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Stephen Robert Morse Headshot

The Demise of Blockbuster: A Big LOL

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LOL. That's really the only emotion that comes to mind when I read from the recent piece in PandoDaily:

Back in the heady days of 2000, Netflix had 300,000 subscribers. Hastings had a vision even then that films would one day be streamed cheaply over the Internet. But that future was not there yet. The company was losing money. Hastings flew to Dallas and met with Blockbuster, offering them 49 percent of the company. Netflix would become and be Blockbuster's online video division.

Blockbuster weren't interested. At that time, they didn't see a threat from digital media.

The previous year Blockbuster's IPO valued the company at $4.8 billion. Two years after turning down Netflix it posted a $1.6 billion loss. Netflix posted its first profit in 2003, the year before Blockbuster entered into the online DVD market. While Netflix became a cultural behemoth, Blockbuster flagged in value: worth $500 in million in 2006, $24 million in 2010 when it filed for bankruptcy.

Of course, Barnes & Noble and Borders all laughed at an upstart called And newspapers laughed when they saw Craigslist and didn't think people would feel comfortable posting and replying to classified ads online.

That's why, even though the word "disruption" is now hackneyed, the consulting space is now ripe for disruption. When I look at the current state of the consulting industry, I see a bunch of fat, old guys in overpriced suits and large offices, with the cash flowing in to them based on making deals at country clubs, university clubs, and other places where the Old Boys Network is still in tact. And the funny thing is that these rainmakers, these partners, rarely even do the management consulting work that they win for their firms. The management will simply farm the work out to junior employes, and the junior employees slave away to put cash into the big boys' pockets.

Sure, you can call me crazy, but as lawyers (and their firms) have already been forced to give back their keys and file for bankruptcy, so will management consulting firms. It may not happen in 2014, but by 2020, it's a guarantee.

Just wait a few years. Soon, the proverbial fat cats, who were so cozy, sitting on their butts and letting the junior employees do their work, won't have that cash rolling in. They will face competition from SkillBridge, and likely from other talent networks too. No, they won't be able to compete or reform their ways, because, like Blockbuster, they will suck up all the water in their well, until their well runs dry. They will be disrupted. And then I will LOL again.