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Juicero!

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before we begin, a warning to techno juice junkies out there:  Juicero is already dead.   awww 😢

 

maybe youve heard of it?  i hadnt, until i saw one of these machines featured in Get Shorty (the series)

 

 

GLiYICJ.jpg

 

 

rewind to 2016:

 

NYTimes —

A $700 Juicer for the Kitchen That Caught Silicon Valley’s Eye link
 

With no experience running tech companies and a bungled juice-bar chain under his belt, he [Doug Evans] has extracted a remarkable $120 million in investments from Silicon Valley titans, including Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and big companies like Campbell Soup. His pitch: a $700 machine that makes an eight-ounce [ 240mL ] glass of juice.

...
His company, Juicero, opens for business this week. But what is it?  Is it a juice-ordering app? Is it just another kitchen-counter contraption? Or is it a 111,000-square-foot food-processing factory, staffed by dozens of hourly workers, washing and slicing up fruits and vegetables in Los Angeles? It is all of these things. “It’s the most complicated business that I’ve ever funded,” said David Krane, a partner at GV, formerly Google Ventures. “It’s software. It’s consumer electronics. It’s produce and packaging.”

...
The arrangement relies on a smartphone app, always-on Wi-Fi, QR codes, high-tech packaging and an army of workers slicing fruits and vegetables in very particular ways.

 

 

Recode —

"I said, ‘I’m going to do what Steve [Jobs] did,’" he said, recalling how Juicero started. "‘I’m going to take the mainframe computer and create a personal computer. I’m going to take a mainframe juice press and create a personal juice press.’" link

 

"There are 400 custom parts in here. There's two motors, there's 10 printed circuit boards, there's a scanner, there's a microprocessor, there's a wireless chip, wireless antenna. There's 775 aircraft-grade aluminum. There's a gear box. There's latches that support 16,000 pounds of force. So this is basically a monster of a machine inside this veil of this nice aesthetic." link

 

 


fast forward to 2017:

 

 

 

 

The Verge —

Juicero became the laughing stock of the tech industry last week after Bloomberg revealed that its custom fruit and vegetable packs could be squeezed into juice by hand.
...
Ben Einstein ...took apart a Juicero juicer piece by piece to see what made the device — which currently sells for $399 and went for $699 at launch — so expensive.  “It’s clear that cost savings was not anywhere near a top priority for Juicero when designing this product (or if it was, something went horribly wrong),” Einstein writes. He also points to an “expensive process” for “fancy plastics” and “unnecessary complexity” in the design, such as a door-locking mechanism that involves more than two dozen parts. link

 

 

The  Guardian — Squeezed out: widely mocked startup Juicero is shutting down

Juicero, a Silicon Valley juicer startup that raised $120m from investors and was widely ridiculed after the $400 machines were revealed to be the equivalent of two hands squeezing a juice box, is shutting down.

 

The company’s founder, Doug Evans...in the face of embarrassing videos of the squeezing by hand ... noted that the machines were connected to the internet and could ensure users don’t make juice with packets that have expired. The packets, however, had expiration dates written on them. link 

[emphasis added, LOL]

 


finally, whats he up to now?  here is your moment of Zen —

 

 

 

for the technically minded, check out Ben Einstein's detailed teardown of this over-engineered disaster Here’s Why Juicero’s Press is So Expensive
 

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AvE did a couple of videos about it - the machine itself is way overbuilt for purpose and the price was sort of almost justified.

The juice packs though - the whole thing seems to have followed the loss-leader approach where the machine made no money but the consumables had a stupid margin on them.

 

As an additional kick in the head to the consumer, I think they also put proprietary locking chips on the packs, and they also had a built in expiry date after which they couldn't be used.

 

Second video first (link only ) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlVmppyflS0

 

First video (I think he only did 2) - it's a long one but an interesting teardown:

 

 

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Another symptom of late-stage capitalism... completely crazy stuff.

 

I've seen the teardown; it's an incredibly over-engineered bit of utter redundancy.

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It's under engineered actually (as AvE explains).

 

The purpose of "engineering" in this sense is to remove unnecessary parts, ie get the machine to function as required using the minimum of parts which are built to be only as strong as they need to be.

 

So, the proper term is "under engineered and overbuilt".

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Quote

Overengineering (or over-engineering) is the act of designing a product to be more robust or have more features than necessary for its intended use, or for a process to be unnecessarily complex or inefficient.

 

-Wiki

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It occurs to me that according to your contention, it's possible to design something to be too elegant.

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🙂

 

Not the guy behind those Thermomix things is he ?

 

Cheers

 

 

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So environmentally friendly too. I'm surprised it gained so much investment.

53 minutes ago, chrisg said:

🙂

 

Not the guy behind those Thermomix things is he ?

 

Cheers

 

 

 

I know a few people with a Thermomix. To be honest, I might even learn to enjoy cooking if I owned one. One of the clients I clean for has owned one for a couple of years, and it gets used almost daily.

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Yeah SN, A few of my culinary challenged friends have splurged on them as well, seem happy enough.

