This Is How The Future of Retail Looks


Totally inspired by 718 Cyclery.  This is what the future of the retail business looks like. A rock solid understanding of their purpose: “we build bikes with people.” Total collaboration on the end product that takes place both within the shop and then via online file sharing. An environment that allows consumers to completely connect with the product they are purchasing, in this case by actually playing a role in its assembly.

People want to be involved in the process of understanding and making the things they purchase. Bruce Nussbaum has recently begun calling this movement “indie capitalism” and 718C fits beautifully within his description of being a locally-minded social businesses that builds community and places a heightened focus on materials, value creation and the sharing of information.  But, it’s really just the result of the very reason owner, Joe, began the business in the first place: to reconnect with humanity.

The key fundamental truth about human behavior here is that we need to be able to exercise our ability to shape and change our world, in tangible ways, especially as more of us transition into the knowledge economy, where our contributions to the world cannot be easily touched or felt.  In this case, people are playing a role in the design and fabrication of a mode of transportation.  It’s fulfilling something very real by giving them ownership over the product their purchasing while forming connections through the process.



  1. Christian Gani says:

    I’m often chastised for appreciating process, especially in developing something creative. But 718C has clearly realized that there are (more than) a few of us out there that enjoy the story, and want desperately to participate in the creation of something special. I applaud them for being more focused on this aspect of total ownership versus being driven by volume and profits – although I have no idea whether this type of bike creation is any less profitable then the former. In fact – it’s likely the opposite.

    Great find.

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