JUICERO

Have you guys heard of #Juicero ?? You are constantly told that startups need to disrupt legacy industries. That the tech world needs to “move fast and break things”. But a lot of times they go too far. Just because something is connected to the internet doesn’t make it better. Do we really need to reinvent the stuff that was actually pretty alright in the first place?

VC firms are in a bubble and sometimes lose touch with the rest of the country. For example, have you heard of Feather? The service that lets you “subscribe to your furniture”. Or Washboard? A company that charged $27 to send you $20 of laundry quarters every month. Connected footwear. Subscription protein powder. Subscription perfume. Subscription underwear. It goes on and on.

One of the most famous Silicon Valley busts is Juicero. I was vetting them to get involved in a $70 million Series B funding. I believe they were valued around $400m before they ever sold a product! They had a sleek machine, a connected app, and five flavors. I passed because I didn’t get it.

But in April 2017, Bloomberg showed that Juicero’s produce packs could scoop straight out of the bag and squeeze with your hands. No need to scan the QR code on the bag. No need to sync the app. No need to insert the produce pack into the Juicero. In fact, you could ditch $500-600 machine altogether! It was the beginning of the end of them. People wanted refunds, the press killed them, they lowered prices and eventually shut down.

Moral of the story: just because Silicon Valley thinks it’s a good idea doesn’t mean it is. Do your own sanity check. Also, do you own due diligence? And please…just because a celebrity invested (they had Leonardo DiCaprio and dozens of others) doesn’t make it a good investment!!

I’ll leave you with a quote that the founder told me on a pitch call: “using Juicero is like having sex without a condom on for the first time!” Real quote.
#venturecapital

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