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The Technomancer
card-carrying scientician
(09-13-2017, 04:12 PM)
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Is this one better or worse than Juicero? I can't decide. The raw utility is higher but some of the specifics are ohhhhh so much lower

https://www.fastcompany.com/40466047...tores-obsolete



While it sometimes feels like we do all of our shopping on the internet, government data shows that actually less than 10% of all retail transactions happen online. In a world where we get our groceries delivered in just two hours through Instacart or Amazon Fresh, the humble corner store–or bodega, as they are known in New York and Los Angeles–still performs a valuable function. No matter how organized you are, you’re bound to run out of milk or diapers in the middle of the night and need to make a quick visit to your neighborhood retailer.

Paul McDonald, who spent 13 years as a product manager at Google, wants to make this corner store a thing of the past. Today, he is launching a new concept called Bodega with his cofounder Ashwath Rajan, another Google veteran. Bodega sets up five-foot-wide pantry boxes filled with non-perishable items you might pick up at a convenience store. An app will allow you to unlock the box and cameras powered with computer vision will register what you’ve picked up, automatically charging your credit card. The entire process happens without a person actually manning the “store.”

So a couple of thoughts on this:

1. Yes, there is an arguable utility in this. Vending machines often don't have larger items like laundry detergent or toiletries. The idea of a machine that carries those items is not intrinsically a bad one

2. But what you are describing here is literally just a vending machine:

3. As someone who runs a startup and is very very familiar with the "customer anecdote" pitch, this is the customer anecdote of someone who is floundering to justify their product

4.

Bodega’s logo is a cat, a nod to the popular bodega cat meme on social media–although if the duo gets their way, real felines won’t have brick-and-mortar shops to saunter around and take naps in much longer. “The vision here is much bigger than the box itself,” McDonald says. “Eventually, centralized shopping locations won’t be necessary, because there will be 100,000 Bodegas spread out, with one always 100 feet away from you.”

"Centralized shopping" is in this case code for "small retailers like bodegas" which often sell perishable items you could not keep in a cabinet
Alucrid
Banned
(09-13-2017, 04:13 PM)
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can this thing cook me a bacon egg and cheese on a bagel or what?
Kayhan
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:13 PM)
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Now I want a glass of freshly squeezed juice.
TheOMan
Tagged as I see fit
(09-13-2017, 04:14 PM)
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Guess we know why they're ex-Google now.
Alter_Fridge
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:15 PM)
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Improving the world 1 app driven vending machine at a time

peh
Funky Papa
FUNK-Y-PPA-4
(09-13-2017, 04:15 PM)
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Man, I feel like some folks are still chasing that early .com money when you could get a few dozen millions just by promising a new, revolutionary concept to sell kitty litter through the interwebs.

The most perplexing thing is that it's kind of working for them.
Justin Bailey
------ ------
(09-13-2017, 04:15 PM)
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An app will allow you to unlock the box and cameras powered with computer vision will register what you’ve picked up, automatically charging your credit card. The entire process happens without a person actually manning the “store.”

This is the real kicker. If this actually works well then I could see it blowing up.
Drazgul
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:16 PM)
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Isn't Japan already doing this, except better? Just import their stuff instead.
Kid Kamikaze10
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:16 PM)
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Literal gentrifying business model. Jesus...

Just stay away from NYC.
old manatee
Banned
(09-13-2017, 04:16 PM)
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"powered with computer vision"
Bronx-Man
Banned
(09-13-2017, 04:16 PM)
The nerve to fucking call yourselves "Bodega". Gentrification on steroids.
Copenap
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:16 PM)
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Even if this was something in demand the solution is as always completely over engineered. A "normal" vending machine with nfc payment option would also do the job. No need to habe some fancy ai camera recognition.
The Albatross
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:16 PM)
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This would be very useful/used for college campuses and apartment/condo lobbies that cater to young people.

The knee-jerk reaction against this is ridiculous.
The Technomancer
card-carrying scientician
(09-13-2017, 04:17 PM)
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Also to be clear this concept exists. My workspace has a wall of snacks, you take one, scan it, swipe your card and you're good to go, 15 seconds. All this is giving you is the security of keeping everything in a box (like a vending machine) and the business model looking at replacing a diffuse network of small stores with a system of boxes
Akuun
Looking for meaning in GAF
(09-13-2017, 04:17 PM)
Isn't Amazon working on something exactly like this too?

