this resolution that you see, is it going to work, but you can replace it with something else, then that’s important too, because you can still move forward.
And as you said, I kind of like our approach to this, because I used to make all kinds of predictions and the thing is that you can predict anything. And then the holiday gifts thing, I am interested in what people recommend that they actually use, but it seems like people are just trying to find like the newest and weirdest thing that they can find, but you never have the sense that people have actually tried some of the things they recommend.
So I like the resolutions thing. I think I did okay last year, actually pretty well. How about you, Tom?
Tom Mighell: Well, you know, I think mine was better than I expected actually. As I was preparing for the podcast I was thinking that this was really a tough year to get anything done outside of work. Work was really busy this year, family life was really tough this year, but then I looked back at the resolutions that we talked about last year and I was really pleasantly surprised and maybe that’s why I structured them the way that I did.
My three words last year were experiment, share and learn. And under experiment, I pledged to experiment with the Service Studio; I did, I got it, I am excited to have it.
I wanted to experiment on Alexa versus Google Home; I did that. I have both devices here. I have been playing with them. I actually have another Alexa device coming soon to play with.
New iPads; okay, there was one new iPad this year, I did experiment with that. I do have the new Google Phone. I like it, not everybody likes it.
I didn’t really get to play around with the VR with Google Daydream, that’s one area that I didn’t get to deal with.
Under the share topic, one of the big things there was to share our knowledge and our expertise and our experiences with the world. The first one was our Collaboration book and I think we are both pleased to say we are putting the finishing touches on that and it should be out early in 2018.
Where I did fail was in rejuvenating the blog and we talked about it, kind of a new tech news roundup that I was interested in starting, those things really haven’t happened the way I wanted them to.
And then under learn, I wanted to learn how to do Adobe Captivate to help in change management, help develop training; I did that. I am not as good at it as I would like to be, but I did learn how to use it.
I learned also how to use a lot of the inner tools of Office 365, using Teams a lot with the consultants at my work. I really like using that as kind of a Slack alternative that lives in the Microsoft Office world.
So I am actually — I was actually kind of jazzed. I have made good efforts at all of the resolutions I made last year.
Dennis Kennedy: And I think that’s a useful thing to look back, and like you said, that category approach can be really helpful, because I think you are right Tom, sometimes you have the sense of like, oh, I didn’t accomplish the main things that I thought I was going to, but then you go back and you look and you say, actually, Tom, I was listening, that’s a really impressive list.
I know how sometimes you are pretty tough on yourself, but that’s a really impressive list. And so I think if you give yourself credit for what you do and then also say maybe I went in the right direction, I moved forward. So I think that’s that sense of moving forward that I always look for.
So I don’t know, Tom, what are some of the things you think we have learned over the years on tech resolutions and making resolutions in general?
Tom Mighell: So I have to say, I probably say this every year, the thing that is useful and I have learned this really from my work is that one of the things that make a good resolution is, unfortunately, whatever the biggest pain is for you. I am learning from my clients that they are not motivated to change unless the pain is strong enough. And so my thought is let me go to find the source of the greatest pain and develop a resolution around that.
Now, obviously that’s not going to work for the things where I want to learn about stuff, I want to improve myself, I want to be better at this or do that. But I think that that is a powerful motivator to set a resolution is to say how can I make this better in my life is to find where am I currently either least satisfied or having issues or challenged or frustrated by a problem at work, where can I deal with that, and to me, that seems to be a good way to start.
And then I will say it again, I think that taking small steps is really the way to do it. Break down your resolution into the manageable steps so that you don’t try to do it all at once. You try to do it all at once and it doesn’t work or you don’t have time, you are more likely to abandon it. I think that getting those small steps done help to establish momentum and are ultimately more satisfying.
Those are the two kind of takeaways that I have had over the past couple of years that we have been doing these is, I just find that you are more successful if you approach them in a certain way.
What about you Dennis?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I like some of the rule of thumb things and some of the approaches that people take, what projects and goals. So the SMART Goals notion obviously is a really structured way of doing goals. I love the Rule of Threes because I always feel that it’s easy to remember. And then the idea that you can do three things or concentrate on three things seems really attainable to me.
And then more and more I think about thinking of the resolutions as their own projects and so as a project then it has certain steps and maybe it can have milestones and other things like that. So you can break it down into these chunks, where you feel that you are making progress, and as I said, I think it’s really important to feel the forward momentum.
