By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – No matter what else seems to be coming apart at the seams in our country, we can always find common ground and take pride in the genius of our technology, am I right?

Well, maybe not always.

To restore their lustre, the rocket scientists out in Silicon Valley are going to have to first live down the sorry story of the Juicero.

Last year, some of the biggest names in the tech world sank millions into a startup that makes a $400 internet-connected juice machine, into which you insert $5-8 packets containing the stuff you want juiced. The inventor bragged about the force of his juicer – four tons, he said, “enough to lift two Teslas.”

Wow. How about a Buick?

But it turns out you can get just as much juice out of these pricey packets by squeezing them with your hand.

Some investors are not happy. Some customers are demanding – and getting – refunds. And the critics are having a field day.

The Juicero is “pretty much everything that’s wrong with Silicon Valley design today,” says one. It’s “a solution that’s worse than the problem.”

The peddlers of this product are fighting back, claiming there’s real value in getting emailed reminders that your juice bag is about to go bad, and good luck with that argument.

But there’s a timely moral to this juicy story – these days, there’s nothing we can’t find a reason to fight about.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

  1. I found that in my woodworking hobby, it is almost always faster and more accurate to do something by hand.

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