What Happens When You Disrupt A Way Of Life

Disruption traditionally happens to an industry or a business model. Think Uber vs taxi’s, think cloud computing vs proprietary server farms, and so on.

Disruption can occur for many reasons – much of it is intrinsically linked to Blue Ocean Strategy principles – identifying unmet demand, increasing value whilst reducing costs.

A current focus of mine is how we merge together formal, big data sets with unstructured, micro-collaboration type data (data that can often have relevance for mere hours). We saw the first iteration of this concept earlier in the year with the launch of Waze by Google.

What if we looked at this on a larger stage – say an urban area whilst also challenging existing societal norms?

Disrupting How We View Vehicle Ownership and Public Transport

In most first world countries, vehicle ownership is seen as one of life’s basic rights – you grow up, you learn to drive, you get a job, you buy a vehicle. Similarly public transport exists to help us navigate our cities or urban areas. In many respects, they remain mutually exclusive – possibly other than using a private vehicle to get to a public transport stop.

But just as Uber has disrupted the taxi industry, there’s an emerging opportunity to disrupt urban mobility.

Instead of people paying large sums and taking on debt to own a depreciating asset, which they can then drive around cheaply, “mobility as service” connects people to the best option for any given trip. The key is to make this service as seamless, convenient, and economical as possible. (via Streetsblog)

By combining big data, IoT, and micro-collaboration urban areas can transform from disconnected nodes to a model where mobility-as-a-service allows citizens to mix-and-match transport modes to suit their needs and budget.

Finnish company MaaS Global has launched the service in Helsinki and is preparing a UK site. Assuming the various stakeholders can be incentivised/coerced to collaborate, this type of solution will bring dramatic change to how we think about road networks, public transport, fares, fees and other misc charges.


The opportunities to be smarter about resource usage, asset utilisation, and revenue opportunities are endless – we clearly need the stakeholders to come to the table with an open mind!

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