And so that notion of going, take that resolution, turn it into a project that has steps, you can map it out, you can calendar it, that sort of thing and you can keep it in front of you. So those are the things.
So I don’t know Tom, I think we went back to — we definitely went to the rule of three again this year and I realized that I had written these down in the script before I looked at last year’s words and it kind of echoed some of the same — basically the same three themes I had last year.
So my first resolution is something I think I have mentioned before, but I call this Tech Zero. So I am making some changes that we will talk about and we are going to be moving, and so it gives me a chance to say, well, let’s take a hard look at the technology I am using and what is it that I really want to take with me and are the old ways that I am used to doing technology and the things I use, do they — they still make sense.
What if I were starting out with nothing, what are the choices that I would make and if they are different than what I am doing, then doesn’t that make sense for me to make some of those changes now.
So it’s kind of — I feel is like a really radical way of taking a look at your technology and then deciding how it is that you are going to move forward. And so I think there is some things that definitely won’t change, but other things that I can already tell, like I am not sure why I am doing this because I am not sure that it works. So this falls into the pruning category for me obviously.
So I look and I say if I am moving and I have a printer and my wife has a printer, then why am I moving two printers from where I am at to somewhere else. I know my millennial friends think the idea of even having a printer is bizarre, so why would I have two?
So that would be the sort of thing where you start — you just start to look at it and I think I will concentrate mainly on software, but that’s the sort of pruning notion, but it’s saying let’s just start from the beginning and then kind of think through our technology and as always use the jobs to be done notion to say what am I hiring the technology to do as I go forward, and if I understand that, then how are the technology that I now have, how do they even fit into that job to be done. And if they don’t, then what do I replace them with?
Tom Mighell: I think that’s a great start if you are getting ready to make a change. My first one is actually looking back at the three resolutions that I chose, two of them are continuations of what I started last year, but this first one sort of feels like the technology version of the I need to lose weight resolution or the I need to get in shape resolution. It’s the one we do every year or at least the one I do every year and it never seems to get to the point.
And so I list as my first resolution re-launching and I put in parentheses no really my return to the Internet. And I think that I have been gone from the Internet for a long time. I mean aside from this podcast, my blog hasn’t been updated in quite a long time. I am not as active on social media as I used to be. I really want to change that around. I just haven’t had the kind of time.
And I think frankly it has shown. I feel like part of what I talked about last year was the desire to share information with people. I enjoy doing that. I enjoy going out and looking. I probably have commented on this podcast before that in my current job with information governance, I am probably farther away from legal technology than I really ever have been in my career. But where I find myself being able to help lawyers or work with lawyers in technology is really talking about the everyday technology that lawyers need, maybe not the legal technology, but the everyday tools that lawyers can use and how they can put that to work in their practice.
I really want to do a better job of communicating that, whether it’s through a blog. I have talked and you and I have talked several times about putting together some short little fun podcast or maybe a YouTube channel or something that shows information on the latest everyday technology for lawyers. I really want to get that started. That’s probably not something that’s going to start until after ABA TECHSHOW, but I really want to get something out there that starts to — I feel sort of like I haven’t been communicating with people and that’s an odd feeling, but I think that’s what happens once you get engaged on the Internet and then you go away from it for a while. It feels like you are cut off and I am ready to get started on that again.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. Tom, I mean I think that that is true and I think the book project is similar in that way, because when you are working on a book you feel like, oh, I shouldn’t start something new. Like oh, you know Tom, you and I have talked about doing online courses and we are going like well, let’s finish the book project first. And I sometimes feel like oh, I could do something else, but you are right, I need to pay attention to the blog first and it’s like the blog piece of it becomes kind of a blocker, because you say — and it keeps other stuff from going forward, because you say I need to get to that first.
So yeah, so I think as we start to think through that approach and you and I have — I know I have talked to you, trying to convince you we need to do The Kennedy-Mighell Insider Report Newsletter, which is along the lines of the podcast idea you had, but maybe a simpler thing to do and goes back to both of our early histories in doing newsletters.
So I think that I agree with you, because kind of polishing the Internet presence, because I just feel really scattered and I am doing a lot, but it’s really scattered.
So my resolution number two is one of my usual ones and so I just call it learn one big thing and a few little things too. And so I am still working on what that’s going to be, because I — as I looked at the upcoming year I said, well, the Collaboration book is coming out, so collaboration tools has to be something that I am learning and talking about and doing that. I am doing a lot of stuff, some really interesting things that will come out soon on the legal innovation side of things. So innovation and the practice of innovation is definitely something I will be learning more about.
