Summary of The Laws of Disruption

Harnessing the New Forces that Govern Life and Business in the Digital Age

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The Laws of Disruption book summary
The technology of the digital world is changing everything. Now nine laws explain just how – and how much.


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Business strategist Larry Downes, author of Unleashing the Killer App, is much more specific than most authors about how digital technologies are changing the world – and why technology will advance even more and have more impact. While he addresses numerous issues that have received lots of attention already, Downes also looks beyond the headlines and the obvious implications of digital technology to examine the root causes of change. He pays informed attention to the law and legal structures. He also draws parallels between the digital revolution and the social changes wrought by other technologies, showing how such change ripples through the economy. He presents his findings as nine “laws of disruption,” which, somewhat confusingly, are the change agents of the “Law of Disruption.” This forward-looking book is fun, lively and useful. getAbstract recommends it to executives who are trying to plan for a shifting future and to those intrigued by digital technologies or social structures.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How nine powerful change agents called the “laws of disruption” work;
  • How the digital revolution is changing society and
  • What you – and the legal system – must do to adapt.


The Digital World and the “Law of Disruption”
When a new technology is introduced, society must adapt. To understand how a major technological change creates far-reaching ripples, consider the effect of replacing metal stirrups with “flexible leather” stirrups in Europe during Charlemagne...
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About the Author

Larry Downes, a partner with the Bell-Mason Group, is a nonresident fellow at the Stanford Law Center for Internet and Society and the author of Unleashing the Killer App.

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