"GeekDad" reviews Soylent


Review of Soylent by “Geek Dad” blog:


Is it just me or have the Soylent writeups in blogs and professional media been getting steadily more positive?


From my perspective, people are not looking at Soylent as an all or nothing proposition. Many reviews have taken Soylent only from this perspective. That it can only be a total replacement for traditional food.


I agree, Conor. While some of us choose to replace a large amount of our meals with it, I think the use most people have of it (and will have) is replacing an occasional meal hear and there with it, or breakfast on weekdays, or any combination of meals that makes life more convenient without sacrificing health.


@Conor Maybe it’s time to update your Press Kit. It looks like the current one is a year old, so it’s probably worth taking another look at. You could emphasize there that Soylent is a meal replacement and while people can live on it, you expect many people to use it to replace a portion of their daily food, not all. Maybe a special FAQ in the press kit could draw attention to this with questions like “Should I eat nothing but Soylent for a week/month to evaluate it?” Of course, it’s also possible that reviewers won’t look at the kit until they’ve already made up their mind or run their little test.


I don’t think they have become more positive in general. This one is the Soylent equlvilent of a politically correct review,it seems to me – it says all the right things and is based on getting a week’s worth of free Soylent. That means that I agree with it, but I don’t find it very interesting.


I think the packaging has something to do with that. “This bag is for one day.” “This pitcher is for one day.” Package and sell it by meal and the implication that it’s all or nothing goes away.


Committing to purchasing a product after your free review supply runs out seems pretty positive to me! I’d be surprised if there were any strings attached to the free Soylent, judging from other journalists’ reviews.


Agreed. The recent NYT piece and all the copycat reviews it spanned are examples of lazy, negative reviews.

Echoing what @wezaleff said. After all, a lot of past reviews have said all the wrong things and were based on getting a week’s worth of free Soylent.


The New Yorker and many other publications refuse to accept free products in exchange for reviews. Look at Amazon and it becomes obvious that the odds of getting a five-star review are greatly improved by furnishing free products. The existence of exceptions does not disprove the existence of rules.

This particular review could have been written by a Soylent marketer and hits all the right notes. Yes, a company trying to encourage good reviews can be unsuccessful, but bribes usually work – that’s why they are so popular worldwide, in all economic systems.


+1. I went to look up the review and knew it was going to be horribly written as soon as I read the first paragraph:
“I just spent more than a week experiencing Soylent, the most joyless new technology to hit the world since we first laid eyes on MS-DOS.”

Generally real reporting does not start an article with a hyperbole depicting how much they don’t like something innovative for absolutely no reason other that it isn’t sparkly and pretty.


That strikes me as profoundly distrustful; maybe I’m naïve.


You mean distrustful of human nature? How could I? I’m confident that the prevalence of 5-star reviews on Amazon among people given free products could be demonstrated statistically.


For Amazon reviews, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a correlation between higher review scores and free product samples. I don’t know if that’s the case obviously, or how strong the effect is, if it exists.

As far as this review, I got the impression that he actually liked the product, which I find believable because, well, so do I, and for a lot of the same reasons. Am I a rube? Maybe, but I’m blissful in my ignorance.


I wasn’t picking on this writer; I said I agreed with him, but that I didn’t find the review very interesting. I have no way of knowing whether an individual is affected by the temptation of material gain.


I like Geek Dad, and I tend to view it as a reliable voice for things like this – reliable as in, “The reviewer is probably being honest and telling us what he thinks,” meaning I don’t think the “free” would influence them too much. At least, IMO. YMMV.

Had to love the “you’re going to have to Taylor Swift this thing ten ways to Sunday” line. :smiley: