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Juicero users find that man trumps machine



FADE IN:

EXT. BOHEMIAN GROVE – NIGHT

Two VCs are wearing feathered headdresses and leather breeches. One, Anton, is drinking Soylent 3.0 from a bag, the other, Brad, Chateau Margaux 2009 Balthazar from a bark cup. Another younger VC, Chase, crushes a Juicero with a golf club in the firelight.

ANTON:
He’s taking it really hard.

BRAD:
Who? What?

ANTON:
Chase over there. That’s the Juicero he’s Ubering right now. He dumped $45 million into that thing. He was sucked in by the glamour of juicing. And it bit him. It bit him like a dog.

BRAD:
Why is he so upset? I’ve been at my retreat in Thailand for the past year. Total media cleanse. Catch me up.

ANTON SIPS HIS SOYLENT AND THEN SPITS IT BACK OUT INTO THE GRASS AS EDM RISES OVER THE TREES.

ANTON:
Juicero is getting attacked in the press for being a ridiculous idea. But it’s not. It’s a juicing platform. You put a bag of juice in and the robot squeezes it out. It’s better juice. It’s healthier. It was run by a visionary but they don’t see that. They don’t understand.

Don’t they understand? Kleiner invested. Alphabet. Vast. These are smart people. They know where the puck is going, not where it’s been.

It was supposed to be different, you know? This whole thing. When I started in this world after slumming it at Harvard and Oxford, I thought I could change the world. I could give small companies a little money to make amazing things. You know who ruined this? The people. The journalists. All those dirty unwashed folks who don’t have an RV at Burning Man. The Juicero people promised us a juicing platform, JaaS. They promised meditation in a bag. And you know what? The people at Juicero delivered something magical – a bag of juice and a robot to squeeze it – but people didn’t want that. They want what they paid for. Do I ever get what I paid for? This Soylent is burning a hole through my guts but do I complain? No. It’s the future. I don’t have to eat anymore because I can’t hold down food.

Think about it, Brad. Those bastards at Bloomberg broke the juicing DRM and squeezed the bags by hand. Can you imagine?

BRAD:
Anton, you’re frothing.

ANTON:
That’s the Soylent. But it makes me mad, you know? We are serving up the future like flapjacks and these swine won’t take it. They want things that work, not cryptographically-secure cloud-based VR juicing platforms. I want to give them the good stuff but they want stuff that makes sense. We dumped $70 million into Juicero. You know why? Because of the future, that’s why. Did Steve Jobs look at the CD and say “Nah, that’s good.” No, he made the iPod. Did Lucas Duplan look at the credit card machine and say “Whatever, let me do some more bong rips.” No, he made Clinkle. And this is the same thing, Brad. It’s the same thing.

CHASE BEGINS HOWLING

BRAD:
So what do we do?

ANTON:
We keep building, Brad. We keep making. We keep pouring money down cool-sounding ratholes. Did you see what Zuck is doing with VR? Can you imagine? It’s like Club Penguin meets Second Life. It’s going to be a smash hit. I’m writing a check out of my own money and I’m wiring five billion from a family fund in the Cayman Islands. It will be the future. Everyone jacked into the Facebook feed, reading updates. Can you imagine? Can you imagine the value generated? I hear Time Magazine has burned down its entire newsroom and is only doing 360-degree videos of war zones now.

BRAD:
Anton, you’re bleeding.

ANTON:
I’m not bleeding, Brad. That’s juice. Being squeezed out of me. By the robotic hand of the market. These people don’t understand. And who suffers? Chase. Hasn’t he suffered enough? He didn’t get tickets to Coachella this year. Hasn’t the man suffered enough?

Can I have some of your wine?

BRAD:
No.

CHASE FALLS TO HIS KNEES, BEATEN.

FADE OUT.

SCENE.



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