Roger Swannell

Tag: government

Disruption eventually gets disrupted and consumed by the establishment

Uber is held up as an example of of how to disrupt an entire industry, in this case the taxi industry. But sooner or later disruptive ways of doing things butt horns with the establishment. Industries like taxis are regulated by the government, the government makes the laws, and the government doesn’t like it when those laws aren’t adhered to. That’s when companies like Uber find their ‘disruptive’ ways such as not considering their drivers employees challenged and disrupted by the establishment, which decides that those drivers are employees. In this way the establishment takes away any disruptive advantage, and eventually consumes the disrupted into the mainstream of the industry.

The government’s own digital team proved this when they looked at ways to disrupt and digitise the process of buying road tax. They were faced by a law that prevented what they wanted to do. Of course, the solution was to change the law, which they did, but something disruptive companies can’t do.

Crypto-currency, the application of block-chain technology to financial transactions, will go through the same cycle. It’s still too new a technology to have developed a useful application, but it will. And when a disruptive company comes along that can commercialise that application successfully they will be eventually be faced with a government that says ‘play by the rules or don’t play at all’. This is the cycle of innovation in regulated industries. It starts with the birth of the technology, then the application of the tech to disrupt an industry, then the legal challenge by the establishment, and finally the disbandment or consumption of the industry.

Digital Team Blogs

Blogs by Digital teams in government, charity and other interesting organisations that post about their work and how they are going through digital transformation.



  • The Citizens Advice Digital Blog is about redesigning their online content and building a new case management system for Citizens Advice based on users needs.

Other organisations

  • The Coop Digital Team has been built to create new digital products, services and platforms, help our existing businesses make the most of digital, and pioneer new ways to co-operate online. We start with user needs, we’re agile, we iterate and we’re open.
  • Doteveryone exists to understand and address the new set of moral and social challenges that have arrived with the internet, in order to help make life fairer and simpler for everyone in the UK.

Copyright © 2018 Roger Swannell

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