Taco Carlier

VanMoof

Back in 2009, Dutch bike company VanMoof was founded by Taco and Ties Carlier, two brothers with the game purpose to make cities better and humans happier. Ten years later, they not only sell popular next-gen electric bikes with subtly integrated technology and a slick design but also created a loyal community of riders across the globe.

With additional brand stores in New York, San Francisco, Berlin, London, Paris, Taipei and Tokyo, they invested in bringing their Amsterdam-worldview to metropolises. Hear how Taco Carlier, co-founder and CEO of VanMoof, built a global direct-to-consumer brand shaping the future of cities while scaling the company at speed.

Simon: So imagine Apple and Tesla would join forces to make a bicycle. Surely, they wouldn't take standard parts but instead build it from the ground up with integrated lights, an own saddle, steering, grips a smart way to lock it and then they would go and create a big hype around it and sell it as somewhat upscale price point. This almost accurately resembles the story of VanMoof. VanMoof was founded in 2009 by Taco and Ties Carlier, two Dutch Brothers with a game purpose to make cities better and humans happier. They moved beyond their Amsterdam-centric world view and now have brand stores in Berlin and London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Taipei and Tokyo. All large cities where VanMoof challenges car manufacturers rather than other by companies as the best mode of commuting. The numbers seem to prove them right. They've collected the biggest pre-order in bike history with a volume of around 30 million euros. All for a new growth strategy which also features a subscription service for bikes – but we'll get into that later. Welcome to The Idealists. I'm Simon, and as always I'm here with my co-host Silja.

Silja: We took the opportunity to meet Taco Carlier in their garage / headquarters / Brand store in Amsterdam. Taco, a problem solver by nature, studied industrial design and started another company before turning towards the consumer bike industry. Together with his brother he co-founded VanMoof in 2009. Everything Taco and his team build revolve around their customers. Steadily improving their products and services makes them one of the companies that work from vision and value backwards, even if this means forgetting to celebrate the 10th anniversary in the spring of 2019.

Taco: Yeah, crazy year. Our company has doubled in size for five years in a row now, but yet doubling gets harder every year. We still want to double next year again. But yeah, that's so it was a crazy year, definitely.

Simon: And by doubling you mean by headcount or by revenue or all together?

Taco: We've doubled in in revenue. Yes for five years in a row. Yes.

Simon: If you take us back ten years. You founded a company with your brother. Originally in 2009. Paint a picture for us: 2009, what was like?

Taco: Yeah, actually it started in New York, which is quite funny, you always have to go to another city to see how great your own city is. So it started, of course, a little bit earlier because 2009 was the introduction of our first model. So we started around 2006, 2007. We, me and my brother, we're already entrepreneurs together. We had a company in which … We're both industrial designers. So we had a company together where we created products for the events industry, and we have done that for ten years. For that first company, we were travelling a lot and being Dutch when you travel you always rent a bike, of course. Because bikes are the greatest way to discover and explore new cities, you end up in neighbourhoods where tourists would never end up. So this time we were in New York and I was shattered by how good of cycling city it was. Everybody said it's scary.

Silja: Already back then?

Taco: Yeah. Yeah, and so we were together. We were cycling in New York, and we found out that yeah, that is such a great city for cycling and. So we started thinking. Being industrial designers, we started thinking: Why are not more people cycling here? And so we went to bicycle shops started checking out what they were selling. Why is everybody cycling here on fixie bikes, racing bikes? So then we started thinking about our home cities of our hometown Amsterdam, where nowadays 55% of all commutes is on a bike. So the other 45% is split between cars, public transport and pedestrians. So, how can we turn New York into Amsterdam again? That's when we started thinking. How can we redesign the traditional Dutch, we say but I think, it's a little bit, you could also say European, the traditional European commuter bike into a bike that can be used in cities around the globe. So that's where the original idea popped up. Back in 2007. Then we started sketching designing and it took us two years before we launched the first model: The VanMoof One. And the company back then was still called moof (m-o-o-f), but we've got some other company who told us where we're not allowed to use that name. So we put 'Van' in front of it because it sounded so, it's just a wink to the Netherlands you have a lot of names with 'Van' in front of it. The Gus Van Sant and Armin Van Buuren and Vanderbilt and it just sound so cool in the in English.

Simon: Right?

Taco: So we started like this and then the original idea and actually that's still the idea. Everything changed, but the original idea stayed the same and or original Mission and that was to get just as many people on bikes in San Francisco, New York, Paris, London, Berlin and Tokyo as we have in Amsterdam. Which you can also say as we have in Copenhagen. I think the amount of Amsterdam and Copenhagen always compete as their two best cycling cities.

