7 Industries that are Ripe for Disruption

With the rapid and radical technological developments, established industries are ripe for disruption. Disruption, according to Christensen, is where a new method of operation is introduced to a previously overlooked market, gains traction and ultimately moves into the mainstream, where they challenge the leaders. As we look around, we see many industries that are ripe for that disruption.

In this post, we examine 7 that I think are especially prone to a disruption that you have not fully recognized.

We begin by addressing 3 criteria for disruption.

What are the Criteria for Disruption?

Forbes lists 3 criteria that make industries ripe for disruption.

  1. Power is Consolidated
  2. Consumers Are Using Outdated Technology
  3. Business Practices Aren’t Changing—Despite Negative Consumer Sentiment

These 3 criteria make sense. An industry is ripe for disruption when there is one or very few industry leaders that are not keeping up with consumer expectations. Second, when consumers are using outdated technology. The technology is available or easily adapted but customers don’t have it or don’t use it. Third, in the end, it all comes down to frustration. Like a political revolution, when the people feel like they want more and the leaders don’t provide it, radical change happens quickly. In a world where we are frustrated easily and feel a bit entitled to get things changed quickly, everything is ripe for disruption.

Ask Yourself:

  1. Who controls the power in my industry?
  2. Are consumers frustrated with this situation?
  3. Is there a technology that can change this?

Industries that are Ripe for Disruption

Here are 7 industries, in no order of importance, that are ready for disruption.

  • Transportation
  • Legal
  • Medical
  • Education
  • Senior Care
  • Insurance
  • Real Estate

Note how power is consolidated, meaning that we as consumers have limited choices. We need cars to go to our doctors and lawyers and depend on trucks to deliver our merchandise. We need schools, insurance, and a realtor.

But are we happy with the system that is in place? Probably not. Far too many people are dying in accidents, although we have become calloused to those numbers. Are we happy with our healthcare? Or the insurance? Do we enjoy paying the expense of attorneys or the challenge of buying or selling our home? Notice the frustration with each of these 7. Remember, Marie Antoinette, lost her head because people were frustrated with the price of a loaf of bread. Might she have benefitted from disrupting her lifestyle to serve the people?

Disrupt or Be Disrupted

Technology is bringing disruptive options that will disrupt those in power. Why would we want to do things the old clumsy way when we have a much better and easier way? Will we complain about the new 5G cell service? Of course not. Will we complain about better education or cheaper health insurance? Definitely not.

But to get to those results, there will be a pain for those in each industry. It is more than just learning how to use a new feature or tool. It is re-engineering our minds to change paradigms. In the coming weeks, we will examine how education will not only be delivered differently but we will change how we think about it, what is taught and who teaches it. The same is true for medical services, real estate, and all the other industries.

The challenge is not simply to make an incremental change but to make a disruptive, paradigm shift. To that end, I write, speak and coach from a different paradigm than many executive coaches and consultants. My goal is to help you do the impossible but also to know how you can do it so you can work without me. While some foster dependence, I foster independence and ultimately interdependence, working together to do something great.



Loren Murfield, Ph.D.

I work with aspiring and emerging leaders to disrupt their leadership, organizations, and industries.


Contact me to Take the Disruptive Leader Challenge

Those that have taken the Disruptive Leader Challenge are challenged with the dominant trends that hold the power to disrupt their businesses or provide the opportunity they need to be the disruptive leader. Every individual has walked away with at least one and up to three ideas they can implement fairly quickly that will radically increase their performance, production and profits. Take the challenge to find your opportunity to do what others think is impossible.

Like this blog and follow me to

2 thoughts on “7 Industries that are Ripe for Disruption

Leave a Reply