Two Techies Announce They Want To Get Rid Of Bodegas And Corner Stores, And People Are Not Okay

Two Techies Announce They Want To Get Rid Of Bodegas And Corner Stores, And People Are Not Okay
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By Tom.
Updated 9 months ago

Silicon Valley is knocking on your door... literally! They want to ease the everyday trials of life by re-inventing or as they may say, revolutionizing, the "Bodega." But many loyalists feel passionately this is a step too far for the tech world. 

In the 2008 Tony Award Winning Musical "In the Heights" by Lin-Manuel Miranda characters find love, lose love, live, learn, grow and die. That is the story of all life. There is one character though that proves to be the centerpiece. The character who is always there, standing the test of time and baring witness to history, holding the neighborhood and it's locals up; the Bodega. 

Frequently a bodega will be a family run operation that has been passed down from generation to generation with great pride. Often the owners know you, not merely as a customer but as a guest or as many feel, as family. Many times if you're short on the bill the soul behind the counter will cover you until you can return, because they know you'd rather default on your student loan then not be square with your local shop.

Bodegas supply many perishable, non-perishable and daily, pertinent goods. Hundreds of items from cat food to tampons to soup line each shelf, covering any sudden necessity. 

These are the things that Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan,  seem to have overlooked, which every neighborhood USA loudly reminded them. 

The former Google employees explained that the invention, which very much resembles a vending machine, would carry items - in a limited number- and customers could purchase their desires instantly by card. The transactions would be recorded on camera and each purchase would follow inventory and trigger consistent, new deliveries as needed. The machines will dwell in gyms, dorms, lobbies, etc. 

However, that seems to completely abolish the need for any human activity, thereby erasing jobs and livelihoods of Americans, mainly many Americans of color. The word bodega itself means, grocery store. La bodega was adapted by hispanic culture and has become a symbol of hard work. Which is why many have taken great offense to them using the word as the title of their product. 

Mr. McDonald and Mr. Rajan have stated they only meant to create with the intention to provide labor and further technological advance. But it looks like they may need to rethink a few ideas.