Disruptive Jobs of the Past

by Dr Deep Gupta

The new X-Men comes out this summer and on scanning the cast list, I noticed that Psylocke will be played by Mei Melancon, who has done little other work of merit, except for an appearance on Deadwood. Her exact role:

“Deadwood” – Childish Games (2005) TV Episode (as Meiling Melancon) …. Chinese Slavewhore

If ever there was a disruptive industry, slavewhoring would have to be it. Back in the good old days, being a land (capital) owner meant you would have your labor done by your slaves and your sexual needs satisfied at the local whorehouse. This was just how it was done, and never the two met (except maybe an ancilla or two in the days of ancient Rome).

Slavers and pimps enjoyed high margins and pricing power over their customers. But then in the 19th century, the Chinese, peering out from behind the veil of their opium dens, saw that by combining slavework with whorework, their slave or whores could command a premium on the market as opposed to if they were just single-use assets. This innovation destroyed the market for suppliers who could supply either only slaves or only whores. It is a classic example of disruption utilized in MBA classrooms to this day. Thank you.

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