Summary of a stance found in Zambian Bamboo Bikes

A neat idea: a bamboo bike frame. They have issues with materials and skilled labor in Zambia, but a group of people have overcome and put together an astute business model. They have also utterly encapsulated the icons of modern liberalism in the process.

“I can see these selling well in America. They’ll like them because they’re natural,” he says.

Good call, friend. I like to see people who’re thinking accomplish intellgient goals with a long-term potential.

There is, however, an issue with price. I wonder how well it will dice in America, and how any popularity here will effect the environmental cogency of this econo-bike business model. They run a steep $900 as it is. Hopefully if it picks up they’ll just drop the price and open up the market some. Then we get to see just how big the call for this idea is, and I’m damned curious myself.

This brings to mind the part of profit that people with no business experience tend to forget: profit has a role. It facilitates payroll and supplies, yes. But it also, most necessarily, provides growth and resilience to the company. With a bankroll they’ll be able to weather a rough year, buy new equipment, expand the operation, etc. Hopefully if they do it right they won’t have to compromise on materials to get things done. The long-term product of this can be a viable, sustainable relationship between two normally contentious considerations (in this case, the environment and transportation).

These are the real concerns I have about environmentally-friendly businesses. I hope these men in Zambia are on the same page. Because let us be clear: it’s a bike made out of bamboo (mostly). Imagine a slew of eco-friendly commuter traffic being facilitated by a plant grown in an African country. That bike is the very emblem of modern liberalism.

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