Dear Packaging, I Hate You


Editor’s note: Ben Einstein is a founder and general partner at Bolt, a seed-stage fund that invests capital, staff, prototyping facilities and expertise in startups at the intersection of hardware and software. 

Few people hate packaging more than I do. There are the obvious reasons: environmental unfriendliness, messy cleanup, and the sometimes unfathomable difficulty of opening the thing. These are mere tactical annoyances. Something much scarier has been happening to packaging over the past few years: It’s gotten really nice. This is bad, especially for small companies shipping their first product, and we have Apple to thank.

In the early 2000’s, Apple started spending huge amounts of time and money on packaging that mimics the product it contains (even building a “packaging lab”). This is a neat idea. After all, if a product is carefully designed, why shouldn’t its packaging reflect that same attention to detail and design? 

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