These days, being mentioned on a late-night talk show is pretty much a stamp of “going mainstream”. This is true of celebrities (notably the One-Man Band that is Charlie Sheen), public figures (Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, who piloted the US Airways plane to a safe landing on the Hudson River), and even infomercial goods (who isn’t familiar by now with the Snuggie?)
In the e-discovery world, we realized just how mainstream this industry is becoming when we made mention on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. With guest star Fareed Zakaria, fresh off the release of his new book, on set to discuss the American economy and the impact of technology on corporations, audiences were treated to this nugget:
Zakaria: Machines can do things that people used to. There’s now computer programs that can do stuff that lawyers used to be able to do – discovery and things like that. May not be such a bad thing…
Stewart: What can lawyers do that computers can’t do?
Lawyer jokes are never in short supply, and leave it to Jon Stewart not to miss a timely jab when one can be thrown. But we took notice because, of all the examples Zakaria could have used for technology’s impact on businesses everywhere — he chose to highlight the role of e-discovery software.
This was far from the first “mainstream” move for the e-discovery industry. In March, The New York Times published a featured – and top-emailed – article on advances in electronic discovery software. In May, leading analyst firm Gartner published the Magic Quadrant for E-Discovery Software, its first Magic Quadrant on the electronic discovery industry. And then in June, there it was: electronic discovery, right alongside CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and all Jon Stewart’s comedic antics on The Daily Show. Taken together, it’s clear that e-discovery is a hot topic on the minds of business folks and, increasingly, mainstream audiences. We’re eager to see where it comes up next – and secretly hoping the SNL sketch team is taking note.