ABA Techshow 2012: The Food Truck Experiment

I too am at the ABA TECHSHOW 2012 in Chicago organized by the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section. This has been my first time at this conference. A few things struck me immediately:

  • this is a very different law conference; and
  • everyone is extremely friendly.

I arrived on Wednesday evening during a reception before the LexThink.1 event that Jason Wilson wrote up for us yesterday.

I noticed that there was a group of people huddled around an easel and announcements about making guesses about the weight of a food truck. Huh? What were they doing?

What I walked into was the Food Truck Experiment from Rocket Lawyer. This was a fun attempt to get lawyers thinking in an entrepreneurial manner. Lawyers were split into groups to come up with a food truck concept that would fill a niche and sell well. See the three resulting ideas–The Pit Stop, Windy City Wings, and Rockin’ Burrito (click on the images to see them larger):

My photos perhaps do not do them justice but you get the general idea. TECHSHOW attendees were then invited to vote for their favourite via Twitter using the tag #RLFOODTRUCK. I don’t think a winner has been announced yet–it looks like Windy City Wings and Rockin’ Burrito are currently neck-and-neck.

Another part of the Food Truck Experiment is to demonstrate the Wisdom of Crowds theory. Everyone was shown a photo of a fully-loaded food truck just before lunch time (a real one this time, not just a drawing). and asked to guess at the weight of the truck. A prize was given to the person closest. The actual weight of the food truck was around 14,700 pounds. The average of the 300+ guesses from attendees was about 14,200 pounds–only 500 pounds off! The closest guess was actually around the 12,500 pound mark. I wonder if the number of guesses had been greater if the crowd would have been even closer to the correct weight?

Overall, I thought this was a creative way of encouraging the lawyers here to step outside of their practice or administrative roles and think in a different direction. These exercises could likely be used with other groups, too.

Which of the food truck ideas do you like the best?

Real food truck image credit: BetterBizIdeas under Creative Commons License.

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