Bodega, a new startup, launched today, and faced instant criticism of their name and it’s the impact their business could have on actual Bodega’s. There were calls of cultural appropriation in the use of the name, only exacerbated by a business model that could be interpreted as designed to compete against local (and often minority) owned corner stores.
The founders of Bodega quickly put up a blog post (So, about our name…) explaining their innocent intentions. The most highlighted sentence in that piece so far reads:
But it’s clear that we may not have been asking the right questions of the right people.
I’ll come back to that thought in a moment. That same day, Hunter Walk, a partner at the VC firm homebrew and an investor in Bodega put up his own post about the investment (Thinking About Bodega), and his perspective on the reaction to the name of the company. I follow Hunter regularly on Twitter, and while I’ve never met him, I think he’s one of the more insightful VC’s who Tweets and Blogs regularly. But his last paragraph relates to the point I want to make, and connects back to the sentence above from the founder of Bodega.