Q&A: What is the Strangest Way a Start-up Ever Failed?
Have you ever wanted to pay $400 for a tool that works just as well as your hands? No? Me neither.
Juicero was a $400 juicer that made freshly-squeezed juice using special bags that were sold on a weekly subscription model. On top of that, the overpriced blender boasted WiFi connectivity (yes, really) and promised a to create a new platform and innovate the food delivery model.
Apparently, there are a bunch of people with money to burn who longed for a blender they could activate from their living room and perishable fruit bags delivered right to their door (who knew?) because the start-up raised $120 million.
What Sank Juicero?
Two Bloomberg reporters decided to give Juicero a try and discovered that the specialized juice bags could be effectively squeezed by hand. The reporters were able to squeeze 7.5 ounces of juice in a minute and a half compared to the 8 ounces yielded by the machine in about two minutes. Basically, the Juicero was a $400 piece of junk.
What Can We Learn from the Bizarre Rise and Fall of Juicero?
The weird story of Juicero represents the worst impulses of start-up culture—the needless complexity, the failure to deliver on lofty goals, the outright pretentiousness. #MichaelsWilder #startups Click To Tweet
I doubt that Juicero’s creators would have raised a fraction of capital if it was only selling its squeezable juice packets (despite the fact that the bags themselves were generally well-liked). It’s clear that fancy tech often wins out over simplicity when it comes to wooing Silicon Valley investors.
The weird story of Juicero represents the worst impulses of start-up culture—the needless complexity, the failure to deliver on lofty goals, the outright pretentiousness. A true innovation should be a response to a modern problem, a solution that consumers actually want (imagine that!), not an investor-oriented cash-grab fueled by gimmicks.