And yes, it's pretty much a vending machine that works a little more seamlessly because of more high-tech connectivity stuff. It still has the same drawbacks of vending machines in that they typically only sell non-perishable stuff.
wenis
Registered for GAF on September 11, 2001.
(09-13-2017, 04:17 PM)
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Yea fuck them. Like local bodegas and corner stores don't have it bad enough with rising rent. Legit, fuck them.
Alienfan
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:17 PM)
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I don't know, seems like an okay idea. It's just an evolution of the vending machine, but more secure, and the types of items it can hold isn't tied to the hardware.
Morat
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:17 PM)
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But guyyyys, we wouldn't have any innovation without these kind of capitalist geniuses.

AKA a repackaged vending machine coupled to a spiel of nonsense business language
The Technomancer
card-carrying scientician
(09-13-2017, 04:18 PM)
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Originally Posted by Funky Papa

Man, I feel like some folks are still chasing that early .com money when you could get a few dozen millions just by promising a new, revolutionary concept to sell kitty litter through the interwebs.

The most perplexing thing is that it's kind of working for them.

I am hot and cold on startup culture broadly but I loathe investment culture
bachikarn
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:18 PM)
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Can someone explain to me the gentrification comments?
Kyzer
Banned
(09-13-2017, 04:18 PM)
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Wow if you step back for a second this has serious potential to revolutionize the way people think about reading articles about failed inventions
old manatee
Banned
(09-13-2017, 04:18 PM)
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there will be 100,000 Bodegas spread out, with one always 100 feet away from you.


Fuck. That.
DrFunk
not licensed in your state
(09-13-2017, 04:18 PM)
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Gentrify bodega cats bruhs
HStallion
Now what's the next step in your master plan?
(09-13-2017, 04:18 PM)
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Give me those giant vending machines that take up an entire store front rather than this.
Kayhan
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:19 PM)
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Originally Posted by Bronx-Man

The nerve to fucking call yourselves "Bodega". Gentrification on steroids.

Yeah, the should just have called this "The Gentry"
Funky Papa
FUNK-Y-PPA-4
(09-13-2017, 04:19 PM)
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Originally Posted by Kayhan

Yeah, the should just have called this "The Gentry"

Gntry.

Sweep left if dislike.
Moose Biscuits
It would be extreamly painful...
(09-13-2017, 04:19 PM)
Wait, why would I want a replacement to a corner shop or newsagents?
Divvy
Canadians burned my passport
(09-13-2017, 04:19 PM)
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I'm getting pretty tired of silicon valley people trying to shape everyone's lives around their stupid ass ideas for making money.
Kayhan
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:20 PM)
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Loot boxes on the corner.

"This one dropped some phat pretzel loot"
LabouredSubterfuge
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:20 PM)
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Venture capitalists are the new kings of self parody.
Random Human
They were trying to grab your prize. They work for the mercenary. The masked man.
(09-13-2017, 04:20 PM)

Originally Posted by Funky Papa

Man, I feel like some folks are still chasing that early .com money when you could get a few dozen millions just by promising a new, revolutionary concept to sell kitty litter through the interwebs.

The most perplexing thing is that it's kind of working for them.

Yup, it definitely sounds like that era.
The Technomancer
card-carrying scientician
(09-13-2017, 04:20 PM)
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Originally Posted by bachikarn

Can someone explain to me the gentrification comments?

If their model is really to displace bodegas and other small corner stores, which are often run by local ethnic minorities in large cities, with a network of "smart cabinets" that feed money back into a single corp run by two ex-Google guys I think "gentrification" is at least not inaccurate
Alucrid
Banned
(09-13-2017, 04:21 PM)
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Originally Posted by Kayhan

Yeah, the should just have called this "The Gentry"

gentry is a clothing store in nyc, don't steal their thunder
KingV
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:21 PM)

Originally Posted by Funky Papa

Man, I feel like some folks are still chasing that early .com money when you could get a few dozen millions just by promising a new, revolutionary concept to sell kitty litter through the interwebs.

The most perplexing thing is that it's kind of working for them.

It's nuts. I can't believe that there is still dumb money out there willing to pay everyone for every dumb idea.

I think we are on the verge of a high profile startup getting into financial trouble and filing for bankruptcy protection in the next 2 years or so, and there will be a cascade as investors flee.

My money is on Uber, because their financials look completely unsustainable at their current pricing, and I'm not so sure that they can maintain market share against taxis in many cities at price parity.
SliceSabre
Banned
(09-13-2017, 04:21 PM)
I guess I'm failing to see what makes this seem so...special?
jayu26
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:21 PM)
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I don't understand the need for this elaborate app + camera system. A vending machine that allows you to pay via smart phone, using apps like Apple pay, would be cheaper to make and install. Hell, existing vending machines can be retro fitted yo except money from smart phone.
wenis
Registered for GAF on September 11, 2001.
(09-13-2017, 04:21 PM)
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Originally Posted by bachikarn

Can someone explain to me the gentrification comments?