Simon: Which is the original cycling city?

Taco: I think Copenhagen is doing better now for few years in a row. They invest much more in great bicycle lanes and Amsterdam had to lot of issues with the scooters, as we call it in Dutch, but it's the mopeds. It's the Italian –

Simon: The Vespas.

Taco: Not the e-scooters. That is a whole different problem.

Simon: We're going to talk about them.

Taco: Oh, great. My favourite topic. But so that was the original idea. We cannot change those cities. We cannot change the city's to adapt to cycling. Let's change the bikes. So we can get more people on bikes in those cities.

Simon: So that was kind of a pull effect of having, you know, more people wanting to be on bikes and then the city is reacting to it and you know adapting the infrastructure to it?

Taco: Yeah, exactly. I think that's how it started in Amsterdam, too. I don't know about the cycling history of Copenhagen that much, but I do know that everybody thinks now that there has been always bikes in Amsterdam. It's not the case. In the 60s it was all cars. All bikes had vanished, 50s 60s and then. Yeah, they were called the Provo's. A group of hippie dwarfs started with the white bicycle plan. They started with the massive bike rides against… And then it's all - it came from the people. The people demanded more cycling infrastructure and then it started in Amsterdam and from that moment it went on and on and on and now we are at 55 percent and growing. It's still growing, the amount of commutes on bike. So, I think the amount of people on bikes completely changed Amsterdam. It's a healthier city. It's Greener. There's less noise pollution. People are healthier. We believe bikes can change cities for good. So that's what we want to bring to those cities too. But then we had a big issue because after – so we introduced the first model in 2009, it was selling like crazy in the Netherlands.

Simon: And that was because of the design? What do you think was the secret sauce behind the first model?

Taco: Yeah, the design. The and the design philosophy, like stripping everything that was redundant. Only focus on the core parts. Very light urban commuter bike with everything integrated: Lights integrated, lock integrated, cables integrated. So, yeah.

Silja: And your first design already had all these features built-in?

Taco: Yeah, it started with integrated lights only and then it went on and on and on and what we did is completely – not redesigned the bike but also redesigned the process of making a bike. That has always been our approach and I think that was it. So what was the issue? The bikes were big success in the Netherlands, but it didn't really take off in in the US and in the rest of Europe.

Silja: Do you think that has to do – because you know the Dutch market or the European market a lot better than, for example, the US market? Why was it a hit from day one here, and not in other countries?

Taco: Yeah, that's – so I found out three years later. We were opening a store in New York and I was in New York for eight weeks and I cycled every day from my Airbnb apartment to my store. And I found out that it's completely impossible to cycle to your work because it's too hilly. It's too big. I mean from Central Park to downtown Brooklyn. I think it's 10 or 12 kilometer. It's crazy how big that city is. And it's too much humidity in the Summer. So yeah, that was the moment when I saw that we've been too arrogant. We've been we've wanted to copy the Dutch way of cycling to the rest of the world. But the rest of the world looks different. There's a reason that people in Copenhagen, Amsterdam cycle because both these are flat and nice climate and they're pretty dense. So then the real – that was the real eye-opener for me and that's when we realized that to change the world, you need electric bikes. And that changed everything. Of course, I had seen electric bikes before back then because all the elderly in the Netherlands where we're riding electric bikes, but I never realized that was – that they were perfect for commuting, too. And not in Amsterdam in Copenhagen. You don't need it there. It's – you do need them in San Francisco New York and Paris London and Berlin and Tokyo, so I believe that the rise of electric bikes and the fact that there are electric bikes now popping up that are made for commuters like our VanMoof's, and some others. That will completely change those cities because if, and we saw that in Amsterdam in Copenhagen if a city is equipped for cycling cyclist will pop up automatically because it's by far the most efficient, fun, healthy way of transport. I mean, it's – in New York. I'm from Central Park to downtown Brooklyn. I do that in I think 14 to 18 minutes my record on electric bike. Even during the night with an Uber, it's not that fast every public transport is not. It's the fastest way to move around in a modern city and I believe electric bikes will change those cities. So that was the moment when everything changed. So then what we changed the entire company focused all on electric bikes. And that was back in 2011, 2012. And then in 2014, we launched our first electric commuter bike.

Simon: How big was the change from going not electric well-designed and integrated parts to, like, fully integrated electrical – how much of an engineering and design challenge to was this?

