“The disruption economy,” Dave Schuler calls it, and he has plenty of examples to cite:
[I]magine a world in which not just individual businesses or even industries and trades vanish but in which complete business models, groups of industries, are failing and being replaced by new ones practically on a daily basis.
He cites Aereo, a multi-antenna television service that delivers over-the-air channels to subscribers for about one-fifth what cable companies charge, which has a couple of networks threatening to drop their local signals in response. But that’s hardly the only one:
[H]igher education’s business model is not long for this world. The big law firms’ business model has already changed and there are hundreds or thousands of young lawyers standing dazed in the wreckage. One of the insufficiently remarked-on aspects of the PPACA is how much it changes physicians’ business model.
Retail has been in ferment for decades. Soon there will only be online sales as exemplified by Amazon.com, boutiques (which are mainly a hobby business), and Walmart. J. C. Penney’s problems, still being covered in the business pages, are that there is no room for yet another commodity retailer.
And why do you think your favorite magazines, or for that matter the ones you can’t stand, are so assiduously courting tablet owners?
Thirty years from now, the business landscape will be unrecognizable. (And so will I, but that’s another matter entirely.)