It's in the article but bodega is a Hispanic/Latin term. Lots of bodegas are owned and operated by minorities in large cities. This company is legit taking the culture and pushing them out with it. Hurting these families worse than some are already now being with rising costs of rent.

It's despicable.
shnurgleton
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:22 PM)
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So it's like a hotel minibar but for toilet paper
Slayven
gimme some o dat God-crafted alabaster greatness
(09-13-2017, 04:22 PM)
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How you going to keep people from just clearing them out?

I bet you money that the prices will be way above just going to the corner store

Originally Posted by Funky Papa

Man, I feel like some folks are still chasing that early .com money when you could get a few dozen millions just by promising a new, revolutionary concept to sell kitty litter through the interwebs.

The most perplexing thing is that it's kind of working for them.

Funky want to invest in my new form of media. Were you take pieces of art, put them in a sequence that tells a story.

Originally Posted by Kid Kamikaze10

Literal gentrifying business model. Jesus...

Just stay away from NYC.

Yeah the name is kinda of gross
BertramCooper
Banned
(09-13-2017, 04:22 PM)
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Remember that startup that drove to your house, picked up your mail, opened it, scanned it, and emailed it to you?

That was my favorite dumb startup.
Kyzer
Banned
(09-13-2017, 04:22 PM)
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Grocery stores in the future will be gacha machines that use cryptocurrency that you can buy and also earn by clicking on ads/crushing candy
The Technomancer
card-carrying scientician
(09-13-2017, 04:23 PM)
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Originally Posted by jayu26

I don't understand the need for this elaborate app + camera system. A vending machine that allows you to pay via smart phone, using apps like Apple pay, would be cheaper to make and install. Hell, existing vending machines can be retro fitted yo except money from smart phone.

The one part of this that makes sense is that a vending machine makes it difficult to stock big items like detergent or toiler paper. In that sense there's the germ of a good idea here, one that might make a good small business. The fact that they want this to be a "shopping replacement" is kind of disgusting
HStallion
Now what's the next step in your master plan?
(09-13-2017, 04:24 PM)
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These things are never going to be able to truly compete with Bodegas because how are these cute little vending machines going to deal with people strung out on drugs or drunk off their asses wanting a bacon egg and cheese at 3am. Not too mention are these things going to be able to tell you where you can go buy some weed? I think not.
Hexa
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:24 PM)
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This seems a bit over engineered, but expansion of the role of vending machines does seem like a good idea alongside the increased automation of traditional storefronts. Maybe not these guys necessarily, but I would like to see similar concepts take off.
VegiHam
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:24 PM)
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I mean the REAL pitch here, surely, is that people will impulse buy more if they come in to contact with these more frequently. So you need to have them in areas where impulse purchasing is a difficult task. Like, if there is nowhere open 24 hours in my small town; but I can easily and conveniently pick up bread, milk, eggs, toilet paper and biscuits while drunk at 2AM I'd use it a lot. Unfortunately tech stuff like this always rolls out in big cities first; so you're left with a problem of, like, why bother? Who in London or Paris needs this.

I guess it's a good idea for small ruralish campus towns? Does America have those?
jayu26
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:24 PM)
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Originally Posted by The Technomancer

The one part of this that makes sense is that a vending machine makes it difficult to stock big items like detergent or toiler paper. In that sense there's the germ of a good idea here, one that might make a good small business. The fact that they want this to be a "shopping replacement" is kind of disgusting

Hmm...I see what you mean.
bionic77
Please, don't ask ME about Michael Jordan!
(09-13-2017, 04:25 PM)
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Paul McDonald, who spent 13 years as a product manager at Google, wants to make this corner store a thing of the past.

That seems to be the goal of all of these start ups.

Disrupt (aka destroy) a market and in the process ruins a ton of businesses and get rid of a ton of jobs in exchange for making a few people very rich and giving the customer some added convenience.
Random Human
They were trying to grab your prize. They work for the mercenary. The masked man.
(09-13-2017, 04:25 PM)

Originally Posted by HStallion

These things are never going to be able to truly compete with Bodegas because how are these cute little vending machines going to deal with people strung out on drugs or drunk off their asses wanting a bacon egg and cheese at 3am. Not too mention are these things going to be able to tell you where you can go buy some weed? I think not.

Pitch this to some venture capitalists and walk out with a cool ten million.
Kyzer
Banned
(09-13-2017, 04:25 PM)
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Originally Posted by VegiHam


I guess it's a good idea for small ruralish campus towns? Does America have those?

Thats most of America
effingvic
Member
(09-13-2017, 04:25 PM)
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Originally Posted by Bronx-Man

The nerve to fucking call yourselves "Bodega". Gentrification on steroids.

Seriously. Fuck these guys.

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