Introducing Product of the People: Help Design a Bike Light

Help GOOD and Gotham Bicycle Defense Industries create what may well be the world's first piece of crowdsourced urban cycling gear.

We were big fans of the theft-resistant Defender bike light, by Gotham Bicycle Defense Industries, when we saw it on Kickstarter. (So was everyone else; it surpassed its $18,000 fundraising target in about a day.) Now, company founders Slava Menn and Brad Geswein are starting work on their next product, and they want the GOOD community to help guide the process, weighing in on everything from design to name in hopes of creating an excellent crowdsourced product. We'll be posting occasional updates on the GOOD site. Below, Slava explains the challenge:

"Why did you come to America?" the reporter asked Dmitri, standing outside the immigration office in Boston’s Logan airport on a clear and cold February morning in 1981. Holding his 6-month-old son, Dmitri, who had fled the Soviet Union, cleared his throat and answered with the largest word in his English vocabulary, "opportunity." The baby in his arms was me.

Invention was a religion in my home—my father has been inventing since he arrived in America. Growing up, How Stuff Works was my bible, Nikola Tesla and Dean Kamen were my idols, MIT was my Mecca. Our suburban basement workshop was my place of worship, overrun with oscilloscopes, Audi transmissions, and intra-aortic balloon pump prototypes.

But despite his years of work and many brilliant prototypes, my father was never able to bring a product to market because the deck is stacked against independent inventors. Huge corporations largely control what gets made. As a result, innovation is rare, and crap is common. Witness the Pontiac Aztek, Windows Vista, and those Kryptonite bike locks that you can open with a Bic pen.

But that's starting to change. Invention is being democratized through a number of forces, most notably the commoditization of rapid prototyping and the rise of crowdfunding. This is all part of what futurist Paul Saffo calls our new "creator economy."

When my business partner Brad and I invented our first product, a theft-resistant bike light called the Defender, we surveyed our friends to help us make decisions about the design, the locking mechanism, and even the material. The Defender was designed by independent inventors and approved by citizen cyclists.

Now we want to take that idea a step further. We want to make a true Product Of The People. We’re sick of crappy bike products. We’re sick of duct-taping, zip-tying, and throwing away poorly-designed bike lights, fenders, and locks. As city cyclists, we know what makes a good product. In fact, together, we can make a better product than the big bike brands.

Brad and I are just beginning work on a new product, a rear bike light, and we want you to tell us what to build. Over the next several weeks, we'll ask you to vote to help us figure out what features to incorporate, what designs look and work best, and what the thing should be called.

To kick things off, we want your thoughts on where the light should be mounted. There are three options below, with some initial thoughts on their pros and cons. Vote using the polling widget at the bottom of this post. Voting will close this Friday, May 11, at 9 p.m. EST.

Where's the best place to mount a theft-resistant rear bike light?

On a bike rack: If you have a rack, this is the farthest point back on your bike, so nothing can obstruct the light. If you don't have a rack, though, this is a nonstarter. And if someone steals your bike rack, they get the bike light too.

On the seat post: This is the most common place to mount rear lights because it's convenient and higher from the ground for better visibility. But if someone steals your seatpost, they get the bike light too. Also, a light mounted here might be obstructed by bike baskets or saddle bags.

On the seat stay: Unlike the seat post, this section of the bike can't be removed because it's a part of your bike frame. But it’s lower to the ground and further from a driver's eye level and potentially obstructed if you have a bike rack.

This article was produced in partnership with the United Nations to launch the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of cooperation in building the future we want.

When half of the world's population doesn't share the same opportunity or rights as the other half, the whole world suffers. Like a bird whose wings require equal strength to fly, humanity will never soar to its full potential until we achieve gender equality.

That's why the United Nations made one of its Sustainable Development Goals to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." That goal includes providing women and girls equal access to education and health care, as well as addressing gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls.

While there is still much work to be done, history shows us that we are capable of making big leaps forward on this issue. Check out some of the milestones humanity has already reached on the path to true equality.

Historic Leaps Toward Gender Equality

1848 The Seneca Falls Convention in New York, organized by Elizabeth Lady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, is the first U.S. women's convention to discuss the oppression of women in sociopolitical, economic, and religious life.

1893 New Zealand becomes the first self-governing nation to grant national voting rights to women.

1903 Marie Curie becomes the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is also the only woman to win multiple Nobel Prizes, for Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911.

1920 The 19th Amendment is passed in the U.S. giving women the right to vote in all 50 U.S. states.

1973 The U.S. Open becomes the first major sports tournament of its kind to offer equal pay to women, after tennis star Billie Jean King threatened to boycott.

1975 The first World Conference on Women is held in Mexico, where a 10-year World Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women is formed. The first International Women's Day is commemorated by the UN in the same year.

1979 The UN General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), also known as the "Women's Bill of Rights." It is the most comprehensive international document protecting the rights of women, and the second most ratified UN human rights treaty after the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1980 Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland becomes the first woman to be elected head of state in a national election.

1993 The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the first international instrument to explicitly define forms of violence against women and lay out a framework for global action.

2010 The UN General Assembly creates the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to speed progress on meeting the needs of women and girls around the world.

2018 The UN and European Union join forces on the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

As the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary, it is redoubling its commitment to reach all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality. But it will take action and effort from everyone to ensure that women and girls are free from discrimination and violence. Learn more about what is being done to address gender equality and see how you can get involved here.

And join the global conversation about the role of international cooperation in building the future by taking the UN75 survey here.

Let's make sure we all have a say in the future we want to see.

via WFMZ / YouTube

John Perez was acquitted on Friday, February 21, for charges stemming from an altercation with Allentown, Pennsylvania police that was caught on video.

Footage from September 2018 shows an officer pushing Perez to the ground. After Perez got to his feet, multiple officers kicked and punched him in an attempt to get him back on the ground.

Perez claims he was responding to insults hurled at him by the officers. The police say that Perez was picking a fight. The altercation left Perez with a broken nose, scrapes, swelling, and bruises from his hips to his shoulder.

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