And then I have done some speaking lately on a couple of topics that I know I want to learn more about. But then I say, if I go by my Rule of Threes and I have collaboration and innovation and it makes sense for me practically to do either blockchain or artificial intelligence, but I am not sure which one, so that’s — but I am trying to figure out like, well, one of those things I want to learn a lot more, but I want to focus — also have a couple of other things. And you sort of feel like meta technology subjects rather than to learn more about how to use a program better or that sort of thing, although I do have — I think probably one of the smaller things is to learn how to use OmniFocus even better, because I wanted — I really want to develop the notion of projects.
So that’s sort of the general thing that I do every year is to say, okay, what’s the one big thing I am going to learn and then can identify, maybe the cluster of three other things that I just want to get better at.
Tom Mighell: I think that the way you describe it sort of the meta things that you want to learn about, the commonality there is that those topics tend to be things that you can help other people understand, whereas learning about OmniFocus is the more personal, helping you understand on a personal basis and I think there’s value in both of those approaches. So I look forward to seeing what it is you learn about in the next year.
My second resolution is a continuation of my learn category last year. I did go in. I learned a lot of the tools from Microsoft Office 365 and what I learned when I started using them was how useful they would be in getting teams to collaborate with each other.
I am really intrigued with the notion of we have — our consultants are all over the place, but we work for the same client, and we need to have a place where we can all work together, and I have to say that the combination of Microsoft teams and now being able to co-author documents in Microsoft Office, where we have a single copy of a document that is shared by everybody and we can author it either at the same time or offline and in different times, really makes it easy to share information with each other.
Combining with that, the OneNote Notebooks, once we have set up a team site, then we also have a OneNote Notebook so that everybody who has meetings or does interviews can access the notes for those interviews, any notes that we have on the client, they are all right there.
I am just really scratching the surface of what can be done and I am really intrigued by this whole Microsoft notion of collaboration. I know Dennis you and I had circulated; Microsoft put out this diagram of what they believe their whole collaboration universe is, and it’s huge, it’s massive, it’s a lot more than what I am talking about right here, but I think that in the workplace it offers a lot of really good capabilities, because it all again ties into a world that lawyers are already part of; Word, Excel, PowerPoint and it makes that part, but then it extends beyond that.
And so I am looking forward to, I think what’s going to be interesting about this is that it’s something that I really want to do, but it’s not something that the other consultants that I work with are used to doing, and they have their own distinct ways of doing work and trying to have that change management and changing their behavior to where people are collaborating and doing things in a way that centralizes the information and makes it beneficial to everyone rather than to set up silos where everybody has their separate independent information, I think is going to be both a challenge and an interesting change if we can make it happen. So that’s what I am hopefully looking forward to doing next year.
Dennis Kennedy: So my number three goes back to what you said, I think it’s important to identify the biggest pain that you have. And so lately I feel that the big thing for me is capturing the ideas I have and then making those ideas actionable. So to me, is turning them into projects.
And so about every year or so I reach out to our friend Matt Holm and say, Matt, have you found like a great tool for capturing ideas and turning them into action because ideas are always a focus of Matt? And he never really has found anything yet and I haven’t either.
But that sort of feels like that’s the pain that I would like to try to resolve, that would help me a lot. And I sort of think this is a great example of, you don’t want to think first about technology and then figure out the solution to your problem magically, is the technology that you have identified.
So I think my thing is like okay, I have ideas, how do I capture them and then how do I make them actionable. My gut sense says that’s an expansion of how I use OmniFocus already, but it doesn’t quite work on the capture side. So I think that that — as I move forward, I feel like I have ideas, I think I am going to remember them, I don’t follow up on them. So getting a system together that will allow me to capture, to turn into projects and then to review on a regular basis the things I haven’t turned into projects I think is my big resolution for this year.
Tom Mighell: Yeah, that’s a struggle to find a tool that works that well with that. I think OmniFocus is ideal for some of that piece, but I agree that it may not be ideal for everything. It may be useful and I don’t think that — unfortunately, I don’t think OmniFocus connects with any of these, but using one of the connecting services like IFTTT or Zapier or Microsoft Flow may be able to set up some sort of workflow that allows you to do what you need using multiple tools. I have not looked at that, but that would be an interesting exercise.
