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One competitive advantage disappears, another emerges - Music, Law Schools and the MBA

Just today, Billboard magazine published an op-ed that I wrote on new developments in the music business.  As creative destruction sweeps across sectors that have had a quiet life for a long time, such as law schools (which I blogged about over at HBR) and business schools (also the subject of an HBR blog), I think it's important to remember that what it means depends very much on what your interests are.  For music, the effects of record companies' downslide has been to vastly increase distribution channels and variety, while making it necessary for performers to get more creative.  For law schools, who have really left the structural adjustment they are facing much too late, it probably means fewer formal programs.  But, if the cost of aquiring legal wisdom could be brought to reasonable levels, there will be plenty of new work serving the incredibly underserved legal needs of ordinary people.  And as for MBA's, Columbia's own Glenn Hubbard thinks the opportunity cost of a regular MBA is becoming unaffordable, and that the future lies in Executive MBA programs and executive education.  There, too, we can expect tremendous growth from an exploding worldwide demand for management wisdom and insight.  So, creative destruction, sure.  But incredible opportunity as well. 

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