High tech kitchen gadget Juicero has had a rough week after it was discovered that the $400 juicer was no better than your hands at squeezing out juice. Following that, the CEO then announced he would offer a refund to all buyers. Ben Einstein, a partner at the venture capital firm Bolt, did a teardown and discovered that the hefty asking price isn't so absurd given the internal construction of the device.
What the report boils down to is Juicero went way overboard in every aspect of their company without first determining if a market actually existed for their product. They spent $120 million to build their supply chain and engineer their juicer. For a project this large, companies would typically do years of market and consumer research to ensure their product would actually sell well. It doesn't look like Juicero did much of this at all. They had a single $700 product that customers would have to pay an additional $35/week to use.
Most of Einstein's report focused on the internals of the juicer. As he put it, the design team "went wild." While the internals do belong in a mechanical engineering textbook, that's not really necessary for the target market. As an example, there are over two dozen individual components in the door lock assembly alone. The injection molded plastics, machined metal parts, and circuit boards are all needlessly complex for a kitchen appliance.
When you take into account that the Juicero is built like a tank with cost-no-option, the asking price starts to seem reasonable. Unfortunately this doesn't mean much for their brand as it's likely too late for it to become successful again.