Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Opportunity Knocketh

Soylent is a traditional food replacement and is about to become a business instead of a science project:
Crowdfunding has come a long way since kickstarter kicked it off. We looked at some figures and ultimately agreed it doesn't make much sense for us to work with them, or give them 7% of the amount raised. For kickstarter projects the vast majority of traffic does not come from the site itself, international engagement is an afterthought, and it seems like a rather trivial barrier to the success of this project.
Thankfully, we were contacted by another Y Combinator team who is running a new crowdfunding platform that seems to be a much better fit for us. They will not be taking the cut that Kickstarter would have. It's still in beta so we're testing now but it should be up in just a few days.
More importantly, the current formulation is tastier and more filling than ever, the women testers are much happier, and talks with manufacturers are underway.

Soylent (the drinkable food) is your opportunity to throw some green into the pot (so to speak) so as to create the means to bring your health and diet back into balance and well being at far less daily cost than you experience today.  Join me and a bunch of other people in creating the nutrition source for humanity for the 21st century.


Bob S. said...

I know it is just me but I'm really, really having trouble with the concept due to the name.

I watched Soylent Green as a youngster and it left a lasting impression. Definitely an indelible association regarding the name.

Is it just me or anyone else make that association?

Will Brown said...

Yeah, I read the Harry Harrison book when I was a teenager and remember Charlton Heston chewing up the scenery too. While yours isn't a unique reaction, there's a discussion thread about this very response, and the consensus seems to be that the association isn't a long-term negative. The developer of the Soylent product says:

"Soylent is supposed to disrupt the food that is all marketing and nutritionally disastrous. I'd like to differentiate by being honest and up front. Most food sold is all branding and taste. I feel there's a wealth of science and chemistry to food and nutrition that is largely ignored by the main players in the industry. They just make what they know people recognize and want. Fatty, salty food is sold because that's what people demand. There is a serious gap in the market for cheap, convenient, healthy food.

The name kind of fades in to the background after you say it enough too. My brain has become accustomed to a positive association with the word 'soylent'. If I've had 'real' food for two meals in a row my mouth waters at the mention of the word soylent. Your body learns. The stomach is connected to the brain. Think about 'coffee'. That's a terrible name. It sounds like 'coffin' or 'coughing'. But no one notices because it's become its own idea and most people have formed an association with it, good or bad."

Keep in mind, as a product we can buy this is still in the very early stages of product development. The chemical composition has been - and continues to be - extensively beta tested, but all the rest of the process of product manufacturing and advertising has yet to be finally decided. Personally, I really like the suggested marketing phrase: "People free since 2013", but the slogan made out of one of Rob's explanatory statements has it's merits too: "Time, money, health: pick two" With Soylent, you save all three..

I must say that the very fact we are having this exchange makes clear that the name isn't a bad choice outright; you did feel interested enough to not just click away from my page. :)