The Juicero story is a funny one in some ways and a sad one in others, so let’s just assume they cancel each other out and admire the machine itself in a nice judgment-free moral vacuum.
Or rather, let’s let someone qualified do it for us. Ben Einstein, general partner at Bolt, served up this excellent teardown of the Juicero on the company blog. If you were wondering how a juice press could possibly cost $400… well, this is how.
Without getting into the nitty-gritty (Einstein does it far better than I would, anyway), the gist is that this thing is extremely overengineered in the most fabulous possible way. Everything is custom, using the best processes and materials, and lots of ingenuity and care is on display at every level.
Unfortunately, the entire idea of the product is risible.
As Einstein puts it:
Our usual advice to hardware founders is to focus on getting a product to market to test the core assumptions on actual target customers, and then iterate. Instead, Juicero spent $120M over two years to build a complex supply chain and perfectly engineered product that is too expensive for their target demographic.
It’s a beautiful disaster of a product, and with any luck the engineers responsible for the former will get credit for it. Because those responsible for the latter already took off with the juice, leaving nothing but a flaccid sack of pulp behind.