My third one, you mentioned pain and I talk about pain and guess what, I am not actually addressing any of my pain this year in my resolutions. I guess if I had pain, my resolution would be, and I still plan to do this is, I have about a 1,000 pictures that need to be scanned between family members that I have gotten pictures from, I need to scan them and that is a huge source of pain because they are sitting there in a pile, staring me in the face, they need to get scanned. I don’t want to scan them. I want to find a good service to send them off and scan them, but it is 1,000 pictures so it will not be inexpensive.
But that’s not my resolution. My resolution is, and I really never thought this would be a resolution, I never thought that I would be interested in this, but lately it has grown on me and it is, I want to explore making my home smarter, and by doing that, using technology to have a smart home.
I am not sure I am ready for a smart lock. I don’t think that I am ready for smart water sprinklers. I am not even sure that I want the true nature of a smart light bulb in that I really don’t care if my room turns blue or red or anything like that.
But I will say that using both the Google Home and the Amazon Echo to do things and now that those devices can actually control things that go on in your house, just with your voice, I am now able to turn music on in any part of the house just using that, using the speakers that I want and the tools that I want, very simple to do.
And then what really hit home with me was we are in the holiday season right now, we are setting up Christmas trees and things around the house and we have these old ancient timers, where you have to pull out or push in the hours that you want the lights to come on. And it’s incredibly ancient and it doesn’t work very well, and I went out, I bought a couple of smart plugs, I installed the app on my phone and now I have got them set up on timers so that they are automatically turning on, turning off when I want. And I am starting to appreciate the value of smart tools in the home.
I want to explore that a little bit more, see where that gets me, see if it makes sense to make the house more efficient or more interesting by controlling it electronically. I am not sure where I will go with this, but I am excited to get started.
Dennis Kennedy: So I think that a lot about your success with resolutions comes from how you follow up on it, and for a lot of people the notion of having accountability is great. So sometimes you get like a buddy who will kind of check in with you to see how you are doing, in exchange for you checking with them to see how they are doing and that can be helpful.
Sometimes, if you know somebody well, like I know Tom, like one of the best ways to motivate Tom is for me to say, you know Tom, I think you are number two about the collaboration stuff, that’s going to happen. I think making your home smarter; I think that’s going to happen unless you get distracted by buying a bunch of Bluetooth speakers. But Tom, I think next year the blog isn’t going to be going and I know that by saying that that Tom is going to be super motivated to go out and do that. So like the best thing I can probably do for Tom is to say, I don’t believe you can get that done this year.
So there’s a number of strategies you can get with accountability and getting other people to help. So I don’t know if you have any thoughts on my resolutions since I have kind of judged yours a little bit, Tom.
Tom Mighell: Well, I don’t — really, I mean I think that you have chosen resolutions that fit things that you plan to be doing during the year, and I think that’s smart. I think that sometimes you can say that resolutions should be outside your comfort zone, but I would argue that having them within your comfort zone is better because it’s more likely that you are going to do them.
And the fact that you have got things in here that you may be making some changes in your life to reduce your technology; that needs to get done. It’s a great idea to do that.
Learning stuff about some of these meta topics is a really important thing that I think you want to be doing for the things that you are going to be involved in. So I think that that’s one way I think to hold yourself accountable is to have it be things that you know you need to get done, it’s things that you want to get done and I think that makes it a whole lot easier.
Dennis Kennedy: And so I wanted to kind of give some resources I guess for resolutions, and so as I thought about that, I am going to go old school on this, because this is what I found has been really helpful to me lately, which is to go offline and say let me just — when I say I would like to figure out what kind of three technology resolutions I have, just go out and walk for a half an hour or 45 minutes and say, I am just going to think about those things. And I am not going to be paying attention to the phone, and I am not going to be on the Internet and that sort of thing. And I can do that for half an hour or 45 minutes. And I am walking too, that’s good for me.
And then I think you can start to get those ideas and say, this is a possibility, this is a possibility, and just get a little quiet time while you are walking and I think that will really help you with the tech resolutions.
Tom Mighell: Yeah. No, totally agree.
Dennis Kennedy: So I guess if we were to make one suggestion for our listeners that they resolve to do, I am thinking it’s to call our voicemail question number next year, don’t you think, Tom?
Tom Mighell: I totally agree with that. That number again is 720-441-6820 and frankly, you can get that resolution completed in minutes frankly. So I think it’s the perfect resolution for all of our listeners.
All right, before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick break to hear a word from our sponsors.
