Why business professors are professors and not, well, in business

You have to get way into the third page of this Washington Post article regarding websites that identify “experts” to get to this classic quote:

Even if sites are able to identify expertise, several business professors questioned why experts would donate their wisdom to the Web rather than striking out on their own to make money.

Which leads one to the obvious question: If those business professors are so smart, why aren’t they striking out on their own to create businesses?

Actually, I don’t fault the “several” business professors the reporter claims he spoke with to gain that wisdom. It is extremely counter-intuitive to think “experts” will donate wisdom for nothing. It is especially counter-intuitive if you’re observing what’s taking place from an ivory tower or an executive suite or from any other traditional seat of power and prestige. Indeed, it’s not just counter-intuitive: it’s scary as hell. But the simple fact is, the unpaid experts are getting something. Unfortunately, the incentives aren’t rarely easy to define and measure.

Fortunately, I personally know why “experts” contribute their wisdom online for free. Moreover, I have studied closely this phenomenon for more than a decade. However, if you’re expecting me to blog that wisdom here for free, you must be crazy. Why would I donate such insight on a blog when I could maybe strike out on my own and make some money.

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