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How to Keep People on Their Bikes Past Bike To Work Day

| Friday May 21st, 2010 | 3 Comments

ban-startup-fridayHave you ever wanted to get in better shape? Have you succeeded at it? Stayed with it after that? For most us, the answer is the same: We’d like to, but the motivation/discipline isn’t strong enough.

With the League of American Bicyclists’ Bike To Work Day happening today, and shows like the Biggest Loser continuing to be a, pardon the pun, huge success, it was inevitable that something like Green Goose would show up.

Green Goose combines personal fitness with competition in a new way: A wireless bike sensor is attached to the rear axle of your bike, which then transmits that information back to your Green Gateway back home or at your office once in range.

You could simply use it for your own knowledge, setting goals for your activities (several others, from shorter showers to doing yoga, appear to soon be trackable as well.) But where it begins to gain traction is that you can broadcast your activity to your Twitter and Facebook networks. And you can earn “lifestyle points” for your activities, redeemable at businesses for discounts and freebies. Competing with friends transforms these previously solo activities into a shared effort to both increase wellness and decrease ecological impact while doing what Americans love to do best: Win.

This combination of incentive, acknowledgment, and competition stands to be a potent incentive for ongoing fitness efforts.

Green Goose’s pitch to companies is similarly compelling: Like the increasingly popular Foursquare, companies can award top achievers with badges. It’s something that can’t be understood until experienced, how much people get from these small acknowledgments, and the ability to share that fact with others. Green Goose can manage and audit the details when companies take advantage of the IRS bike commute tax credit. Green Goose is aware it’s not the complete fitness package, and integrates with other wellness programs.

Readers: While it’s too early to see if people will be willing to spend $49 for what some may see as a glorified, extraneous bicycle computer, it does appear to have the right mix of stick and carrot. What’s your thoughts on Green Goose’s offering? Where else are you seeing behavior rewards working well? Recycle Bank is one.

Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations around, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media.


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  • AndreaLearned

    Not sure if the $49 will fly with most people, but the concept sounds great. While biking around town/to work etc.. comes naturally to some of us, I bet even more people would LOVE it, if they'd just do it for a week or so! And, that does mean going beyond this one day. The social network sharing/incentive aspects of Green Goose are very smart. Humans love to see their wondrous-ness reflected in numbers/stats!

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  • ella

    i agree to Ms. Andrea. if people would try biking for 1 to 2 weeks. they would love it by making it a habit. Also, people nowadays are more conscious to their health and physical appearance so, since biking is a good exercise. it would be used in transportation by lots of workers today. Anyways, about the wellness package suggested by green goose. i think it's not going to be that popular or used by lots of people. why? 49$ can do and buy lots of food today. if i'm the one to choose, i'll choose the food package. :)

  • ella

    i agree to Ms. Andrea. if people would try biking for 1 to 2 weeks. they would love it by making it a habit. Also, people nowadays are more conscious to their health and physical appearance so, since biking is a good exercise. it would be used in transportation by lots of workers today. Anyways, about the wellness package suggested by green goose. i think it's not going to be that popular or used by lots of people. why? 49$ can do and buy lots of food today. if i'm the one to choose, i'll choose the food package. :)