Digital · housing · tech

Here’s to the Digital Disruptors

If I called you a digital disruptor, what would be your reaction?

A digital disruptor creates changes in tried and tested industries by effectively forcing them to re-invent themselves. High profile examples would be Uber and AirBnB to name two and arguably the taxi and hotel industries will never be the same again as a result.

My reason for mentioning digital disruptors is due to a very current example that has the ability to disrupt the world – the £3 smartphone that is being produced in India by Ringing Bells.

Freedom 251
Freedom 251 – described as ‘iPhone like’

If you have kept up to speed with this since it’s announcement, the global response has been a mixture of awe and ridicule, with industry experts stating it just isn’t possible to produce a working smartphone for such a small amount of money, with others pointing out that the smartphones ‘vital stastics’ are a pleasant surprise.

photo 2
The UbiSlate tablet

I’ve blogged some time ago about the £30 tablet from UbiSlate, also from India, which works pretty well for the cost and is in the same vain. I’d go as far to say the £3 smartphone is another ‘game changer’. But before you go googling it, the smartphone is only available in India currently (boo hoo).

The story goes that the more established the industry, the more ripe it is for disruption and unsurprisingly there are lots of people pertaining to be disruptors, either self declared or otherwise.

From a #ukhousing point of view, it would seem to be a ripe industry for a bit of disruption. I recently attended the Chartered Institute of Housing conference in Manchester and whilst I really enjoyed attending, I did come away questioning how much had truly been really new and innovative thinking?

So the question for me is, are you a #ukhousing disruptor? Do you think differently and question the norm? Are the worlds of tech and digital a harmful distraction to the industry, or the path towards the new future? Or to take it a step further, is your organisation a #ukhousing disruptor? Or even your CEO? Who will be the #ukhousing equivalent of Uber or AirBnB?


2 thoughts on “Here’s to the Digital Disruptors

  1. It’s a shame you couldn’t or didn’t make it to the breakfast session on disrupting housing with Hyde’s CEO and others Brett. Think that might have shaped your view.
    But Here’s what’s genuinely very sad. I was a CIH member from 1992 through until this year, when I finally took the decision to leave. Because the CIH/NHF and all other associated vested interests in the ‘social housing’ sector offer no value when it comes to to disruption or genuinely looking to the future. It’s the same old same old. The usual suspects spouting the usual groundhog day deja vu stuff. The same old navel gazing which spots nothing at 50 yards in front of itself, but hopes to shape and predict the future for the next 10 or 20 years.
    Even behind the government on digital! Jeez – what does that say! And years beyond the pale on what going digital really means for culture.
    Keep nudging them Brett, but there will come a time when nudge will turn to shove….

    1. The disrupting housing session sounds good. Just what I would have liked to attend! I really like the comment about needing to do more than just nudge – that feels so true for #ukhousing.

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