A parody by Stephen Colbert reminded me of a project that projected great benefits to potential investors. On a recent show, Colbert mocked the Vessyl smart cup. The designers of the cup claim that it can distinguish between a cappuccino or a black coffee with the added benefit of tracking your caloric intake and how much sugar and caffeine you are ingesting.
This full-of-potential-cup has hit the market half empty of promise: It only tracks how much water you are drinking and sells for $99.
This hoopla and hype reminds me of a crowd funding project that cost me somewhere around a $100 to get 3 or 4 tracking devices. It sounded like an inexpensive way to track an expensive or important item. After syncing the device to a smartphone, you attach it to whatever you want to track and then monitor the location on the screen of your phone.
Since Hank, my dog, is a prized companion, I attached a chip to his collar and said, “Alright,” which Hank interprets as, and “I’m free to run.” I watched the blip on my phone for about 10 seconds and then it disappeared.
After I whistled Hank in, I contacted the company. I was informed that the device was for finding things like a lost set of car keys in your house, and could only track items within a short distance—10 to 15 feet not a block or two.
Projects like these offer the hope of riches, wealth, and an easier way of life, but they can be empty promises. When I read the story about the Vessyl, it reminded me of the wise words of Solomon:
- A greedy person is in a hurry to get rich, but he is ignorant of the loss that is about to overtake him. Proverbs 28:22
- One man pretends to be rich but has nothing; another pretends to be poor but has great wealth. Proverbs 13:7
The safest investment you will ever make is not going to found on Wall Street or in in a crowd funding project, it will always be Jesus:
“I assure you,” Jesus said, “there is no one who has left house, brothers or sisters, mother or father, children, or fields because of Me and the gospel, who will not receive 100 times more, now at this time—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and eternal life in the age to come. But many who are first will be last, and the last first (Mark 10:29-31).”