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Author Topic: $400 WiFi-enabled 4-ton-force juicer's $120 million fail  (Read 7745 times)
Tale
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on: April 20, 2017, 11:39:17 PM

Their juice comes in bags. You can pour juice by hand.

Quote
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.

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Reply #1 on: April 21, 2017, 03:02:20 AM

There's so much to unpack from that article.

Quote
One of the investors said they were frustrated with how the company didn’t deliver on the original pitch and that their venture firm wouldn’t have met with Evans if he were hawking bags of juice that didn’t require high-priced hardware. Juicero didn’t broadly disclose to investors or employees that packs can be hand squeezed, said four people with knowledge of the matter.

Doug Chertok, a Juicero investor, said he figured it out on his own. “There is no doubt the packs can be squeezed without the machine,” he said. “I’m still a huge fan.”

Quote
The company sells produce packs for $5 to $8 but limits sales to owners of Juicero hardware. The products were only available in three states until Tuesday, when the company expanded to 17. Packs can’t be shipped long distances because the contents are perishable.

[...]

Kippy Williams, owner of Kippy’s Organic Non-Dairy Ice Cream Shop in Los Angeles and Toyko, said she purchased her Juicero late last year for $1,200. (Juicero charges businesses a premium, she said.) Williams, a self-proclaimed health-food evangelist, said she’d like to see the company sell packs by themselves to people who can’t afford the device. “It would be great if they offered people the opportunity to buy the packs and press them by hand,” she said. “I want juice for every man, woman and child.”

I too dream of a future where everyone, rich and poor alike can buy $8 bags of a single DIY glass of fruit juice.

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Tebonas
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Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 03:21:29 AM

Are these plastic bags and a device that needs to be connected to the internet for a glass of juice?

There are first world problems and there is perverting an idea. "Lets make organic juice, but lets pollute the earth to ridiculous amounts to do it."

If Hypocracy could kill, these people would be long dead. Organic shop, sure.  awesome, for real
Ironwood
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Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 04:06:59 AM

Fools, Money, etc.

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Strazos
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Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 04:11:42 AM

I thought you need fresh fruits and such to use with a juicer - pre-juiced packs seem kind of pointless.

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Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 06:01:21 AM

I thought you need fresh fruits and such to use with a juicer - pre-juiced packs seem kind of pointless.
As I understand it, the packs are filled with pulp and the juicer presses the juice out of that. The product video in the article shows the user scooping remaining pulp out of a used juice pack for recycling.

But yes, in general the whole fucking thing is pointless. It's a $400 machine that requires $8 proprietary juice packs to provide a single glass of juice. Also, it won't work without a network connection for some reason.

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Rendakor
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Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 08:59:31 AM

What a stupid idea. swamp poop

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Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 09:00:04 AM

I found some juice packs in my grocery store that - on the outside at least - look identical to various fruits.  They are also cheaper, but do not come with a machine to squeeze out the juice.

I started off squeezing the juice myself, but some of the packs were harder to juice than others.  Then I had to recycle the package.  Taking a cue from "Leave No Trace", once I realized that the package and contents were 100% biodegradable, I sumped the contents and tossed the outer packaging into my yard.  This had the added benefit of allowing me to ingest the juice of the more-difficult-to-squeeze packs, while also ingesting dietary fiber.

/lifehack

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Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 09:04:36 AM

Shit, that's genius. I bet you'll never hear about THAT solution from Big Juice and Big Food.

Those fuckers.

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Reply #9 on: April 21, 2017, 09:09:15 AM

Do not get the pack that looks like a potato.

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HaemishM
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Reply #10 on: April 21, 2017, 09:52:43 AM

What a stupid idea. swamp poop

This is the kind of stupid device that can only be sold to tech heads and complete fucking idiots. I mean, what the fuck is wrong with just squeezing the fruit yourself? Or, god forbid, do the healthier thing than drinking the juice and just eat the fruit? You get all the same nutrients but you also get the fiber from the fruit that helps your body move the sugar through instead of letting all that shit collect in your liver.

The most idiotic part about the whole thing is the actual juice packs. Someone who does not live in their Silicon Valley bubble should be able to see that there is the real business idea worth pursuing. Get the juice pack thing right, and by that I mean make it so you can ship that shit anywhere and its fairly shelf stable and cheap, you can make a killing. A fucking Internet connected hunk of 3d molded plastic built around a smartphone app for tracking juice pack purchases.

Get tae fuck with that.

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Reply #11 on: April 21, 2017, 09:55:54 AM

Do not get the pack that looks like a potato.

