I walked by the still-shuttered Blockbuster storefront space the other day – the one we visited hundreds of times on Friday nights in sun, rain and snow. Blockbuster – even the name seems almost a self-mockery at this point.
So who misses Blockbuster movie nights then? No, really. Granted there was the competitive fun of scoring a new release movie before they sold out on a busy night – but it was 50/50 whether the tape would garble in the machine from over-use. The “fun” is lost in history – never to be seen again. The concept has been blown away by digital content delivery. The story of Blockbuster is one of a company that had too much of a good thing – whose leadership couldn’t or wouldn’t adapt to digital competition. Sound familiar?
Law is on a journey of digitization, the pace of which is accelerating very rapidly – some of the change is visible, some less so but it’s happening anyway. Inside 10 years, some of today’s “fun” – you know, hourly billings, inexplicable value and that sort of thing – will be both redundant and irrelevant. The industry will have reinvented itself around different product forms and different delivery mechanisms. It’s very exciting. Scary also – but only if you can’t or won’t embrace change.
I have thousands of songs on my iPhone as a I write this and several movies for my occasional train rides and flights to see interesting people. I wouldn’t change the experience or the convenience for more “fun Blockbuster nights”. They don’t seem so “fun” any more. Turns out a large number of people agree.
And that’s the point.