When a juicer isn't a juicer — a story of Silicon Valley hubris

The Verge has a really funny article up, about Juicero, the USD 700 USD 400 Wi-Fi-connected "juicer". The story behind and around this thing is utterly ridiculous and funny, especially once you realise that investors were convinced this is a good idea. Go ahead, read the article and watch the video; it's worth it for the laughs:

Turns out Juicero’s ludicrous Wi-Fi juicer is even more unnecessary than it sounds — by Jacob Kastrenakes @ The Verge

Calling this device a juicer stretches the term almost past its breaking point:

  • It merely squeezes pre-made juice packs into a glass.
  • It doesn't produce juice from fresh fruit or vegetables.
  • It's impractical because the small juice packs have to be replaced constantly and you have to put a glass beneath it by yourself.
  • It produces a huge amount of non-degradable waste, unlike, you know, an actual juicer.
  • It's not a stretch to assume a real juicer will give you fresher juice and store-bought organic juice is probably just as good.
  • It forces you to buy juice packs from the company behind the Juicero.
  • It's an Internet of Things device for no apparent reason other than to save you from having to push a button when you arrive in the kitchen (hoping that you remembered to put a glass beneath it beforehand).
  • It's probably easily compromised because I can't see a Silicon Valley startup caring about properly securing their IoT devices.
  • It, eventually, creates more problems than it solves and fails at being what it claims: a juicer.

It boggles my mind that this thing was a) thought of as a good idea, b) developed beyond the basic conceptual stage, c) funded (!), and d) made into an actual product you can buy.

Alex Hoffmann @mangochutney