Why Is the Business Model for Divvy ‘Automobile-Centric’?

Background Reading

Summary

So earlier this week the Divvy folks managed to run their bike over an on-street parking meter. The accident looked like this:

Urban Cyclists Show Hypocrisy By Not Criticizing Divvy Delivery Methods

Urban Cyclists Show Hypocrisy By Not Criticizing Divvy Delivery Methods

Aside from the embarrassing image that this makes for a bicycle-related business it made me ask the question why are they using automobile motors to ferry around their bikes? And in fact they use these same vans to bring repair tools and parts to “fix” their bikes. But why?

The usually rather self-righteous Church of Urban Cycling Crowd that frequents the ChainLink Forum would have been all over this story were it about a car company servicing its fleet. But when it comes to Divvy I suppose they cannot hide their heads fast enough to avoid questions like why? Why are you supporting and touting a company designed to deliver rental bicycles to the masses by means of internal combustion engines the very things you claim to want to see dropped into sink holes and covered up? Why are you promoting such a hypocritical company?

A Better Business Model That Gives Entrepreneurship A Chance

The vast majority of the members of the Church of Urban Cycling are Socialists. They are very good at conceiving of businesses that are run on “funny money“. If there is government tax money involved these guys can write grants with the best of them and gain access to that money and churn out endless projects that do not have to actually turn a profit in the first year or so because Uncle Same or the Local State or Municipality will take up the slack. In NYC there was an embarrassing fracas over pay for the workers. That has been resolved.

The irony is that those at the top of just about any business are always seeking to line their personal pockets at the expense of the guys at the bottom. So whether a Socialist at heart seeking to run a business on the basis of “doing the most good for the greatest number of people” or a Capitalist who is all about the profit margin you can still be a Scrooge.

The Bike Man of Copenhagen

The movie shows a way forward that everyone can like both Socialists and Capitalists. The shop owner is 18-years of age and wants to franchise his business. That make him an entrepreneur. But he has shaped a business model that includes the use of the very kinds of vehicles he intends to promote. That make him a true Socialist. What about the method he is using does the Urban Cycling Community not understand?

Why is there no outrage that an 18-year old entrepreneur is able to out-think all of the blathering Activists who love to rush to the cameras for each and every launch-party orchestrated by CDOT? Why is there no one clamoring for the use of cargo bikes to actually run the Divvy business? Why are not the bikes being transported by some sort of cargo bike version of a mini-van?

Uploaded on Feb 17, 2011
18 year-old Jakub travels around Copenhagen with his repair bike shop helping to fix people´s bikes on the move.