Jen van der Meer

Paying for the Experience of Making: The Bamboo Bike Studio

Published: (Updated: ) in Entrepreneurship, Inhabitat, Open Forum, Product Ecology, , by .

At Open Forum for Inhabitat:

Bamboo Bike Studio
Bamboo Bike Studio

It’s not enough to just buy green. The greenest consumers want to do more than just vote with their wallet. They may just want to roll up their sleeves and help you teach them how to make the very thing that you’re selling. Take the example of the Bamboo Bike Studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

The Studio, opened in June of this year, offers a two day, 16 hour workshop on how to build a custom bike, out of bamboo, from scratch. At $1,250, the price of the workshop may seem shocking to those that see the benefit of purchasing a $100 model from their local superstore. But the ability to create and make their own bike in one weekend is an experience for which over 60 people have paid a premium.

In fact, it follows on the trend mentioned here on Open Forum, The IKEA Effect: setting up projects with a dose of assembly required in order to garner a higher level of commitment from your consumers. “It’s a way of showing people they are capable of doing something they would never even consider doing. It makes you feel awesome,” Sean Murray, the 26-year-old co-owner of the Bamboo Bike Studio, told the NY Daily News.

The founders have grand, world changing visions. Working in collaboration with the Earth Institute and Columbia University, the studio contributes profits towards a plan to build bamboo bike factories in bamboo-rich but steel-poor areas like Africa and South America. Before they exported the idea to developing nations, the founders wanted to test out their ideas locally, in Brooklyn, and invited their customers to help. What do you think of this idea? Would your customers pay for the privilege of helping you make your products?