The title of Fast Company's story is "Two Ex-Googlers Want To Make Bodegas And Mom-And-Pop Corner Stores Obsolete" and that's exactly what Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan intend to do. "Bodega"—an internet-of-shit vending machine designed to replace small businesses, is so comically sociopathic it would be too on-the-nose for HBO's Silicon Valley.
In fact, replacing that beloved institution seems explicit in the very name of McDonald’s venture, a Spanish term synonymous with the tiny stores that dot urban landscapes and are commonly run by people originally from Latin America or Asia. Some might bristle at the idea of a Silicon Valley executive appropriating the term “bodega” for a project that could well put lots of immigrants out of work. (One of my coworkers even referred to it as “Bro-dega” to illustrate the disconnect.)
I asked McDonald point-blank about whether he’s worried that the name Bodega might come off as culturally insensitive. Not really. “I’m not particularly concerned about it,” he says.
A vending machine's choice and a grocery store's logistics, with "data" bridging the gulf? Maybe they'll be restocked by Ubers or Amazon drones? Hopeless. But never underestimate the power of a VC toy business to destroy the thing it cannot sustainably replace.
Business is booming for Silicon Valley modeling agencies that specialize in "ambiance and atmosphere models" who are sent to company Christmas parties after being briefed with back-stories that allow them pretend to be super-good-looking fellow employees, thus lulling the workers at the company into thinking that it's a kind of haven for extremely beautiful people […]
Silicon Valley has reinvented the pay toilet. But this time, you have to use an app to get in, yielding metadata (foeterdata?) to the powers that be. Yield the who, what, when and where of your bowel movements with Good2Go, the shittiest valley startup yet. Their turd-key solution is free now, but you’ll have to […]
Apparently enough people weren’t smart enough to appreciate a $1000 wireless teapot that only accept proprietary tea bags. After blowing through $12 million (in a Series A round led by Translink Capital) and spending three years trying to persuade tea drinkers to ditch their dumb teapots for one that uses an algorithm that “masterfully accelerates […]
Surfing on public Wi-Fi is convenient, but it’s far from safe. Whether you’re at a cafe or hotel, connecting to an unsecured network exposes you—and your personal information—to a host of hazards, including hackers, government spies, and trackers. Private Internet Access helps you navigate past these risks and tap into a safer, restriction-free internet, and […]
The web is vast, and while there’s room for everyone, competition is stiff when it comes to landing on that first page of a Google search. That’s why developers aren’t afraid to spend exorbitant amounts of time and money on search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure their sites rank higher than others. However, not all […]
Many of us enjoy the aesthetic of vintage electronics, but trying to use most hardware from the 1950’s isn’t necessarily practical. This is especially true where speakers are concerned. While most of us can appreciate the old-school feel of retro speakers, they have a hard time matching the convenience and power delivered by today’s Bluetooth speakers. […]