The humble cardboard box…Not the shiniest, prettiest form of packaging – but it’s functional.
Invented over 200 years ago, it was already undergoing a renaissance from the growing prevalence of online shopping before the pandemic struck — which turbo charged demand for the faithful cardboard box.
Why the enduring success? After all, other forms of packaging (thank you single use plastics) have tried to usurp its position. Is it because it is environmentally friendly, widely recycled? Maybe. Perhaps price? Possibly — although for a commodity product, manufacturers of cardboard boxes typically generate good returns.
What makes the cardboard box special though, is that it eloquently encapsulates the principles of Circular Economics — the closed loop system, where something is used, then recycled or repurposed or reused.
But what does this analogy have to do with a Start-up or growing your business?
Quite often in an early stage business, the Founders may not realise it, but they are inadvertently applying those very same principles of Circular Economics — repurposing a concept which didn’t work as originally intended to something which does. In the current world, some would call it a ‘pivot’ — but it is Circular Economics in action. After all, reusing/repurposing reduces waste and cost. Famous pivots: Listerine, Brandy and Coca Cola are all examples which spring to mind.
One of the many things I have experienced over the course of a 25+ year career: it doesn’t matter the industry your business is in, the challenges faced as the business grows and matures are broadly similar. It does create the opportunity to share, or recycle experiences from Founder to Founder, Peer to Peer — another example of Circular Economics in action. Recycling that knowledge to reduce time wasted and costs can only be a good thing.
Applying Circular Economics in Venture Capital?
Through the application of Circular Economics, can the traditional Venture Capital model be improved, made better for Founders, their Teams, Investors and Fund Teams? We believe it can be — which is why we created Kavedon Kapital.