Can a company succeed by actively using technology & innovation to reduce the market demand on their own products and services, for the good of their clients, and ultimately for the greater good of the environment?


Crystel is a Cape Town based communication technology manufacturing company that has been evolving a counter-intuitive business model that does just that. By using technology and innovation they actively encourage their customers to purchase fewer products, less frequently.

By doing this, not only do they extend the lifespan of their products, but at the same time they reduce the product life-cycle costs.

In any conventional business model this shouldn’t make sense.

Actively encouraging your customers to buy fewer products, less frequently, at lower lifetime costs shouldn’t be sustainable, and certainly flies against traditional ways of thinking.

Can it be sustainable, and can this survive as a business model?

Not only does Crystel believe it’s sustainable, they believe that their counter-intuitive business model – a model that prioritizes  the business success of their clients, invests in the health & professional happiness of their employees, and elevates environmental responsibility – is the business model of the future.

It’s not simply a question of sacrificing short term, volume-driven profits, for longer term, less profitable but more sustainable partnerships – although that is a big part of it.

Crystel also believes that there are real benefits that await those companies who are prepared to venture into the altruistic business space. Quantifiable benefits like shorter supply chains, more efficient & profitable transactions, longer partnerships, two-way relationships, brand loyalty, common purpose, shared challenges, global standardization, and a richer environment for innovation.

They also believe that corporate health and wellness, reduced employee stress and increased professional fulfillment, and reduced environmental impact – will become ever more important as measures of success.

As technology progresses and evolves at an ever quicker rate – those suppliers and end-users with more established two-way relationships will share a mutual advantage – with both of them benefiting by the shared creative space that naturally results from a longer, more communicative partnership, a space that will allow them to evolve innovative solutions, driven by evolving needs, that ultimately translate into business opportunities that benefit everyone.

And if through this process, targets and solutions are filtered through the lens of reducing environmental impact, businesses will evolve to a place where their success won’t only be measured by the profit they makes, but also by their reduced impact on the environment and their positive impact on peoples’ lives.