Taco: Yeah a lot. It was a big challenge but we had two advantages: The first was that we did not meant it to be, but our bikes were already very suited to integrate electronics and batteries and everything because we've always had the idea that we should open up the bicycle frame to integrate parts and the idea was to integrate locks and maybe an umbrella holder and all kind of stuff. But that's what we've been working on in the first three years of VanMoof. So when the idea popped up to make it electric, we already had the big tubes and all the openings – we already had completely redesigned the bike to fill it up with electronic parts. That was the first thing and the second thing is that me and my brother already had 10 years experience in the design of electronics, software and integration with hardware in our first company. So everything fell together. So, but it still took us three years and some hard – it was quite a hard challenge because the bike industry was shifting away from getting the add-on batteries. They were switching from front motors to mid motors, which we didn't believe in. So we did had to redesign the entire bike to turn it into an electric bike. So it took us two and a half to three years and then in 2015, we launched the beta version and in 2016, we launched S1. And then the company started growing like crazy. And now we're with about 200 people and with – we have eight brand stores and San Francisco, New York, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Berlin and Tokyo and little one in Taipei. And we sell bikes all over the world.

Simon: Let me pause on that integration part. Because I think that's like a big unique selling point maybe for VanMoof? But also if you say: Okay, 80% of the parts are non-standard parts also makes you kind of vulnerable in a sense that you have to be there if something breaks, right? That's also maybe part of your philosophy to be in the cities and be close to your riders, close to your users?

Taco: Yeah, that's for sure. That's why we opened the brand stores, but it is true. If there is a defect that – every bike has the same part is useful when you bring it to a bike shop because if you bring in a, yeah, traditional Dutch bike in Copenhagen bike store, they can replace it with a standard light. So that's the advantage. But it has so many disadvantages because all the innovation has to come from the suppliers. And they don't – because we only sell direct to the consumers. We have such a direct relationship between the consumers. We know what's going wrong with the bike. We know how we can improve it. We know what the consumers want so we can – together with them – we can improve the bike. And for instance, the integrated light that works ten times better than the old-fashioned lights because there are no wires, no external dynamo. Everything is integrated. So it never breaks. So that's just one example, we now have the anti-theft tracking integrated. So that's the Bluetooth and Vodafone 3G connection inside the bike so we can find all bikes back when they're stolen. We even guarantee that. So if your bike is stolen, we have two weeks to find it back. If we cannot find it back you get a new one. Guaranteed. That kind of innovation can only be possible if you integrate the design and if you – let me give you one example: If I move is stolen you can send a message via the smart fire the VanMoof smartphone app to the bike, and then the motor doesn't work anymore the light starts blinking in SOS signal. It starts to make irritating noises and the lock doesn't work anymore. And it starts tracking its position. No other bike brand can copy that because they have all these different suppliers and not an integrated computer for all those parts. We do have that so, therefore, we can create a much better consumer experience by integrating all those parts. But it's hard to get there because you only have the advantages if you have redesigned everything. If you just have a traditional bike with integrated lights. Yeah, then it's just irritating but you have to do everything. So it's very hard to come to the point where we are now.

Simon: Yeah, and there's probably a reason media calls you the apple or the Tesla of e-bikes or bikes, right? I think Apple has followed the same principle of integrating software and hardware in the beginning.

Taco: Exactly. Yeah. We copy a lot from Apple. On every aspect. I think I don't want to compare ourselves to Apple, I mean it is a billion times bigger but they did some – from an industrial design perspective, they did some awesome things. And I think a cool comparison is in the 80s when you bought a computer, you bought a computer on the specs. So you bought, I don't know, IBM computer because it had that specific hard drive and had that specific video card or – nowadays we even don't know that anymore. And then Apple came and say yeah, we have just one white box. We don't tell what's inside but it's just a good computer. And I think that's – and the funny thing is that the computer stores and the real computer addicts. They didn't like it. They hated it. Because they wanted to – they had all this knowledge and they wanted to see inside and they want to do help their customers and they want to repair it by taking parts out and putting other parts in. But Apple proved that it works much better if you integrate all those parts and design it as a complete product. Together with the software and then it just works better. And they also proved that that yes, the computer nerds. They didn't want that. It's five percent of the market but 95% of the people just wanted to work on a computer. They just wanted to use Word and be on the internet. That's what Apple supplied. I think that's what we're aiming to. We're not there for bicycle freaks who travel to on a bike, to Morocco, I don't know. It's great too. But that's another part of the market. We are just want to be there for people that just want to commute to their work on – sometimes and just want a worry free bike

Simon: Right. But the kind of parallels to Apple are uncanny in a way that you are – or Apple turns now into a service company, right? They integrated their products, I think very successfully as you described. But now they're turning into a service company with you know, streaming services and banking services now, right? So there's a lot of – a big shift coming, going kind of away from the product and in more into Services. Which leads us now to your kind of new idea of venture is to offer VanMoof bikes as a subscription service.

