Recently, a law firm that I am familiar with was named Practice Group of the Year in a certain area.
As a practical matter, these awards play a meaningful role in the market because — due to lack of better information and high search costs for such information– clients take them seriously as forward looking indicators of and shorthand for talent. Tens of millions of legal fees ride on such awards.
The award struck me as ill-fitting knowing that the group — beyond a couple of notable exceptions — has had a lot of turmoil recently with many of the best members no longer there, new members who are unproven, and some there who have checked out.
Others noticed too. In response to complaints that the award was not deserved because in some cases, certain achievements were misrepresented and in other cases, credit was due to key folks who had left the practice, this was the publication’s reasoning/defense paraphrased:
The general feeling was that senior partners taking too much credit for matters is way too common a thing to make a fuss about.
I understand the main criticism is that *** losing these people makes them much weaker practice-wise going forward, but these awards are backward-looking over two years and it was pointed out to me that * and * left a month after the cut-off for the consideration period.
This reply touches a lot of the reasons that current measures of talent are so often misleading:
- certain folks talking too much credit and other folks getting little credit;
- “Backward looking” and not “forward looking”
In other words, the award conveys an undeserved competence.
Abstracting up, the issues lie in the fact that the talent measure is not current nor accurate and it relies on a centralized source that can be gamed.
Thinking of this, with the idea of a Bitcoin network wide distributed ledger: let me ask, is there a way to capture at least some of this information (recognizing that much is subjective) in a way that bypasses a centralized intermediary that can be gamed and become stale.