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Reply #12 on: April 21, 2017, 10:03:03 AM


The most idiotic part about the whole thing is the actual juice packs. Someone who does not live in their Silicon Valley bubble should be able to see that there is the real business idea worth pursuing. Get the juice pack thing right, and by that I mean make it so you can ship that shit anywhere and its fairly shelf stable and cheap, you can make a killing.


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HaemishM
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Reply #13 on: April 21, 2017, 10:03:28 AM

Now that's just 20th century thinking right there.  why so serious?

Sir T
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Reply #14 on: April 21, 2017, 10:57:07 AM

So what happens to your 1400 juicer when the company folds, the servers get turned off, and you cant get it squeesing anymore as a result.

I need to go to the "internet of shit" twitter page and cry a lot.

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calapine
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Reply #15 on: April 21, 2017, 12:18:15 PM

The statements by the CEO make it even worse:

Juicero CEO Begs You: Do NOT Squeeze Our Juice Bags





Also what what wasn't mentioned yet: This product got 120 million investor funding, making it the best funded startup of 2016. The initial sale price was 700 Dollar.

And it doesn't work if not connected to the internet:



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Morat20
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Reply #16 on: April 21, 2017, 12:21:07 PM

The weirdest part is -- I suspect all the markup is on the bags, that's where all the profit probably comes from. They can charge several times what those bags cost to customers. The machines they probably sell at a very small markup, if any at all.

SO why bother with the expensive, internet enabled machine?
Samwise
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Reply #17 on: April 21, 2017, 12:21:46 PM

I wonder if they could prosecute hand-squeezing under the DMCA, given that it's a circumvention of digital protection and the juice recipe is (I assume) copyrighted.

(edit) The point of the machine, I imagine, is to lock you in to their propriety juice bag format so you don't switch to a cheaper competitor a few months from now.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
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Reply #18 on: April 21, 2017, 12:23:23 PM

Eight days is not many days.  Purposely so, I think.

I wonder if they could prosecute hand-squeezing under the DMCA, given that it's a circumvention of digital protection and the juice recipe is (I assume) copyrighted.

Excellent thought.  Let's go into business together prosecuting cheapskates.

Can this thing be loaded with ice cream?

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Reply #19 on: April 21, 2017, 12:50:48 PM

I wonder if they could prosecute hand-squeezing under the DMCA, given that it's a circumvention of digital protection and the juice recipe is (I assume) copyrighted.

(edit) The point of the machine, I imagine, is to lock you in to their propriety juice bag format so you don't switch to a cheaper competitor a few months from now.
Yeah, but why not a cheap machine -- you'd probably make similar money off a 150 dollar machine without internet crap ? You'd not really lose money if all your money is in the juice bag markups. You'd probably end up with more people buying the stupid things.

Then again, if you're spending 400 dollars -- buy a Vitamix blender and make your own. Those things will blend a tree stump. (Seriously, those things are worth every penny, although I recommend their refurbished ones. Save 100 to 150 for the same dang thing)
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Reply #20 on: April 21, 2017, 01:12:18 PM

Yeah, but why not a cheap machine -- you'd probably make similar money off a 150 dollar machine without internet crap ?

How then would we get millions in venture capital from tech bubbleheads?

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Reply #21 on: April 21, 2017, 01:32:51 PM

If I buy a vita I'd I have to purchase and wash actual fruit AND clean a machine.

Do you think I'm some kind of plebeian?  I want to consume and dispose, not sully my hands.

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Reply #22 on: April 21, 2017, 01:36:47 PM

This is just the Keurig concept taken to its logical (and environmentally unfriendly) conclusion.

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Samwise
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Reply #23 on: April 21, 2017, 02:17:37 PM

(edit) The point of the machine, I imagine, is to lock you in to their propriety juice bag format so you don't switch to a cheaper competitor a few months from now.
Yeah, but why not a cheap machine -- you'd probably make similar money off a 150 dollar machine without internet crap ? You'd not really lose money if all your money is in the juice bag markups. You'd probably end up with more people buying the stupid things.

Like I said, they want to lock you in, right?  If you spend a thousand bucks on the juice machine, you need to keep buying their juice bags to bring the cost per use down.  Even if they raise the price of the juice bags, or if a competitor starts making similar bags that are a quarter of the price, you're stuck buying their bags because otherwise you spent a thousand bucks on a useless piece of shit.  If you only spent a hundred bucks on the machine, it's easy to throw it in the trash once you realize there are cheaper ways to get juice.

It's the Royal Nonesuch -- you perpetuate the con by taking advantage of the fact that nobody likes to acknowledge that they got conned.  Old tricks are the best tricks.

