Beef jerky startup Stick in a Box is the most disappointing company since Color
Digg seems to serve a disproportionate number of food-related advertisements. I don't know if that's because it knows I'm an overweight blogger who works from home or if people who like to know what a fair chunk of the Internet is reading are fond of their snacks, but I do know that I've seen all kinds of ads for food-related startups that want me to sample their delicious wares.
I usually ignore these advertisements for two reasons: the first is that the Web has conditioned me, like many other people, to ignore anything that even remotely resembles an ad; the second is that they're often selling "healthy" foods that I could probably just buy from the local grocery store. The advertisement for Stick in a Box, a new startup that offers monthly subscriptions to people who want to get their jerky fix, was different, mostly because it was offering beef jerky.
It's hard to think of something more stereotypically manly than beef jerky. Unless you're chugging bourbon while chopping down a tree to make a handcrafted box for your straight-edge razor, eating pieces of meat from a bag is the closest many of us will come to experiencing the testosterone-powered lives of "manly men." It doesn't hurt that beef jerky is also delicious.
So you can imagine the wonderment I felt when I saw that there was a startup devoted just to beef jerky. Finally, something I can get behind! Until I clicked through to Stick in a Box's site and found that they're literally grabbing beef jerky that's already available to most people and sticking it in a box that they'll ship to their subscribers on the 15th of every month. It doesn't have the secret to making better beef jerky. It's just another food-in-a-box company.
I mean, at least startups like Blue Apron and Plated are making it easier for people to cook their own food. There's something to be said for receiving all the ingredients for a nice -- or at least passable -- meal in the mail. And companies like NatureBox, which produce their own snacks to suit all kinds of dietary needs, are offering unique products that can be hard to find elsewhere.
But this? It's like signing up for a monthly pastry delivery with the hope of getting something new and exciting only to find that the box is filled with Twinkies and Fudge Rounds. Those are fine, if you're into eating the world's worst snack, but there's no reason to get them delivered when they're available in practically every grocery store, gas station, and corner shop around.
This is why people ignore ads: doing anything else is just opening up to disappointment. I was promised the future of beef jerky, and all I got was some more food startup bullshit.