1. Exquisite Tweets from @hels

    blechCollected by blech

    Okay, gonna pause the agog eviscerations for a sec to actually think about Bodega's real business proposition

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    hels

    Helen Rosner

    Distributed retail systems have existed for a long-ass time and they live or die on 1) labor efficiency, and 2) logistics

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    Helen Rosner

    Part of why vending machines are so notoriously shitty is it's about a billion percent more efficient to fill em all with the same products

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    hels

    Helen Rosner

    One warehouse, one truck, one dude who knows chips go on the top 2 shelves, candy on the rest, gum on the bottom

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    Helen Rosner

    Even if we buy the bourgeois sterility Bodega is selling us, what they'd better be selling VCs is a universe-shattering logistics system

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    Helen Rosner

    The Bodega prototype includes 100 products, and it sounds like they envision multiple instances of 0% product overlap

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    hels

    Helen Rosner

    Plus machine learning, of course! So even a single location's product set has steady churn.

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    hels

    Helen Rosner

    If we're talking 100k location- and user-customized units, we're talking 1000s & 1000s of distributed SKUs — in remarkably small quantity

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    hels

    Helen Rosner

    If you'd ever actually been into a bodega, you'd see half the boxes of tampons & cans of soup are covered in dust. Why do you think that is?

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    hels

    Helen Rosner

    To keep alive a manually replenished network of 1000s of low-volume skus — well, wow, that takes a hell of a logistics program

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    Helen Rosner

    What's Bodega's plan for warehousing? How are they going to communicate replenishment orders to their workers? How do the workers travel?

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    hels

    Helen Rosner

    Even with 100k high-activity units, it's unlikely they can buy product at sufficient volume for the discount to offset the logistics costs

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    hels

    Helen Rosner

    But I'm sure this is something they thought about, right? These powerful VCs and angels understood that this is a logistics product, right?

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    hels

    Helen Rosner

    We all learned our lesson from Blue Apron, right?!?!!!!!?????!

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    hels

    Helen Rosner

    Restocking a Bodega, pretty & minimalist & open-shelved, is a more skilled task than restocking a vending machine. What's the training plan?

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    hels

    Helen Rosner

    Then we run into some fun employment issues. Are your distributors/restockers employees or independent contractors? Jk what a dumb question

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    hels

    Helen Rosner

    Alas, you're gonna run into some major & immediate user issues unless you keep up the kind of control you can only get with actual employees

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    hels

    Helen Rosner

    So again, a logistics issue! Will you have enough restock frequency/density to justify cost of employees & employee training?

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    Helen Rosner

    A reminder that any zero-interaction product still needs a fuckton of living humans to make & keep it operational twitter.com/harrisj/status…

    Jacob Harris @
    It’s always weird to me how the people are an afterthought in these systems

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    hels

    Helen Rosner

    Bodega is morally & culturally bankrupt but, heyo free-market fetishists, it'll pretty soon be a literally bankrupt one, too. ~fin~

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    hels

    Helen Rosner