Taco: Yeah.

Simon: Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Taco: Yeah, the idea of VanMoof+, which is a subscription service on a VanMoof, came from the fact that – So, everybody who makes it - right on a VanMoof in America, London or Paris loves the bike, but for especially for people in cities that didn't – are not that used to cycling, 2,800 is a lot of which is the cost price for if I move right now. Yeah. It's a lot of money to spend on a bike. If you never bought a bike in your life before. But if you look at the long-term makes – most people use this bike for three to five years and afterwards can even be sold secondhand. It's very cheap. So we thought about that. We also thought about yeah, we want all those bikes back – people. We don't know where the bikes are after three to five years. We rather have them back so we can upgrade them, refurbish them and sell them to, yeah as refurbished bikes. So that together let for us to subscription service where people don't buy the bike anymore, but it just pay a fee and they can stop whenever they want and just can ride the bike. Insurance and maintenance is included so that then just have even more worry free cycling.

Simon: Yeah, and how do you handle that, kinda, both handedness. With on the one hand innovating and inventing new products and on the other hand innovating services, like for example, the bike theft protection or the bike services in your brand stores. Like how do you handle that ambidextrous relationship to services and products?

Taco: Yeah. That's why I was so busy in the spring and I've been very busy in the past 10 years. It's really hard. And sometimes I drive the people here completely crazy because they just have finished a new upgrade or new model. And then we are changing the business model again. And then also we do everything in-house. We believe in integration. That it works better if everything is built by ourselves. So the back-end of the anti-theft guarantee, but also the back-end of the subscription service should be – completely work together with the bikes. It's not the case yet that you could swipe your credit card on your bike. But –

Simon: Not yet …

Taco: Who knows? It's just pushing really hard. Yeah. We are on a mission. We want to we believe we can change cities for good. And so people who work here have to work hard and accept the fact that we are ever-changing.

Silja: Would you say that – You have as a company and maybe as a person as well a challenger mindset?

Taco: What do you mean? Sorry.

Silja: A challenger mindset.

Taco: You're completely right and sometimes we think we're crazy.

Silja: And is that something that comes from you and your brother? Like the founders – that you were always pushing and questioning the norm and kind of now, yeah, never be satisfied or …

Taco: No, that's completely true. Yeah, we believe in this. We believe we can change cities if we do this right. If we look at a design perspective, we love designing the bike and way it's produced but we also love to design companies. We think it's almost the same. It's – you can always say the in the bikes the software and hardware is merged but the company is also built around the bike. It's not a normal company. It's a company that is perfectly merged with the products. We sell – we are products focused company and I think that's important.

Silja: So do you think if you would leave the company, that this spirit could live on now – with through your employees and the people you, along the way on-boarded to the team? That they have the same spirit and they have the same mission and or is it still connected to you and your brother?

Taco: Good question. I think we cannot both leave for now. We can. But then the company growth will slow down and … No. If you really want to disrupt the market you need some dictators and I'm not saying that we're dictators, but you need some – small management team who's completely in charge who owns the company, you need the entrepreneurial spirit. If this company would be led by a management team. It just goes slower and it doesn't say that that's bad or it's less good. But if you want to go quick, go alone, and if you want to go far go with a group. So now we're in the phase of going quick. And as we grow bigger, we slowly converging from an entrepreneurial company to a more traditional company. But that's not yet. We first have to fix the completely introduced subscriptions. Then we have one or two more plans which we think are necessary for – to be a global direct-to-consumer bicycle brand that really helps the consumers out. Then we can probably step a little bit back.

Simon: Right.

Taco: I think it will take another two to three years.

Simon: Yeah. And talking about disruption. We're talking about global disruption, right? We talking about cities, introducing physical stores brick-and-mortar stores in cities around the world: Money is obviously one weapon of choice or the thing you have to fight with and you just recently gathered a lot of your riders crowdfunding a big campaign. I think two and a half million euros came from your from your riders or your fan base and another 12.5 million from a bank loan. I think so this I think in total like almost 20 million flowing into the company.

