ProVina CEO Greg Snell on his business model

John Shinal · July 22, 2008 · Short URL:

WinePod maker "is in the razor business"

WinePod founder and CEO Greg Snell had spent a long time designing computer chips when he had the "a-ha" moment that led him to design the WinePod.

But when he thought about a business model, he decided to borrow from the razor business, where giants like Gillette make their money selling razor blades, rather than the razors that hold them.

While the company's signature product is a computer-controlled personal winery that helps teach users how to make their vintage, Snell says future profits will be in selling the ingredients that consumers will need to produce their wine.

"We're in the razor business," says Snell.

When we spoke, the company had sold 100 of its WinePods, which go for $4,500 each. The grapes and other "accessories" needed to make wine cost about another $1,000 for a yield of four cases per year.

That means it will cost about $25 per bottle to make wine, according to Snell.

In a world awash in inexpensive wines, it will be tough to convince casual wine drinkers to shell out that much for the pleasure of making their own wine.

And with startups like CrushPad allowing oenophiles easier ways to make their own wine the old-fashioned way, ProVina has plenty of competition. 

The company is betting on the razor model, and a social-networking component, to propel sales.

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Interviews" series

More episodes