This is what a $120 million design blunder looks like

Design Blunder - Oops


Today the startups are eager to provide innovative solutions to age-old problems – and “disrupt” our lives and work.

In their zeal to solve the problem and bring across the best possible product – they take their inspiration from the best design company in the world – who else Apple. And in most cases, this quest to design the best product – gets the best of them.

Let’s take a look at one such example – Juicero.


Juicero was an American startup that had the dream of bringing the healthy habit of juicing to the masses.

It was a noble cause indeed.

But instead of focusing on the core of the problem – which is juicing – they put a lot more emphasis on the “extracurricular” features of the product.

For instance, the juicer was WiFi enabled. The true purpose of the connectivity is not clear (maybe you can juice remotely sitting halfway across the world) – but get this – you cannot even juice if your WiFi is down.

Anyway, you will find a lot of information about this product and company – so I will not bother to repeat it here.

But what I will focus on is this assembly of sycophant companies and product designers paying their homage at the altar of “great design”.

I personally think before the designers think about adding all the bells and whistles to a product – they should focus on what is more important – the basic HUMAN needs.

This focus should also include the needs of the investors and focus on fiscal responsibility.

Before dropping tens of thousands of dollars on that cool logo or a copy for your webpage – ask yourself is that REALLY going to add value to your customer?

There are many examples of scrappy companies who chose to save that money and spend on building true value for the customer.

Amazon is a well-known example of a frugal company. Their website is the number one eCommerce site on the internet by far. But lets face it – it is not the most user friendly and sexy looking site.

Amazon’s AWS division which makes billions of dollars every year and is the biggest provider of public cloud computing services. AWS management is painfully hard to navigate.

AWS Management Console

Another company which serves millions of customers every day is Craigslist. Their user interface has not changed in decades. But that does not deter their devoted users to use it every day to find local deals and services.

Yet another example of a highly functional product is in the competitive domain of dating and personal relationships. The website called PlentyOfFish is arguably one of the ugliest dating sites on the planet – but it sold for $500 million a few years ago. The simple reason – it was one of the first dating sites on the internet which allowed users to upload and view profile pictures.

Plenty Of Fish

Why? Because it focuses on solving a real problem. HUMAN problem.

So if you are an entrepreneur working on your dream product – please do consider spending your time, money and resources where it really counts.

There will be a time for adding the bells and whistles to your product. But until you have validated your ideas, found the true product-market fit – focus on understanding your understanding HUMAN needs of your customers rather than the color of your logo or the sleek edges of your product.


About TetraNoodle

TetraNoodle provides technology consulting services in most of the cutting-edge technologies. We offer Fractional CTO Services, where we offer a wide spectrum of Software and Cloud Computing Consulting Services; Business-Technology Consulting, Internet and E-Business Consulting, System Integration, Custom Application Development, training & workshops from global software experts and application re-engineering. With a single-minded focus on bringing success to your product, we work collaboratively with you throughout your product’s lifecycle. Our expertise, experience & skills ensure that your idea or product would be validated, developed, tested & delivered to be an investor and market ready.

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