One of this year's many Silicon Valley cautionary tales, Juicero, is entering a new phase and hoping to recover from the damage done by the news media and a certain discovery about their arguably unnecessary product. As CNet reports, Juicero CEO Jeff Dunn penned a memo to employees last week announcing that there would be a 25-percent cut in the company's staff, and that they were at work on a new, less expensive juicer known as "v2."
Dunn said in the memo that the current $400 juicer model and its $5 to $7 juice packs are not "a realistic way for us to fulfill our mission at the scale to which we aspire."
The wi-fi enabled juicer, which was originally priced at $700 when it was released last year, attracting $120 million in VC investment, cut the price in January of this year by $300 saying they were "excited to make Juicero more accessible than ever."
Why is it wi-fi connected? Because it needs to read QR codes off each juice pack to know how hard to squeeze each flavor, or something like that. Also, the machine can automatically refuse to squeeze a packet if there's a recall, and recognize if a packet is expired.
Cut to April when Bloomberg discovered that the juice packs essentially sealed packets of pre-cut fruit and vegetables with a spout at one end could just as easily be squeezed by hand producing the same result as the juicer but quicker, with only a half ounce of waste, perhaps making the $400 device totally unnecessary.
Dunn responded by suggesting the device still had value for their customer, that "hacking" products was nothing new, and offering refunds to customers. Three months in, Dunn noted in his memo last week that less than five percent of customers returned their machines, and he said the Bloomberg piece was "a distraction" and reported "something we always knew about [but] that our customers simply aren't interested in doing."
Stay tuned for Juicero v2, and news of how cheap and indispensable it will be.
Previously: Juicero CEO Begs Customers Not To Squeeze Packs By Hand, 'Hacking' $400 Juicer