Taco: Yeah, the crowdfunding was even more. It was seven half million. Two and a half million was public and five million was a closed round, but the cool thing about the public campaign, two and a half million, was that the campaign was intended to launch on Thursday morning, but Wednesday morning, we've already pre-informed our own customers that the campaign was coming. So we opened it one day earlier for our customers and then it was filled after nine hours. So even before the launch, we almost brought the crowdfunding company into problems because they were not able to inform their back-base their database that this was coming. And they if – they would have to communicate: Yes. There's a new there was a new campaign, but it's already closed. So yeah, that was a really cool moment two months ago. And then we acquired the loan from the Dutch Rabo bank.

Simon: And with that kind of new fuel, new money in the bank. What is next – what are the next big three steps for VanMoof in the next years?

Taco: So it's always – we always working on new models and for us working on new models is redesigning even more parts in our own house. Changing the parts and the cool thing about that is like seven years ago it was 80% Hardware development and 20% software development. And now it's turning around to 20% hardware and 70 to 80% software development. So investing in the embedded software of the bike, improvement of the smartphone apps and Improvement of the back-end and the order process.

Simon: And with that mission of better cities and happier humans living in the city is – do you think your biggest competitors are within the bike sector or within the mobility sector or is it even maybe even the city's itself with, you know supplying infrastructure or supporting that change towards a more bike friendlier environment?

Taco: No, our biggest competitor is the cars. We want to get the cars out of the cities. So – Uber is big competitor, especially look at if you look at the American market now so many Ubers riding around. And I would love to get some of those people out of the cars and onto bikes and you see that we did some research with our own consumers and for all of them is the e-bike they got and for all of them, it's their saying: Yeah, I've used to ride a car and now I'm using an e-bike. Not all the time. I think cars are great. If you if it rains or if you have to go further, but within a city, it just doesn't make any sense at all. And more and more people starting to realize that

Simon: Right - and you also say that 70% of your customers use their VanMoof as the primary vehicle, right?

Taco: Yeah.

Simon: Which underlines that shift from people actually, you know, not just buying an additional bike. But also having the first primary choice of mobility in their bike races.

Taco: Exactly. Yeah. So for Amsterdam in Copenhagen doesn't make much sense to ride around with it with an e-bike, but it does make sense for suburbs. So in Amsterdam, you have surrounding cities like Haarlem, Almere, Schiphol – those distances. It's like ten to 20 kilometre. You would never ride it on a traditional bike on your work because your would arrive sweaty and it takes too much time. But if you do it on the e-bike Haarlem – Amsterdam takes on average 35 to 45 minutes with a car even without much traffic jams. And on a bike it's one hour. So you only lose 15 minutes, but you arrive healthy and yeah, and …

Silja: … the daily workout is sort of included.

Taco: Yeah, that without sweating. Research after research it's proven that you don't have to work out. It's just the motion that's enough that's to do to keep people healthy.

Simon: It's probably also why the small e-scooters are like a topic, which – what's his opinion on that?

Taco: I think e-scooters are great for small distances. So could be an alternative. What I don't understand at the moment is the e-scooter sharing but that doesn't make any sense for me. For me is a huge waste of materials and I heard that the average sharing – a shareable e-scooter has a lifespan of 28 days. And all these companies are presenting this as a durable, shareable solution. Yeah, I don't believe in it. I don't buy it. I do believe in e-scooter, but I believe e-scooters are perfect to own. I mean when you can store it you can take it with you. Public transport and you can store it under your desk. That's why they are so perfect and sharing those things leaving them on the street so others can take them and molest them that doesn't make any sense to me. And yeah, we'll see what happens. I mean millions, billions of Euros are flowing in that market. I think we're going to see the same as what happened with the free-floating bike sharing from Mobike and ofo. That also was a, yeah, a big hype two years ago and now it's an almost not there anymore.

Simon: A passing trend for you?

Taco: Yeah, we do see some very interesting sharing systems pop-up. And that's the e-bike sharing. Jump is the e-bike sharing division of Uber and Lyft has e-bike sharing, too. I think bird now, too. Yeah, that can be something great especially that combination between a taxi driving, car in the same systems, I do believe in that – I think it's great for tourists or visitors. It's also great sales channel for us. Because people for example in San Francisco, you have a lot of people who use the electric bikes of Jump and then after half year, they learn how great e-bikes are but after how year they do want their own and they do want to have the extra comfort of having their own bike and then they come to our stores. So that's my ideas on sharing and e-bike sharing.

