Barely Legally

Confessions of a Moot Court Bailiff

Those Darn Illogical Markets

From a recent Slashdot submission titled “Why Mobile Wallets Are Doomed,” noting the failure of Square Wallet.

…it’s natural to consider loading payment information onto [cell phones] as an alternative to cash or plastic cards. The problem comes when this logical entrepreneurial spirit merges with an industry segment that is classically illogical. The payments system in the United States is a mess of entrenched interests, fragmented business opportunities, old infrastructure (like point-of-sale systems), back room handshakes and cut throat competition.

Look, rent-seeking makes it hard for new entries into the market, and yeah, paying for stuff with my phone is new and shiny and I like doing it. But come on. The collective rent-seeking of an imperfect market is not illogical. It’s completely logical for the incumbents to lock out new competition instead of just giving up when someone has a new app.

Is this what nerds do when our favorite startups fail to disrupt markets? Cry wolves of wall street?