We lost a friend late last week when the spectacularly dumb juice startup Juicero decided to shut down.
Juicero was wonderful. It was an under-ideated, overpriced and essentially useless product created by a man who's only previous business venture ended in total failure. It also pulled down $120 million in Silicon Valley venture funding, because the universe likes a giggle.
The folks behind Juicero clearly understood that there is a secret pot of gold at the meeting point of health fads, luxury goods, confident bullshitting and "tech." But what the same people most definitely failed to realize was that when you get caught hawking a pretty $700 machine that is only capable of doing what your human fist can do, you don't run away...you go public.
Etsy, Snapchat and Blue Apron have all proven that you don't need to be smart, ready or even feasible to go public in today's market. You just need Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to sign some shit and introduce you to Tom Farley. Then you ring a bell and, like, money comes out.
Abracadabra, you're rich! And the shareholders...well, let's not dwell on details.
We're not saying that Juicero screwed the proverbial pooch here, but this was part of the reasoning behind shutting down that the company laid out in a statement:
In order to fulfill our mission, we announced last month that we would shift our resources to focus on lowering the price of the Press and Produce Packs. We began identifying ways that we could source, manufacture and distribute at a lower cost to consumers.
During this process, it became clear that creating an effective manufacturing and distribution system for a nationwide customer base requires infrastructure that we cannot achieve on our own as a standalone business. We are confident that to truly have the long-term impact we want to make, we need to focus on finding an acquirer with an existing national fresh food supply chain who can carry forward the Juicero mission.
Umm, this is a first quarter results letter, you plebes. In today's world you don't give up because your business has collapsed in on itself in the most fundamental of ways. You get yourself a ticker symbol, give everyone as little information as possible, and use whatever you raise to plug the holes before you "pivot." And you'll be fine because no one sells voting shares anymore, just the kind that offer exposure wihtout rights.
You didn't need to die, Juicero. You had so much left to take as a terrible public company.