The Juicero debacle (which I’ve been following in the background noise among debacles from Uber, United Airlines, Pepsi, the Trump presidency, and other tone-deaf organizations) led me to a follow-up story (built around a genuinely fascinating product teardown) with this succinct and delicious tidbit of product design schadenfreude:
“Juicero raised nearly $120M from well-known investors before shipping a single unit. The team spent over two years building an incredibly complex product and the ecosystem to support it. Aside from the flagship juice press, Juicero built relationships with farmers, co-packing/food-processing facilities, complex custom packaging, beautifully designed mobile/web applications, and a subscription delivery service. But they did all this work without the basic proof that this business made sense to consumers.”
Merits posting here (as opposed to all the other news roiling me) since it has some professional value as a lesson in evaluating business strategy before going headlong into an expensive design and development process. The constant references to custom, machined parts lead me to a preliminary rating of the Juicero about on par (on the Jives scale of product design genius) with the beautifully squalid NeXT cube.
Also: if after eight revisions of this shit you’re still carving Arial into aluminum you’re not thorough enough. System fonts carved into metal are to me what brown M&M’s were to Van Halen: a tell-tale sign that something is amiss.
Related: I get a similar high off similar misfires chronicled by Internet of Shit.
(Via Robin Sloan)