photo courtesy of juicero

Here we go again

Mike Pomranz
January 03, 2018

After watching his nearly $120 million venture capital-funded startup go under in one of the most spectacular and publicized flameouts in Silicon Valley history, Juicero founder Doug Evans would seem like an ideal candidate for laying low for a bit. But no, according to a recent report in the New York Times, the dude who wanted people to pay hundreds of dollars for a “juicer” that did little more than squeeze juice out of bags is already on to his next trendy but questionable venture: advocating for a unprocessed water brand founded by a guy who claims tap water is meant to control your mind.

The Juicero, as you likely recall, was considered a promising new high-tech juicer— attracting plenty of investors, press and even a Whole Foods partnership—until this past April when a Bloomberg “investigation” (if you can call squeezing a bag with your hands an “investigation”) found that simply squeezing Juicero’s proprietary juice bags—bags which also infamously contained QR codes that prevented them from working in the Juicero after their expiration date—provided results shocking similar to when the bags were placed within the $400 Juicero machine. Seeing as the Juicero only worked with these bags and provided no other juicing abilities, the report essentially had outed this “juicer” as little more than a very expensive squeezing device.

By September, Juicero was no more, leaving founder Doug Evans to ponder other ventures. And according to the Times, it didn’t take him long to find his newest bizarre obsession: unfiltered, untreated, unsterilized spring water, also referred to as “raw water.” Apparently, he specifically took a fancy to a brand called Live Water that can sell for around $6 per gallon, reportedly using the naturally-sourced product for a ten-day cleanse shortly after the Juicero downfall. “I haven’t tasted tap water in a long time,” he told the paper. As a result, the Times referred to Evans as “the most prominent proponent of raw water.”

Judging a failed entrepreneur on his water choices might seem petty, except that by evangelizing for the Live Water brand, Evans would appear to be falling into similar traps to those that plagued his Juicero venture. Live Water is also based around some questionable claims. “Tap water? You’re drinking toilet water with birth control drugs in them,” Live Water founder Mukhande Singh is quoted as saying in the Times article. “Chloramine, and on top of that they’re putting in fluoride. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it’s a mind-control drug that has no benefit to our dental health.”

Fittingly, towards the end of the Times piece, the paper quotes Vanessa Kuemmerle, an Emeryville, California-based landscape designer who considers herself an early raw water adopter. “[Raw water drinkers are] health-conscious people that understand the bigger picture of what’s going on,” she told the Times. “Everyone’s looking for an edge: nootropics, Bulletproof coffee, better water.” It’s a list of Silicon Valley buzzwords that, up until April, the Juicero easily could have fit into. So give him this: Regardless of how you feel about Doug Evans otherwise, he would certainly seem to be on top of all the latest trends.

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