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Tom Mighell: And now let’s get back to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I am Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy. In this segment I have officially already announced my retirement from Mastercard, an early retirement, so people who think I am young can still keep thinking that, but I am actually a little bit older than some people realize, but I had an early retirement option, which I decided to take.
And I just wanted to have Tom ask me a few questions about that so people can learn about my future plans. I have been telling people all I am doing is retiring from Mastercard; I am not retiring from anything else. And it’s kind of funny, a couple of people immediately reacted when I said I was retiring from Mastercard by saying, you are still going to keep doing the podcast, right? And I said, yeah, no problem with that and a lot of other things as well.
So, I guess, Tom, we are planning to – so I will be stopping working at Mastercard. My wife and I are planning to relocate to Ann Arbor, Michigan so the intro of the podcast may change in a few months, but I have talked a little bit about this, but we thought it might be good for the audience to have you ask me a few questions and I can talk about some things that might be happening with me.
Tom Mighell: Well, so I am — I promise that none of my questions are any gotcha questions, these are pretty much just going to be softballs that let you talk about whatever you want to and it’s interesting because the concept of early retirement is exciting but I guess it’s also maybe a little bit scary or a little bit unknown but that also I guess can be exciting.
So are you — I mean say that you are just retiring from Mastercard, so what does that really mean? Do you plan to do some kind of work? What are you thinking about in terms of what’s next for you in terms of either the law or technology or both?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I think that I have been in Mastercard 11 years, which surprises some of my friends who think that’s an incredibly long time for me to be at one place, which just shows like what a great run it was for me at Mastercard. So in a sense my wife would like me to take a little bit of a sabbatical and slowdown, so there is an element of that. So I do want to take a little bit of a break, and then what I am doing is not going to surprise anybody, I don’t think, I plan to do more writing, more speaking, involved in some projects, and then I think I will find a place that makes sense in terms of work that probably will be a portfolio of different things and I will probably have a home-base for that.
So, I have a number of things I am talking about, but like I said we are — we decided that we are going to downsize, we are going to move to be closer to my dad, and then I have always had this desire to retire or live in a great university town and we did a little looking and Ann Arbor, Michigan is the place, so we thought it made sense for us very close to my dad, for example, and the rest of my family. So that’s sort of what’s going out there and some of it is a little bit unknown but I kind of feel like it’s been great, you and other — everybody I talk to it just seems really excited that they feel this is a great move for me. So that’s really encouraging to me.
Tom Mighell: So then, let’s look ahead. So, really, I have just got two questions for you because you really basically answered all of my questions in that answer, so thanks a lot for that.
So here’s the last question, let’s look ahead a year from now. We are doing our resolutions episode in 2018, where should our listeners expect to find you? What kind of predictions would you make?
Dennis Kennedy: I think where they might find me is I think that I am — so if I look at what I have done over the years, I am always trying to align what I am doing with what interests me most. And so, I would expect you would find me as they said in Ann Arbor, Michigan being part of a great university town and getting involved in the community, there’s a great startup culture there, with some legal tech companies there, I mean, close to what’s going on with Michigan State and the University of Michigan law schools, that I’ve already been doing a little bit of work that people will hear about later especially with the Michigan State, people in the legal R&D Group.
So I think you’ll see that and so I am looking at innovation probably some kind of new tech and then kind of getting myself more involved in the changes they are happening in law, both in a sense of how technology is changing things, how technology is changing, what the subject matter of law is, something I call the lawyering the platform era so I expect to see some of that. And then, probably some close involvement with one or the other of Artificial Intelligence or Blockchain technology.
So a number of things out there, but definitely, I did a number of speaking things, Tom, and as you know in the last few months, including going to London to speak about Artificial Intelligence and it just reminds me how much I love speaking on the technology topic. So, I would definitely hope to be doing more of that, and then in the show next year I would hope to be able to say, look Tom, I actually inspired you to get your blog going and I got all three of my resolutions done, so that would be my goals at that point.
Tom Mighell: Well, I personally look forward to seeing how you are able to maintain a relationship with Michigan State living in a town that bleeds yellow and blue, but we will save that for another episode. So, maybe, let’s move on to our parting shots.
Dennis Kennedy: It is time for our parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: So I can’t resist, I have to talk about a Bluetooth speaker, but it’s really not fair because it’s not just a Bluetooth speaker.
