It’s Friday:30 and that means it’s time for an ice-cold glass of monetization. This week, we drink in the juicy story behind Juicero, a refreshing tale about great customer service, and sip on a seemingly silly subscription service.
The juicy story of Juicero
A $400 wi-fi connected countertop machine that squeezes vegetable juice out of bags is pretty wild. The startup behind it slurping up $120 million in venture capital raises some eyebrows. But the origins of the subscription juicer service for the well-heeled is downright—well, typical Silicon Valley madcap. From egotistical leaders to strategic flubs, the drama inside Juicero has become all too common in the Valley. On top of this, it was recently revealed that the insanely expensive machine mashes juice out of the bags just as well as your hands. Though, to be fair, your hands aren’t wi-fi connected. Will Juicero remain fodder for silly subscription listicles or become a Silicon Valley success story?
Subscription services are genuinely great for a lot of things. It lowers the entry cost of software, makes razors and food magically appear at your door, and offers customers more ways to buy and pay for things. But like anything else, it often helps put some “silly” in Silicon Valley. Enter Reefill, a startup that offers “a new way to fill your bottle on the go.” Gone are the days of asking the Starbucks barista for a cup of ice water taking a sip out of a public drinking fountain. Instead, customers can simply use an app to locate nearby SodaStream-like tap water dispensers at participating businesses, where they can go to refill the foldable, reusable water bottle that comes with their monthly subscription. Yes, it’s a subscription to water. Before your eyes roll out of the back of your head, it’s reason for being is rather noble—to help reduce plastic waste from disposable plastic bottles. I can definitely appreciate that.
Customer Service that’s out of this world
Okay, enough with the subscription cynicism, it’s time for a happy story! We’ve been talking a lot about the importance of customer centricity and how it can pay off for your company. Great customer service paid off big time for a Santa Monica bicycle mechanic when he was offered a job at NASA by a customer who was apparently very impressed by his work. Cycling Industry News reports that Stephen Partida took to Facebook to inspire fellow bike mechanics of the importance of their work, telling them not to forget to treat every customer with respect. “The customer liked my attitude, work ethic, and my quality work,” Partida wrote. “I kept his bicycle in top shape and it paid off tremendously. I’ll be building spacecraft that will travel to Mars and beyond.”