 

Personally I prefer cooking...

 

Cheers

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10 hours ago, SacrificialNewt said:

So environmentally friendly too. I'm surprised it gained so much investment.

 

I know a few people with a Thermomix. To be honest, I might even learn to enjoy cooking if I owned one. One of the clients I clean for has owned one for a couple of years, and it gets used almost daily.

Well you'd want to find some way of justifying a $2k blender.

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41 minutes ago, chrisg said:

Yeah SN, A few of my culinary challenged friends have splurged on them as well, seem happy enough.

 

Personally I prefer cooking...

 

Cheers

We bought one because it saves time and we're generally time poor. It doesn't do everything for you though. It's just the right tool for some jobs. If we didn't have kids etc I wouldn't bother with it. 

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I guess you are in the product's target market flip, that is precisely what it does, produce food for the time-poor and that is perfectly fine.

 

However it can't do a number of things, like roast or fry or bake or freeze.

 

With a little prep, even for the time poor, a slow cooker at sub $100 can produce pretty much the same variety of food in fact probably a bigger variety given the recipes available for slow cooking and a bit of ingenuity.

 

Of that list an SC CAN roast and bake but it can't blend or grind of itself.

 

I understand why someone would turn to a Thermomix or one of its competitors but in my view it's not cooking.

 

Cheers

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🙂

 

Cooking in a slow cooker is pretty much cooking made easy SN.

 

The only real cooking is some ingredient prep, chuck it all in, go away, maybe add a bit of thickening or whatever near the end and after however many hours you can have a one pot meal be it a roast, a stew, a casserole, a soup, a curry etc there is really very little cooking per se involved.

 

I'm pretty time poor myself most of the time. Whilst I enjoy a day of cooking in the kitchen the SCs let me do early morning prep, go about my day and have good food ready at the end of the day.

 

With a little ingenuity an SC can do a lot, I've even made bread in one but the old way or a breadmaker does in my view do a better job.

 

I'll stick to my core utensils plus some time savers like a food processor etc. accept I need a bit more bench/cupboard space and have no need for a Thermomix.

 

I've never had a juicer but a blender/food processor or if being extravagant a smoothy maker does the job perfectly well, no need for something as crazy as a Juicero.

 

Cheers

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6 minutes ago, SacrificialNewt said:

I detest cooking...and I can't afford a thermomix. Oh well. At least I'm happy cleaning.

 

I don't like either of those.  Doesn't help that I'm a perfectionist - spend days removing the last trace of a smear from a window or something, get one day of peace from the annoying part of my brain, then the cleaner comes or it rains and fucks it all up again.

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4 hours ago, chrisg said:

I guess you are in the product's target market flip, that is precisely what it does, produce food for the time-poor and that is perfectly fine.

 

However it can't do a number of things, like roast or fry or bake or freeze.

 

With a little prep, even for the time poor, a slow cooker at sub $100 can produce pretty much the same variety of food in fact probably a bigger variety given the recipes available for slow cooking and a bit of ingenuity.

 

Of that list an SC CAN roast and bake but it can't blend or grind of itself.

 

I understand why someone would turn to a Thermomix or one of its competitors but in my view it's not cooking.

 

Cheers

 

So with the Thermomix you Baking etc is done in an oven, but it does all the other prep work. It can fry in small quantities. But take something like mashed potatoes; I'd do those in the in a microwave before I put them in there because it's slow for that. But anything that involves stirring and heating that can be done while I cut/cook other bits it is amazing for. And using the programs, if you have two of us there one can leave and the other knows exactly where everything is up to. We have a slow cooker and I really don't see similar functionality at all. When you are doing a veggie bake and the white sauce basically takes care of itself it's great. 

 

I actually spent a bit of time looking for a slow cooker that had a delayed start as the timing often doesn't work with the standard recipes and 2 speeds. My ovens both do this for me though so I could slow cook in them if I wanted.

 

As far as "real cooking" goes, real ingredients that get cooked properly and taste good at the end is cooking enough for me. The rest is indulgence.


The other thing I really like is out Oven with built in microwave. Near perfect Baked potatoes in 20 mins. 

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how hard is white sauce with a microwave to heat the milk to add to a roux ?

 

we're talking 5 minutes of work for creamy smooth base for any application

 

mashed potatoes likewise - 15min slow boil and a masher with milk/butter - the induction top is very good at simmer, and the auto timer will switch 'em off and beep when time's up

 

 

thermomix looks like a solution looking for a problem

 

cooking is fun if you are ocd and have a plan

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17 hours ago, Rybags said:

It's under engineered actually (as AvE explains).

 

The purpose of "engineering" in this sense is to remove unnecessary parts, ie get the machine to function as required using the minimum of parts which are built to be only as strong as they need to be.

 

So, the proper term is "under engineered and overbuilt".

 

that definition is a little esoteric, but for engineers i can see the semantic justification for it.

 

F25IK9CGOJSV9V8.LARGE.jpg

 

a manual hand crank would be 100X better than that dumbass machine.  just need to mount it vertically so the rollers move down the stationary juice bag.

