This Dutch Bicycle Company Created the Best Hack to Ship Their Bicycles

When Dutch bicycle company VanMoof got tired of their bicycles getting damaged during shipping (before arriving to their customers), they decided to do something truly ingenious and super-practical.

What they came up with is one of the best hacks I’ve ever seen in business…not counting the ones people come up with using stuff from IKEA, of course.

vanmoof-standard_straight_lifestyle_d
Image Credit: VanMoof

What’s a hack you say? Well depending on who and where you are, you might think I’m referring to a washed up Hollywood writer or Mr. Robot (you should watch that show!) or a one of those nasty coughs you get when you’re sick.

But the hack I’m referring to these days is being able to transform something ordinary into something extraordinary. They printed a TV (television) on the sides of their existing packaging!

Yes, you heard correctly. After eight years in business and struggling to find a responsible way to ship “to your front door for free”, the two Dutch brothers (owners of VanMoof) had an “aha moment”. Their boxes used for shipping was roughly the same dimensions as the biggest flatscreen television you could find.

vanmoof-bikes
Image Credit: Fast Co.Exist

Even after a photograph posted to Twitter resulted in the jig being up, VanMoof had still successfully managed to have shipping damage to their bicycles drop by an average of roughly 75%. That sounds like a great hack to me.

On the side of the box is a little poem too that made me smile:

We like bikes

and we like you

and the rest of the world

to ride bikes

and like them too

I guess the business lessons here are to always look for clever (and unorthodox) ways to get your high-quality product in the hands of your customers or in this case to their door in the best ways possible.

Sometimes the solution to the problem is staring you straight in the face. Keep your eyes open and look around for inspiration.

And finally, cutting overhead expenses is vital to maintaining your profit margins. If you’re an eCommerce business then it’s probably a good idea to find some neat hacks to reduce potential damage to your goods.

Have something to say about this article? Well why not leave a comment below so we can have a little discussion. I’d love to hear your ideas. No honestly…comment.

Featured Image: VanMoof

Now That’s Compact Living! Tour This Tiny Parisian Bachelor Pad

Here’s a YouTube channel that I’ve followed for years that consistently puts out interesting features around architecture – design, alternate building, green buildings, tiny house movement, and everything in between. In this feature (running time: 7 minutes), Filmmaker and Documentarian, Kirsten Dirksen showcases a miniature bachelor pad or as the French say, garçonnière nicknamed “The Dollhouse”.

airbnbparis1
The small kitchen in the corner comes with all small appliances

It comes with all the “little” essentials such as a washing machine, refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven. As Jaen-Malo explains, everything is custom and nothing is standard, which includes the bed that was cut to fit into the small bedroom upstairs.

airbnbparis3
The bedroom is simple and comes with storage for clothes and shoes

Once a storage space for a flower shop, homeowner Jean-Malo spent time and money converting it into a very compact and livable space allowing him to be on the doorsteps of downtown Paris (Pigalle).

It’s practical enough to make for a comfortable home and reflects the owner’s rustic and modern style. And if you’re ever thinking about a trip to Paris, this little space is available on AirBnb for rent $140 CAD ($108 USD) per night.

Enjoy and be sure to subscribe to Kirsten’s channel for other great stories.

Rounding Out 2015 with My Top 10 Blog Posts

This year has been an awesome year for my blog! I started off 2015 with the goal of attracting 12,000 viewers and with the year coming to a close, I’ve already met that target. That’s 8,930 more viewers than 2014!

I wanted to deliver more original content to my blog followers and I was happy to report that by using Q & A format, I was able to do that. My series “How You Living?” featuring friends of mine living in cities abroad was a tremendous success.

Additionally, interviewing entrepreneurs in the tech, film, and fashion industries  was also a hit and those interviews have led me to other interesting personalities (entrepreneurs) and businesses. Thank you to everyone who participated in each Q & A interview. I’ll be doing a lot more in 2016, so look out for those.

So in closing off this epic year of 2015, I’ll be revealing my “Top 10” (technically 11) most viewed blog posts!

No. 10: Introducing One of My Favourite Filmmakers Casey Neistat – A talented filmmaker, entrepreneur and YouTube vlogger working out of NYC.

No. 9: Joeysalads’ Child Abduction ‘Prank’ Will Remind Parents to Warn Their Kids About Strangers – A YouTube prankster who addresses a serious topic in this feature that went viral.

No. 8: Meet SiteManager, the New Web Design Platform That Promises To Make Building Professional Websites Painless – An interview with a Belgian CEO and founder of a web design startup.

team
The SiteManager team | Source: SiteManager

No. 7: Germany’s ‘EO Smart Connecting Car 2’ is the Future of Urban Driving – A close look at one of the smartest micro-smart cars to come out of Germany.

No. 6: 10 Questions with Fashion Designer Lubica Slovak – A quick Q &A with an incredibly talented Slovakian-Jamaican fashion designer.

Phresh Interviews Jamaica’s Film Commissioner Carole Beckford – Get an inside look into Jamaica’s film industry and hear about its first-ever film festival.

Carole and actors
Actor Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter (left), Film Commissioner Carole Beckford (center), and Film Director Robert Townsend (right) at Los Angeles launch for the inaugural Jamaica Film Festival in March 2015

No. 5: Fighting Poaching With Offbeat Solutions from Silicon Valley Startup Pembient – CEO and founder of a biotech startup talks about “fake” rhino horns and attempting to topple the black market.

No. 4: Here’s A Quick Way to Name a Graphic Design Business or Any Other – A walk-through on coming up with the perfect business name using several phresh tips.

No. 3: 3 Tips to Improve Your Performance as a Freelance Graphic Designer – Written especially for freelance graphic designers, learn from my experiences on becoming better at what you do.

graphic designer 03
There’s no one template design for a time log, just create one that works for you

No. 2: Chinese Animated Short Hilariously Shows How Addicted We’ve Become to Our Smartphones – An accurate and funny depiction of our obsession with mobile devices created by animation student.

No. 1: Quiksilver Japan Designs a ‘True Wetsuit’ For Those Who Work Hard and Surf Harder – One of the biggest brands in surfwear creates an advert cleverly capturing the functionality of its latest wet-suit design coming out of Japan.

true_wetsuits_3
Designers spent two months developing fabric samples

Thanks so much for following along each and every story I wrote about this year. I appreciated each and every share via social media. Have a Merry Christmas when it gets here. I’ll see you in the New Year!