Have We Finished With Disruption? Are There Any Industries Left Untouched?

Have We Finished With Disruption? Are There Any Industries Left Untouched?

Some say it’s an overused word. Others froth over it. In an age where it’s becoming not overly disruptive to talk about disruption, there’s no denying disruption is disrupting industries far and wide.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

The general adage appears to be ‘adapt or die’ and we have seen a myriad of companies both adapting to become overlords in certain sectors and others crumble from the business venture and curl into the foetal position.

In a comment piece on The Guardian, Tom Hodgkinson, editor of educational disruption publication The Idler, believes it’s about having a creative mindset rather than a disruptive mindset.

While some of the high-profile companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Spotify etc have severely disrupted and changed their respective industries, Hodgkinson questions which industries are actually left to disrupt.

“Now the geeks are looking around for any old industry to disrupt. The laundry industry, I was told the other day, is going to be disrupted,” he wrote. “And I met some earnest young geeks last week who said they were going to disrupt the live events industry by becoming the Uber of live events.

“The trick, if you want to raise cash for your disruptive idea, seems to be take an industry – for example, handmade sweets, lawn mowers or carpentry – say you are going to disrupt it, and add that you are the Uber or Airbnb of it.

“Global domination awaits.”

It’s what has many people worried and excited – some 46 per cent of chief financial officers believe their businesses could die thanks to disruption – with the likes of many head honchos coming together to discuss the age of disruption at the Daze of Disruption conference in Melbourne in December.

But if you’re on the disrupting end, which industries can you come in and take over now? Even just Googling the phrase ‘industries to be disrupted’ brings up a heap of tips and tricks for how to disrupt industries. Contrary to Hodgkinson’s query, the laundry industry has apparently already been disrupted, according to New York Magazine.

Tech publication TechCrunch reckons the healthcare industry is the last one left that is just awaiting disruption, due to the decade old treatments still being used.

But then, can an industry ever be done being disrupted? With ‘adapt or die’ every industry and business needs to be constantly on their toes, constantly innovating to make sure they stay on top.

Australian managing director of music streaming service Spotify, Kate Vale – who is also speaking at Daze of Disruption in December – acknowledges the trickiness of constantly staying on top in the music space, what with the likes of a heap of other competitors, but it’s exciting.

“With the fact there’s a lot of competition in this space, you have to be innovative to keep ahead in our space,” she said.

Similarly, she is determined to have her and her team put their best efforts in to disrupt music piracy.

And with a recent report from the service showing a 20 per cent decline in music piracy since the service started, Spotify is clearly heading in the right direction.

“We hope to think we’re actually disrupting piracy because most of the people that use Spotify are those from a younger demographic, and a lot of these kids have never paid for music before.”

Don’t miss out on all the buzz and chatter of Daze of Disruption, and grab some tickets at early bird prices right here!