Real People Have Cooties
According to Business Insider “people are losing it” after new startup G̶e̶n̶t̶r̶o̶B̶o̶x̶ Bodega raised $2.5 million. BI neglected, however, to point out why the valuation makes sense. Namely, that real people have cooties.
There is no avoiding this. Once upon a time, it was believed that only girls had cooties. But today, visionary founders who initially held that prior have since grown into physical adults, and lived lives which definitively show that #RealPeople are things to be avoided, plain and simple.
Statistics show that 100% of crime in the United States is committed by #RealPeople. #RealPeople have motives and are intrinsically self-interested. They are out to get you. When done right, Technology, on the other hand, is fair and benevolent. When serving o̶m̶n̶i̶s̶c̶i̶e̶n̶t̶ fair, automated systems, people can improve slightly, but only as a stopgap until custom technology can replace the superfluous.
#RealPeople are so 1993, and back then we could rest assured there would only be one black guy and one sexually ambiguous person per group and a peripheral sea of white people in the #RealWorld of San Francisco, Seattle or Boston. Today, our apartment buildings separate doors so we can avoid #RealPeople. In cities with high homeless density, we shoo unwanted or unkempt #RealPeople with sprinklers and spikes. Having lived a sedentary life since college, and working in an age of increased cloud-computing infrastructure and mobile services, I sometimes feel viscerally uncomfortable ordering food in a place that doesn’t see too many solo-diners. Better off to be safe and order from Yelp, Eat24, GrubHub, Seamless, UberEats, Amazon Prime, Domino’s App, or venture into a chain establishment where I know what to expect — healthy lack of interaction!
Why call or meet a #RealPerson when you could text them or swipe towards a new lede? Why bring women or colored folk into your office when you could be one sexist or racist remark away from a lawsuit? If I can eat catered lunch and dinner at work, and stroll down the hallway in my pj’s to grab detergent at night, I avoid those awkward interactions with 95%-ers that really bum me out! I mean, these are people coming from a world where adolescence suspended into your early-30’s is like, weird. They also always want me to have cash. I can’t
Having worked in Product™, I will say that there are folks in tech whose sole responsibility it is to represent and advocate for #RealPeople. One time, while trying to get better sense of what #RealPeople wanted on mobile, my team ventured all the way from WealthySuburbA to a BestBuy in WealthySuburbB to observe mobile displays. Given the shelves had at least 10% competitor displays as well as the common likelihood of 15 young adults converging to browse tablets in WealthySuburbB, WA, on a Tuesday afternoon, I sleep well even today knowing we gathered an impartial perspective on what #RealPeople were looking for.
In the end, #RealPeople lie — numbers don’t. Assuming 20% investment, let’s say, at 5x forward revenue, First Round Capital and Homebrew are betting that soon enough, $12.5 million worth of y’all are going to deem paying $8 for that last second $4 detergent, or $5 for that last second 3-pack of condoms (hmm…), are worth the premium to avoid that winter walk to the bodega. Ultimately, if you appreciate your local Rodrigo’s, Glenroy’s, Lee’s or Lee Ann’s, it will be up to you and your pockets to determine if those businesses, and the communities they sustain, stick around.