Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only organization for successful leading technology executives. In this spotlight series, we profile our incredible members and share their advice with you. This week: Chris Stock.
Chris Stock is the CEO of LEAP, where he is responsible for the U.S. business division. At LEAP, Chris strives to help attorneys help people. This is the driving force behind his passion for legal technology and providing small law firms with the best technology in the world.
What is your background, and how has it influenced what you do today?
I grew up in a household that always had a computer. When my father was at work, I would play with it when I was not allowed. As a result, I needed to learn to fix it before he got home from work.
When I turned 18, unsure of what I wanted to do, I stopped pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree to work at a law firm as a junior. Being the youngest in each office I worked at, I was always relied upon to fix the tech. My real skillset at the time was being a master of the Google search.
I spent my days working on property transactions and, over seven years, worked my way to management in a large law firm. At that point I’d hit the glass ceiling and was unable to move up any further without a law degree. The problem was, I didn’t like law, I liked tech. However, I didn’t want to waste seven years of experience, so, one day I googled ‘legal software jobs’ and found myself working for LEAP the following week.
I began at LEAP as a Training and Implementation Consultant and worked my way up to CEO over seven years at the company. I am coming up to my ninth anniversary at the company and can honestly say, if I had enjoyed law, I’d probably be leading a very different, less exciting life today.
What do you think is the most interesting piece of new technology today? (And/or how do you see the technology landscape changing in the next 5 – 10 years?)
In the next 5-10 years, I see machine learning replacing support staff across most professions around the world. Where there was once support staff, there will be e-marketing experts. My advice to support staff is to start upskilling now.
What’s your best piece of advice for technology executives to keep on top of the rapidly evolving tech space?
Don’t sit in your office and theorize. Get out to the market and ask:
1. What don’t you understand?
2. What do you need?
There is no better way to keep on top of the tech space than explaining new technology to a technical lay-person.