Derek Bishop


Staying ahead of the curve

Date added: 12th Oct 2015
Category: Innovation Culture

Being so far ahead of the curve that you are not only designing new products, you are also having to rewrite the rulebook.

One of the challenges for those who set out to become disruptors, to create market-changing products and services, is that sometimes they are so far ahead of the curve that they are not only designing new products, they are also having to rewrite the rulebook. Some authorities recognise this, and are happy to work with organisations to ensure that product design falls within existing regulations or take a practical viewpoint and seek to amend the regulations to take account of the new product or service.

For example, the FCA openly welcomes organisations getting in touch with innovative new ideas which can lead to improved financial services delivery for customers. The FCA is not the only organisation to do this and in our forthcoming book we highlight an example of another innovative company which had to work with regulators to define and agree acceptable parameters for their new product.

Now another sector is facing the same challenge. According to guidance recently issued by the CPS, hover-boards (otherwise known as self balancing scooters) can only be used on private property. The CPS says that because the hover board is a vehicle it cannot be ridden on the pavement but it doesn’t meet the required standards for roadworthy vehicles and therefore cannot be used on public highways. In essence, the hover board now is in the same position as electric bikes were some years ago, needing to carve out its own transport niche and set of regulations.


When people set out to challenge the status quo, often regulation is not at the forefront of their minds; but when you set out to challenge the marketplace you may find that you have a more profound effect than you originally envisaged.

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