Frustration Friday: Lawsuits From The Sweet Spot

Frustration Friday: Lawsuits from the Sweet Spot

So, as usual we hear about various lawsuits in IT this week.  Ironically I could be writing this column any week in the past decade and you could be nodding your head.  For that matter, for all you know I wrote this column two years ago – and I'm still right.

So, anyway, the usual IT lawsuits are flying about, it seems like there's quite an extensive web of them, especially in mobile IT as of late.  This company sues that company over patents, this company sues another, etc.  It's like a very strange game of tag, where everyone gets to be it.

Now it's too easy to dismiss these lawsuits as being about greed, stupidity, or both, but I'd like to suggest that we keep another reason for the constant Technical Law Suit Tsunamis that we progeeks see and wring our hands over.

Forget greed and stupidity – I'm speculating some of the seemingly petty, dumb, and outright venal lawsuits we've seen in technology are due to the fact some companies are in a sweet spot and don't want to change.

Think about change in technology.  Change is hard.  Change costs money.  Change takes time.  Change also can fail, and your brilliant new idea ends up being so bad it becomes an internet meme.

When your company is in a sweet spot, when you have the manufacturing going, and the sales are regular, and the technology is reliable, you fear change.  You don't want to make change.  You got it all right, and you want it to stay that way.

So a lawsuit is a hell of a lot easier than, well . . . doing anything else.

Of course it's stupid, petty, and makes you look bad.  But my guess is no small amount of our technical lawsuits are due to people being in the sweet spot, and not wanting to change.

Of course, as we know change is inevitable, so I'm pretty sure that means lawsuits will be as well . . .

– Steven Savage