The thing is, our benign Silicon Valley titans are simply better and smarter people than you or me. I mean, if plutocrats were taxed at the kind of rates that prevailed when the United States had Full Communism before Reagan, would we get immensely valuable and proactive new products like this?
One of the most lavishly funded gadget startups in Silicon Valley last year was Juicero Inc. It makes a juice machine. The product was an unlikely pick for top technology investors, but they were drawn to the idea of an internet-connected device that transforms single-serving packets of chopped fruits and vegetables into a refreshing and healthy beverage.
Doug Evans, the company’s founder, would compare himself with Steve Jobs in his pursuit of juicing perfection. He declared that his juice press wields four tons of force—“enough to lift two Teslas,” he said. Google’s venture capital arm and other backers poured about $120 million into the startup. Juicero sells the machine for $400, plus the cost of individual juice packs delivered weekly. Tech blogs have dubbed it a “Keurig for juice.”
But after the product hit the market, some investors were surprised to discover a much cheaper alternative: You can squeeze the Juicero bags with your bare hands. Two backers said the final device was bulkier than what was originally pitched and that they were puzzled to find that customers could achieve similar results without it. Bloomberg performed its own press test, pitting a Juicero machine against a reporter’s grip. The experiment found that squeezing the bag yields nearly the same amount of juice just as quickly—and in some cases, faster—than using the device.
Juicero declined to comment. A person close to the company said Juicero is aware the packs can be squeezed by hand but that most people would prefer to use the machine because the process is more consistent and less messy. The device also reads a QR code printed on the back of each produce pack and checks the source against an online database to ensure the contents haven’t expired or been recalled, the person said. The expiration date is also printed on the pack.
All hail the SUPERGENIUS of our Silicon Valley overlords!
This is a brilliant idea, no doubt. But over breakfast this morning a perhaps even more shatteringly DISRUPTIVE paradigm occurred to me. What if you made a juice out of the extract of fruit…and put it in a bottle, eliminating the need for squeezing (whether at the free or $400 price point) altogether? I know, sounds crazy, but I think it could work! He’s a quick sketch of my transformative proposal:
Please send all seven-figure venture capital investments to the address on the right of the page.