Here’s The $10 Million Melted Cheese Store Everyone’s Talking About (Nope! Not a Joke!)

What do you do when Cisco buys your consumer product company and abruptly closes it down?

If you are Jonathan Kaplan, creator of the popular (discontinued) Flip camera line, you make a lot of grilled cheese.

Kaplan has been building a secretive start-up called The Melt, which, near as we can tell, brings together smartphones, automation and comfort food.

We’ll let him explain further.

9:57 am: Jon Kaplan takes the stage and Kara starts right off—what happened to Flip?

9:57 am: Kaplan says that Flip was not a very big part of Cisco, and sometimes the baby goes out with the bathwater.

10:00 am: Kaplan says that even as they grew Flip in technology, the business of Cisco writ large was being eroded.

10:01 am: Kaplan answers the question–he did have a pretty good idea that Cisco was going to kill the Flip when he left, months prior.

10:02 am: Kaplan: “Flip was only contributing a billion dollars to Cisco’s top-line revenue.”

10:03 am: Kara asks again—why wasn’t Flip sold to anyone? Kara says she got calls, after the news broke of Flip’s cancellation, from people who would have wanted to buy.

10:04 am: Kaplan moves on, and is now talking up his new company–The Melt. It’s about grilled cheese. Really.

10:05 am: Kaplan: “We created a set of applications and mobile technology to allow you to order your Melt anywhere.”

10:06 am: Kaplan explains that you can order your Melt anywhere, any time, and then, when you are ready to eat, you walk into a Melt store, and get your order within a minute.

10:07 am: Kaplan says the whole D9 audience is going to get grilled cheese and be happy.

Now he moves on to the how.

10:08 am: Kaplan says the real innovation is a machine that makes the Melt. The real idea is to make the next generation of fast, casual restaurants.

10:09 am: Kaplan says restaurauteur Michael Mina is on the board of The Melt.

10:09 am: Kaplan picks his sandwich–The Walt, complete with “experienced” gruyere cheese–and scans his iPhone at the onstage laptop. He also orders The Kara.

10:11 am: About 30 seconds later, a waiter walks out on stage with the sandwiches and soup.

10:12 am: Kaplan says Sequoia Capital led investment, and that they raised enough to open 20 stores, at half a million to a million dollars each.

10:13 am: Kaplan on why Sequoia wants into the restaurant biz: Look at the market cap of Chipotle.

10:13 am: Kaplan says Melts will be $5 and combos will be $8.

10:13 am: Kaplan walks off–Walt and Kara invite the audience to grab a grilled cheese during the break.


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Here’s my prediction: Almost every dotcom idea from 10 years ago that failed will succeed.

— Marc Andreessen