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Sir T
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Reply #24 on: April 21, 2017, 02:23:55 PM

I have to admit, the "you don't have to clean this thing" is the one attractive proposition. I had a juicer once and cleaning that thing was a nightmare.

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calapine
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Reply #25 on: April 21, 2017, 02:24:46 PM

Like I said, they want to lock you in, right?  If you spend a thousand bucks on the juice machine, you need to keep buying their juice bags to bring the cost per use down.  Even if they raise the price of the juice bags, or if a competitor starts making similar bags that are a quarter of the price, you're stuck buying their bags because otherwise you spent a thousand bucks on a useless piece of shit.  If you only spent a hundred bucks on the machine, it's easy to throw it in the trash once you realize there are cheaper ways to get juice.

It's the Royal Nonesuch -- you perpetuate the con by taking advantage of the fact that nobody likes to acknowledge that they got conned.  Old tricks are the best tricks.

Two points to that Samwise:

A) But $5-8 for a single glass isn't in any way cheap. That alone should stop you buying that.

B) That doesn't explain why venture capitalists funded this startup with 120 fucking million dollars!  ACK!


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Morat20
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Reply #26 on: April 21, 2017, 02:45:48 PM

B) That doesn't explain why venture capitalists funded this startup with 120 fucking million dollars!  ACK!
It was "smart". It was "internet enabled".

This guy probably only got funding by adding that shit, even though he'd be more profitable just marketing the damn bags. Slap a few "organic" and "free trade" and "cruelty free" shit on the side and sell them for 80% markups. Can't get tech money for that. Too mundane.

Damn, now I want a smoothie. I'll just go dump a bag full of frozen strawberries and blueberries into a vitamix. Which will result, in about 20 seconds, a delicious cold smoothie. (A little spinach is surprisingly good in there, for some reason. My wife likes to add banana, but people who like bananas are fucked in the head anyways). Sadly, I cannot command all this to happen from my smartphone while on the couch.
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Reply #27 on: April 21, 2017, 03:06:58 PM

Two points to that Samwise:

A) But $5-8 for a single glass isn't in any way cheap. That alone should stop you buying that.

B) That doesn't explain why venture capitalists funded this startup with 120 fucking million dollars!  ACK!

a) A glass of OJ in Florida was nearly $4 for >8oz last weekend. If all you ever do is eat out this seems at-cost to you. <insert anecdote of client who had user manuals wrapped in plastic still in their high-end ovens 12 years later here>

b) See A. Just because you have money doesn't mean you're smart. The con artist just has to find the weakness in their knowledge and exploit it.

I have to admit, the "you don't have to clean this thing" is the one attractive proposition. I had a juicer once and cleaning that thing was a nightmare.

Did you try a power washer?

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Reply #28 on: April 21, 2017, 03:59:28 PM

fresh juice is expensive

cold-pressed veggie juice - good for you or not - tastes like shit and is even more expensive than fruit juice

objectively shit

everyone who drinks it likes things that taste like shit
Tale
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Reply #29 on: April 21, 2017, 04:38:27 PM

I have to admit, the "you don't have to clean this thing" is the one attractive proposition. I had a juicer once and cleaning that thing was a nightmare.

This thing isn't a juicer though. It's a "juice machine". Effectively it's a juice pourer.

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Reply #30 on: April 21, 2017, 05:50:26 PM

it's not even that

it's like building a robot to squeeze a toothpaste tube efficiently

i want to get in touch with the investors that gave these assholes money
Goumindong
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Reply #31 on: April 21, 2017, 06:55:33 PM

The irony is that the bag idea, for folks who want to buy fresh juice is actually pretty good. You could use a really simple hand press (like a roll press built into the bag, or two blocks of wood... or your hands) to get the juice out and still do really well compared to a 400 dollar machine.

As noted. The only thing more stupid than buying the thing is investing in it.
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Reply #32 on: April 21, 2017, 07:36:34 PM

Did you try a power washer?

No, all I had was a tap. A power washer would probably have done the trick but I didn't think of it.  Get off my lawn!

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Reply #33 on: April 21, 2017, 08:55:13 PM

hah
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Reply #34 on: April 21, 2017, 11:38:54 PM

The two people who drink veggie juice in my office are the retard who thinks she's going to cure her tinnitus through diet and the moron who has decided he's a coeliac (husband and wife of course).

Their shit is aaaawful. It would be a building material in a 3rd world country.

I bet they would totally buy this, he loves gadgets and spending way to much for stupid things.

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