Juicero is a Silicon Valley start-up that is trying to ride the wave of connected devices by using the surfboard of health. Juicero’s value proposition is a “closed loop” service. They produce sealed bags of fruit and vegetables that you load into a US$400 machine (that’s Internet connected, of course) and it produces fresh, cold-pressed juice from the contents of the bag. So, what the heck is going on with this company that has attracted $120M in VC funding recently?
Making your own juice, at home, is not a new concept. Juicero says their value proposition is that they offer a sealed system. That means the fruit and vegetables that make it to your place can be guaranteed to be safe and fresh.
It all sounds good until you apply some critical thinking to it.
And, as our friends at Gizmodo reported (via Bloomberg) the $400 machine is redundant as you can produce the same outcome by squeezing the ingredient bags in your hands.
But let’s get to the point. The technology industry comes up with lots of cool ways to make our lives easier and more enjoyable. Juicero is an example of what happens when technology companies don’t stop for 30 seconds and think. There’s nothing in what Juicero offers that I can’t accomplish today at a lower cost which is just as easy and safe.
I can order fresh fruit and vegetables (aside from the big supermarkets, there are several other fresh fruit delivery services) and there are far cheaper juice presses on the market.
Juicero’s value proposition is the delivery of fresh produce. That’s a non-issue for most of the company’s addressable market.
And the $400 press? Sure, it look pretty but there are other, similar devices on the market.
The innovation lesson from Juicero is simple – just because you can do something, you should question whether you should do it.
I suspect the reason Juicero has managed to garner the money they have from VC is because they operate in the Silicon Valley bubble. And, given the way many other companies are faltering, I suspect that the next innovation Silicon Valley needs is a decent bullshit filter.