 

you'd be left with the stupidity of tiny single use bags though. 

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4 hours ago, SacrificialNewt said:

I detest cooking...and I can't afford a thermomix. Oh well. At least I'm happy cleaning.

 

a thermomix is exactly the right thing for some very specific use cases.  i think theres a lot of people with buyers remorse though. 

 

imo you cant beat the combination of multipurpose slow cooker + stick blender  <-- that right there covers 90% of what the thermy does for 10% of the cost haha  

 

also, + steamer, like one of those multi-tiered ones maybe, even though the slow cooker can probably steam, because of options, like doing more things at once.

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🙂

 

Cooking for me is a relaxing long-term hobby flip, the functionality of a slow cooker for me lies in great food with little effort, probably very little if any more prep than a Thermomix.

 

I agree with Scruffy but I can also see that being able to do everything in one device has appeal but I already have a couple of slow cookers, one than can sear and they have high, low, auto and keep warm settings. A delayed start would be a nice-to-have but if I needed it I could use  a plug timer.  I have one heck of a lot of appliances and yeah they take up space but I use them all and all summed up would have cost far less than a Thermomix.

 

To each their own...

 

Cheers

 

 

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50 minutes ago, scruffy1 said:

mashed potatoes likewise - 15min slow boil and a masher with milk/butter

 

yeah, fuck all that! :)  i dont need no starchy pot and utensil to clean up.  i dont need no peeling, or to be sweating over a steaming pot mashing away, all for some nutritionally bereft high-GI goop.  i would rather just steam them — skin on! 

 

i do make mashed potatoes the ordinary way once in a blue moon.  but if mashing is the order of the day, i will most often just mash steamed ones — skin on!

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i don't mind mashed jacket potatoes - but the locals are a bit less enthused

 

as for slow cook, induction stove top can easily do that at lowest setting with the right choice of pan ,  although the arcosteel one that was "found" as a single item at the op shop is ruthless at heating beyond belief on setting 3 - great for boiling pasta, or browning mince in a bog sauce at higher settings, but beware of >7 for any unattended nuking; need to turn it down pretty early in the process

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10 hours ago, chrisg said:

🙂

 

Cooking in a slow cooker is pretty much cooking made easy SN.

 

The only real cooking is some ingredient prep, chuck it all in, go away, maybe add a bit of thickening or whatever near the end and after however many hours you can have a one pot meal be it a roast, a stew, a casserole, a soup, a curry etc there is really very little cooking per se involved.

 

I'm pretty time poor myself most of the time. Whilst I enjoy a day of cooking in the kitchen the SCs let me do early morning prep, go about my day and have good food ready at the end of the day.

 

With a little ingenuity an SC can do a lot, I've even made bread in one but the old way or a breadmaker does in my view do a better job.

 

I'll stick to my core utensils plus some time savers like a food processor etc. accept I need a bit more bench/cupboard space and have no need for a Thermomix.

 

I've never had a juicer but a blender/food processor or if being extravagant a smoothy maker does the job perfectly well, no need for something as crazy as a Juicero.

 

Cheers

 

I make a beef and veg stew in my slow cooker every week, which I divvy up into containers for lunch at work. Same lunch every day. I find the prep to be a chore, but I manage.

 

 

 

 

5 hours ago, chrisg said:

🙂

 

Cooking for me is a relaxing long-term hobby flip, the functionality of a slow cooker for me lies in great food with little effort, probably very little if any more prep than a Thermomix.

 

I agree with Scruffy but I can also see that being able to do everything in one device has appeal but I already have a couple of slow cookers, one than can sear and they have high, low, auto and keep warm settings. A delayed start would be a nice-to-have but if I needed it I could use  a plug timer.  I have one heck of a lot of appliances and yeah they take up space but I use them all and all summed up would have cost far less than a Thermomix.

 

To each their own...

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

I think I detest cooking because it was my chore to do for so many years. Have the dinner ready at around the same time every day. It's definitely a mind set problem. When I was married I'd make enough for leftovers the next day, but yon husband would eat them all by midnight. He also hated casseroles except for stroganoff, which I can't eat as I'm allergic to mushrooms. Cooking became a major annoyance in my life.

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Not a fan of cooking either ... apart from eggs ( according to Walt I do an incredible medium-hard-boiled-egg )  I have the sensitivity of a brick when it comes to ingredients. Slow cooking I think must be a cold climate thing, I worry about the hazards of it up here, hence we don't do that either.

All these fancy food gadgets I reckon would be a hive of nasty germs if not cleaned thoroughly. It'd taint the food coming out of them surely.

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🙂

 

No more so than any casserole dish or saucepan Ev, probably less so, slow cookers are very easy to clean.

 

However you are probably right, most but not all dishes that suit slow cooking are more cooler climate oriented. Then again they make fabulous curries 🙂

 

That's sad SN, too ways, your ex putting you off cooking and your being unable to eat Stroganoff, or in fact mushrooms at all.

 

Cheers

 

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