Disruptors, Freeloaders And Bad Behaviours


By: B Goode

Why is there the need for banks to spend millions of dollars on security? Why is there the need to have multiple locks on your door?

Short answer : because humans are not angels.

So why do bike-sharing companies have an odd business model that largely depended on humans being good and honest?

Short answer : cost savings.

So if, due to cost savings they allowed their bicycles to not have proper and safe docking places, thus getting strewn all over the place with the risk of being stolen, damaged or thrown from the roof of a HDB block, why should we care? They have gambled on the improbable notion that humans would behave themselves, and when this was proven wrong, they blamed on humans for not behaving themselves. If ever there was a good example of a circular argument, this would be it.

If anything, they were complicit in whatever crimes committed against their bicycles. And yet they had the cheeks to report to the Police to clean up the mess for them. Why should we subsidise their operations by involving the Police? Should banks then ask for similar free Protection of their premises?

It is therefore extremely pleasing to hear that the government is now coming down hard on errant bike sharing companies; seizing the bicycles parked wantonly and I am sure more actions will come.

You see, no matter how sexy the word `disruptors’ might be, they should not be allowed to run their business models without any care or considerations for the rules and regulations of the country. At times, disruptors need to be disrupted too.

Take for example the minimum age requirement for taxi drivers. For whatever reasons, it is set at 30. Yet, pirate Uber and Grab drivers are not subjected to the same rule. If the reason for setting the age at 30 is still valid for taxi drivers, it should be imposed to Uber and Grab too. If not, then it should be removed for all.

`Disruptors’ is indeed a sexy word. They bring in creativity and new ways of doing things. But they should not be allowed to circumvent existing rules and regulations if those rules are still relevant. These disruptors should be treated like any other companies out to do business. If their business model goes contrary to the good of the society and country, then they too should be disrupted.

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