Silja: And you talked about direct-to-consumer brand.

Taco: Yes.

Silja: Was that a conscious decision or was it the only way for you to build a brand and the company today?

Taco: No, the first four years we were not direct-to-consumers. We sold to – via distributors and via stores and but we realized that innovation and traditional sales channels don't go well together. I think you saw the same with Apple. That it kicked off when they started their own stores. Because the traditional computer stores that we were discussing before, they wanted to be – they wanted to set up their own computers. So I think yeah consumers loved our bikes but the bike shops didn't. And because they couldn't, yeah, it was not standard for them. And they are not open to not some of them are but the majority is not open to new stuff because they're just doing their own business. And they're right. I mean you cannot for every new guy who come up with the idea. You cannot change your business model. But yeah, we wanted to change cities. So we had to do it our own. So that's why we went direct. And afterwards, we learned that that's now one of the biggest advantages because we know our customers. When they have an issue we learn that right away.

Silja: You can just ask them.

Taco: Yeah, and we ask them or the people in the store asked it and tell it to us. So when there's an issue with a bike, we probably know it within hours and we can immediately change, send it over to R&D or production to change what's not good. That's really important and also because we learn about how much bikes are stolen so we can offer the anti-bike-theft. We learn how long our bikes last so we can offer subscriptions. So then the whole yeah environment closes, yeah, then you're able to fulfil the needs of the customer much much better. Therefore I'm a strong believer of direct sales and I believe all consumer – how do you say – durable goods consumer brands go direct in the next 20 years.

Silja: Because the other way around it impossible to create an experience through wholesale.

Taco: That's also so important people learn from our brand from the media or from social media from great podcasts like yours and then they are excited about the brand and then take them to a traditional store. Maybe they bump into someone who's not such a fan of the brand and are they – it doesn't look at good and, yeah, and they're not satisfied. So the modern consumer who is travelling the world. He wants the same modern experience everywhere around the globe. So, therefore, we have to be there. Yeah. It's also: a lot of our consumers, they, customers they maybe they live in Copenhagen by a bike there and then go to New York with their bikes so they must be able to get the same treatment as everywhere around the globe.

Simon: The second last question: Maybe turning more towards the company itself. How did it change when – you talk about you transferred from a product company to more a software company right in the majority of your staff is now into software development.

Taco: Yeah.

Simon: And how did that change recruiting and the mindset of the company? Or did it change?

Taco: No, I think there's software Engineers who are all into hardware, too. That's what they like the most and it's for us it's, compared to other companies, pretty easy to find great software engineers because they love this – so much cooler to work on a smartphone app connecting with a bike. It's so touchable. It's so easy to understand. And when you change something you immediate – and you ride home on your own bike you immediately see the advantages that such another job as improving banking software or something. And the core of our company is into innovation into products and I think every department here is in somehow involved in product design. If you are – no matter if you're in finance, operations, marketing or R&D, they're all creating their own product to improve the big core product, which is the bike. So it did not change a lot for us when we turned into a service company. Yeah, it's the same.

Silja: And if you – I mean you have now one decade behind you.

Taco: Yeah.

Silja: If you look out for the next 10 years what is like the dream plan or the dream scenario for VanMoof?

Taco: The dream scenario is very simple. We want that we've helped a bit to get more people in San Francisco, New York, Paris, London, Berlin Tokyo on bikes and hopefully a lot of them on VanMoof bikes. But it takes longer. I think this is because when we get more people we need no more bike lanes. It took Amsterdam from the 60s till now 50 years to turn into a great cycling city and I think it's it will – New York, San Francisco can do it a little bit faster, but still … So in 10 years will only see the beginning of cities that slowly turn a little bit more into Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

Simon: Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this is episode and would like to know more head over to theidealists.co. As always, there's one more thing we ask our guests, which is: Who should we talk to next?

Taco: I would suggest to meet Kees Aarts and Tarique Arsiwalla. They are the founders of Protix. They collect waste and have larvae eat that. So, and then they feed the larvae to the fish in Norway. So they don't have to catch – nowadays the catch small fish in the oceans to feed to the salmon and they grow larvae with waste. And these guys are pros and they going big they really make a difference. They have a large, an incredibly large factory in the south of the Netherlands and also building large factories all over the world to collect waste and turn that into fish food.

"I think every department here is somehow involved in product design. No matter if you are in finance, operations, marketing or r&d. They’re all creating their own product to improve the big core product which is the bike."

— Taco Carlier [00:29:11]

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