Javier Colayco originally worked in management consulting, then after business school, created his own small web development business in the education space. Since then, Javier has transitioned to this newest venture after hatching the idea for Clean Cubes in 2010. Javier speaks to the Asian Entrepreneur today about his work at Clean Cubes and offers us some of his insights.
What is Clean Cubes?
Clean Cubes are attractive, disposable trash and recycle bins. They are a complete trash solution, composed of a plastic trash liner adhered to a paper bin. Its instant setup and easy cleanup solves the problem of trash or recyclable build-up at parties, events, and many other situations. Clean Cubes is an eco-friendly solution made from partially recycled paper.
And how did you come up with such an interesting idea?
My wife and I were hosting guests in our New York City apartment, when we were frequently running out of trash space. We resorted to trash bags on the floor which was not an ideal solution. I thought there must be a better alternative, such as a disposable trash can whenever you need instant trash receptacles. There wasn’t a solution available at the time, so I invented it!
Tell us about starting up Clean Cubes, how was it like?
It was difficult, since I had no prior experience or knowledge of bringing a new product idea to prototype then market. I started with my own research, finding a manufacturing firm that would help me develop the prototype, then trying to find ways to get exposure for the product.
Clean Cubes is quite an interesting concept, how was the initial market response to it?
Fortunately, our product got off to a great start. At our first tradeshow, the International Home and Housewares House, the largest housewares show in North America, we won the Innovation Award from our category, beating out substantially larger and more established companies’ new products!
Did you make any mistakes in the startup process?
It took two years to develop a prototype I was happy with – in retrospect, I failed to get any traction with the product during that time, and should have launched earlier just so I could start getting feedback. I quickly realized that the things I was worried about weren’t even a huge concern for buyers/retailers, and I’ve since learned to iterate and ‘ship’ more quickly!
Any words of advice for new startups out there?
Recognize that you’re going to feel overwhelmed with that you don’t know. Just keep pushing ahead, learning, and making progress, recognizing that mistakes are inevitable sometimes!Keep a written list of your ideas. Jot down your ideas, no matter how crazy or unconventional they seem. Revisiting them later can yield even more insights and creative ways to tackle problems.
Connect with Javier Colayco and Clean Cubes today: