Could this Silicon Valley-funded Bodega replace the corner store?

Getty images

Bodegas are the heart of many Latino communities. From Lyft, to Amazon, to Social Media Apps, the benefits of technology are undeniable, but with every convenience comes some downside. In an interview with FastCompany McDonald said, "Eventually, centralized shopping locations won't be necessary, because there will be 100,000 Bodegas spread out, with one always 100 feet away from you".

They're also calling the product "Bodega" and the logo is a cat.

Also, the stock photos provided to Fast Company are the kind you might take at a high school reunion where everyone is really trying to look like they're still glad they made a decision to attend. But who would want to? And, lo: Bodega is funded by several major investors, including "senior executives at Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, and Google".

Instead, McDonald says that Bodega is created to put tiny automated stores where there is now little or no retail offerings, like apartment lobbies, gyms, and college dormitories.

Indeed, the fact that Bodegas won't serve diverse customer bases is part of the business logic behind them. "We did surveys in the Latin American community to understand if they felt the name was a misappropriation of that term or had negative connotations, and 97 percent said 'no.' It's a simple name and I think it works".

This may be one of the most tone deaf and useless ideas to come out of Silicon Valley, but it's also actively malicious.

There's nothing inherently wrong with vending machines, and there are certainly lots of places that could use them, like maybe neighborhoods that are food deserts and/or office and apartment buildings in cities that aren't very walkable.

Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan are two ex-Googlers who, according to a profile from Fast Company, are trying to break into the bodega industry. What's the real cost?

"My bodega owners are yemeni immigrants and the bodega not only affords them a life in NY but also allows them to send money back home", Roy tweeted. Nothing can save most of those jobs, but smart companies, wary of backlash, will follow the example of Amazon, which has been careful to tout its job-creation efforts and plans to bless a major US city with a second headquarters as it moves ahead with its rollout of cashier-free stores.

Filling its pantry boxes with hundreds of different kinds of products will make it hard to keep up with unpredictable demand, she writes, particularly when the boxes are user-customized and have hundreds, if not thousands, of different items in small quantities. Who are the people doing the work? If you're from this side of the country especially NYC, the bodega is a staple in the community and will not go out without a fight.

Related News: