What’s Left After The Messy Beginning

Dragos Roua
4 min readJan 17, 2021

10 years ago, if you wanted to eliminate meat from your diet, you had very few options. You could obviously go with salads, nuts and crucifers, but if you wanted a more dense source of protein, you were out of luck. And I’m talking mostly about engineered protein-rich foods. Producers were just starting to understand how to make alternative “cheese” or “meat”. There was very little research and economic activity in this area. Their initial products were mostly simplistic trials, built on top of experimental tech. Also, expensive.

The other day I went into an “eco” super store here in Valencia and, once again, I was mesmerized by the abundance, quality and affordability of meatless, protein-rich products. By the way, I’m not evangelizing a meat-free diet with this post, although I’ve been a raw vegan way before it was cool (like more than 10 years ago). I am now on an omnivorous diet, if you’re wondering, (for at least 2 years) and this is working ok for me. I chose this specific food example simply because it’s easier to illustrate my point with it.

And my point is that every beginning is messy. Every new intent to change or improve something comes with a lot of trials and errors, with costly experiments and, generally speaking, with a lot of chaos. In this specific case, as the production processes were maturing, and as the market increased, the generated products gradually improved. There was knowledge built on top of previous mistakes, and optimizations were applied. The feedback loop increased the frequency of iterations and, eventually, the market stabilized.

I think we’re seeing a very solid stabilization stage in this meat-free, protein-rich products industry. Meat-free burgers are already part of the menu of global brands, with huge distribution channels. Vegan cheese, as well as rice, nuts or soya milks are standard products. And I could go on like this for quite a while.

The bottom line is we’re over that messy beginning. And we’re just enjoying the benefits now.

Personal Messy Beginnings

The same pattern applies — at least in my experience — to any disruptive process, not necessarily to economic ones.

In personal development too, when we’re trying to generate alternative skills…

Dragos Roua

Story teller, geek, light seeker and runner. Not necessarily in that order.