Pawn Shops: Oldest Form of Borrowing, Last to Digitize

The Huffington Post has up an interesting article with lessons from a digital pawn shop:

At a time when businesses around the world are looking for ways to modernize and adapt to rapidly-changing new technologies, it’s easy to overlook opportunities to innovate in industries deemed firmly entrenched or depleted.

It’s a dangerous mistake, because sometimes there’s a tremendous demand for a service that already has a solid foundation. With fresh eyes and an updated vision, I believe you can take an old business and make it new again. It just requires being proud of the core product or service you’re providing, and re-imagining the brand you present to your consumers.

Think of how IKEA changed the way we shop for furniture or how Keurig made the coffee pot obsolete with single-serve brewing.

I set out to modernize a 3,000-year-old business when I teamed up with Daylight Partners, Access Venture Partners, and Lightbank, the $100 million fund started by the founders of Groupon, to create Pawngo.

For centuries, industrious people have been pawning their valuables in exchange for quick access to currency. Yet while pawning is the oldest form of borrowing, it’s the last to enter the digital age.

Photo by alancleaver_2000.

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