Dennis Kennedy: It’s just long as it’s not another Google thing too —
Tom Mighell: Well, guess what, it’s a Google speaker, it’s both Google and Bluetooth, but actually, you know what — it’s really not, it’s not fair to call the Google Max a Bluetooth speaker because you really can’t hook it up to anything except for Google devices, but that’s okay because I have a Google phone and it works.
Google Max is sort of a Google’s way of rounding out its Google Home tools. So there’s the Google Home, which is sort of the middle, is the Google’s version of the Amazon Echo.
There is the Google Home Mini, which is like the Amazon Echo Dot, the smaller version, not a great speaker, but you can put it anywhere and you can talk to Google and get the information you need.
The Google Home Max is really what I expected to be like my sono speakers, to be able to put them throughout the house. I am not sure I’m going to use them that exact way because I bought a couple of them and I have been using them now and I have a couple of thoughts about them; one, they are huge, they are a lot bigger than I expected them to be. So, if you are good with huge speakers, these are great for you. I will say the sound is phenomenal, the sound is really, really very good. I wouldn’t have expected that from a Google device.
And then the last thing is, you’ve got the Google Assistant built right in, so you can talk to it, you can have it do things for you, you can have it set timers, it can play music from about 10 different services. It’s just a super device and I have said many times that I am all in on the Google world, so I gush a lot about Google, but this is really a genuinely nice device assuming you can get over the size of it. It’s really good. Google Max, not cheap, $399, but based on the size, I think it’s probably a price by the pound.
Dennis Kennedy: You know, what interests me as Apple and Google move into the speaker space is – and I don’t know that these will do this or the new things that’s coming from Apple will do it either, but — and I am not sure I am using the right term but there’s a sort of digital sound processing notes and when you have smart speakers, ain’t kind of like the idea that potentially could do this thing, where you can kind of create the sonic atmosphere of the room you are in, so it could sound like a certain type of room or dude that sort of thing, so —
Tom Mighell: Well, the one thing the Google Max claims to do is, is that if you move it from it — when you put it into a room, it has the technology to adjust its sound to the size of the room and then if you move it to another room, it will readjust. So it’s smart in that regard and I would imagine that Google is using some of its Artificial Intelligence to make it smarter. So I wouldn’t be surprised, I wouldn’t put it past either Google or Apple to have that sort of capability.
Dennis Kennedy: So that would be a cool thing. So my parting shot is something that’s been on my list, as you know, Tom, for — it seems like a couple of months and I sort of feel like I have like a little bit of competitive advantage with this, and so, I was reluctant to share it, but I really like this so much, and so, the site is called Unsplash, so HYPERLINK “http://www.unsplash.com” unsplash.com. The idea is, it’s a crowd-sourced site for professional photographers to contribute photos that are free to use for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial. And it is an amazing resource for getting the photos that you want when you do presentations and give you the comfort that you have that the rights that you need, and there’s great stuff. So that’s one thing and it’s amazing for that. I would recommend completely for that.
The other thing that I found really interesting about it, as I was using it, is when you do the search on — not just something that says like airport, but if you do something that says like focus or artificial intelligence or something like that, it’s pulling up a bunch of photos, and so, there’s some kind of algorithm happening. It was kind of fascinating to see what it picks in connection with some of the concepts.
So when I was doing a talk on Artificial Intelligence I did a search on Artificial Intelligence and there was a photo that was of — I think it was a man sitting on a bench in a park, and so there’s this green grass around. And this is what I love about the human mind is that I am trying to figure out, okay, now, how does that show artificial intelligence, but it’s – so it’s kind of an interesting thing that I want to observe to see how — what’s happening there with this crowdsourcing and as people use it as you learn on this notion of concepts as associated with photographs. So HYPERLINK “http://www.unsplash.com” unsplash.com.
Tom Mighell: I think that last picture was just messing with you and I just don’t think it had anything to do with Artificial Intelligence. So, I am going to have to go look at it though.
So that wraps it up for this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Thank you for joining us on the podcast. You can find show notes for this episode at HYPERLINK “http://www.tkmreport.com” tkmreport.com.
If you like what you hear please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes, in the Apple Podcast app and more on the Legal Talk Network site where you can find archives of all of our previous podcasts.
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So until the next podcast, I am Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy, and you have been listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report, a podcast on legal technology with an Internet focus.
If you like what you heard today, please rate us in Apple Podcast and we will see you next time for another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report on the Legal Talk Network.
Outro: Thanks for listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Check out Dennis and Tom’s book, “The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together” from ABA Books or Amazon, and join us every other week for another edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, only on the Legal Talk Network.