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Letter to the Harbus…

Your tongue-in-cheek article about a case on the porn industry was very amusing, but hits a much deeper thread – the business analysis needed to succeed in less than savory industries. Although I am not recommending that we be required to learn about these industries, since it would be in conflict with the HBS mission to build leaders for society, I think considerable value can be added by studying the social and economic impact industries such as pornography, prostitution, illegal drugs, and gambling bring to society.

Since government regulation is by definition a distortion of markets, the type of laws passed and the implementation and enforcement of these laws will largely determine industry structure. I’d love to see a case study on the supply chain of narcotics, and even a five forces analysis of the power of the various players. Perhaps it might even be worth doing as a second-year independent research project.

Tom Russell (NI)

May 6, 2002
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