Breakfast With The Disruptors

Episodes

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01Death20170605

Tim Samuels asks if death itself can be disrupted.

Journalist Tim Samuels examines the industry of death as it faces up to change. He invites a disruptor and a disruptee to breakfast - but who will pick up the cheque?

It was in the late 1990's that a Harvard academic Clay Christensen introduced a buzzword that has now become pervasive. He wanted to capture why established companies get driven out of their industries by young upstarts. It became known as disruptive innovation and has dramatically reshaped our business landscape.

Two-thirds of the companies on the Fortune 500 list in 1980 have disappeared. The balance has shifted from the incumbents to the challengers, from the old economy to the new. For some start-ups, the belief in disruption has taken on a near-religious edge. Forget rules, obligations and regulations - all that disrupts is good, all that stands in the way deserves to fail.

Journalist Tim Samuels investigates three industries facing change - property, finance and death - meeting both disruptors and a disruptees.

In the final programme, we look at the business of death. Like it or not, we're living in a hyper-tech-driven era where nothing is sacrosanct. The messianic mantra of disruption - move fast and break things - has already changed our high streets, how we move around town, how we read, the way we listen to music. Naturally, disruption has no respect for death.

We meet Elizabeth Parrish who flew to Colombia to receive an experimental treatment that she hopes will help her live for longer. Spotting a business opportunity to innovate in a deeply staid sector, we hear from a company looking to bring down the price of will writing. How will solicitors and lawyers react to this challenge? We bring them together to find out.

A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4.

01Finance20170529

Tim Samuels asks if financial technology poses a big threat to traditional banking.

Tim Samuels examines the financial services industry as it faces up to technological change.

It was in the late 1990's that a Harvard academic Clay Christensen introduced a buzzword that has now become pervasive. He wanted to capture why established companies get driven out of their industries by young upstarts. It became known as disruptive innovation and has dramatically reshaped our business landscape.

Two-thirds of the companies on the Fortune 500 list in 1980 have disappeared. The balance has shifted from the incumbents to the challengers, from the old economy to the new. For some start-ups, the belief in disruption has taken on a near-religious edge. Forget rules, obligations and regulations - all that disrupts is good, all that stands in the way deserves to fail.

Journalist Tim Samuels investigates three industries facing change - property, finance and death - and invites a disruptor and a disruptee to breakfast.

One hundred years passed without a new bank emerging. Now there are close to 50 new ones in the pipeline. In this second programme of the series, Tim speaks to Tom Blomfield from Monzo, one the UK's newest licensed banks - backed by serious investment and infused with the start-up confidence that they can do better than the current crop, The former boss of Barclays, Antony Jenkins, has his own fintech start-up looking to modernize the back office technology used by banks. But the banks have all the cash and most of the customers. They will not be disrupted easily. Is the threat of fintech hype or reality?

A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4.

0101Property20170522

Tim Samuels asks if the property industry is at threat from technological disruption.

Tim Samuels asks if the property industry is at threat from technological disruption.

It was in the late 1990's that a Harvard academic Clay Christensen introduced a buzzword that has now become pervasive. He wanted to capture why established companies get driven out of their industries by young upstarts. It became known as disruptive innovation and has dramatically reshaped our business landscape.

Two-thirds of the companies on the Fortune 500 list in 1980 have disappeared. The balance has shifted from the incumbents to the challengers, from the old economy to the new. For some start-ups, the belief in disruption has taken on a near-religious edge. Forget rules, obligations and regulations - all that disrupts is good, all that stands in the way deserves to fail.

Journalist Tim Samuels investigates three industries facing change - property, finance and death - and invites a disruptor and a disruptee to breakfast.

In this first programme, Tim talks to Michael Bruce, the CEO of online estate agent Purple Bricks. He has labelled traditional estate agents as "out of touch, out of date and leaving millions out of pocket." From idea to IPO in three years, they have become a threat to the traditional model. Simon Gerrard has been involved in the estate agency industry since he started photocopying for his father aged ten. Not feeling threatened by Purple Bricks, he believes their lack of hand holding, negotiating and guidance will be their downfall. They come together for breakfast - but who will pick up the cheque?

A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4.

0102Finance20170529
0103Death20170605