The internet is full of contradictions when it comes to building companies. Apple is lauded for its product design and a famous Steve Jobs parable is to paint the back of the fence. Basically detail is everything and it doesn’t matter if no one sees it, things should be done the right way.
The original team that built the Macintosh have their signatures printed inside every Macintosh for example and more recently, the design of the various Watch faces showed the level of detail attained. The Mickey Mouse watch face has him tapping his toes once a second in perfect time so if anyone lined up a few Apple Watches, they would all tap at exactly the same time.
With the astronomy watch face you are able to tell the time using the planets, moon and Earth if you so wish.
More on this approach/parable here
One company that over engineered their devices was Juicero. They sold a juicer for $700 (reduced to $400) with proprietary juice packs you could subscribe to for $5-7.
Given the price point it received plenty of derision
and last year was mocked further when it was discovered
you could squeeze the juice packs manually without the expensive machine.
If ever there was a lesson in both getting early customer feedback and being aware of how easy it is to live inside a small bubble when building a company this was it.
Juicero spent a $120m over two years building a complex supply chain and product too expensive for its target market. You can see a full teardown here
After the fall out in April, despite promising to reduce the cost even further to $200, Juicero has ended up calling it a day and is shutting down next week
. It will refund everyone who ever bought the machine (if they claim within 90 days).