[TheThinkTank] THE LIST

Joshua Hoffman joshuahof at gmail.com
Thu May 21 13:17:23 PDT 2015

Thanks to Eric, Paul, Jeff, Kevin, and Matt for taking the time to engage.
Also thanks to everyone who shared new shops to add. I'll get on it (that
includes you Jeff). It turns out I was only subscribed to the "list" email
that arrives once a week so I missed a few of your replies.

The line is fine but its clear. I agree that cooperatives and community
shops are often different. I also agree that for-profit shops can engage in
so called "non-market" activities. My main criteria is DIY
(free/barter/cheap). If there is a second criteria it's a *free* EAB
program. My not-completely-arbitrary preferences in descending order are
cooperatives > community shops > service-oriented for-profit. That logic is
based on my assumption that orgs designed with cooperative structures will
find engaging in non-market behaviors easier. When we share the
risk/rewards of acting there is less incentive to shirk, pass important
ethical decisions "up the ladder", or use the "bottom line" as an excuse.
Yes, cooperative work can be messy and slow, but it can also liberate. For
many people their experience with a cooperative bike shop is the first time
in their lives when their voice mattered.

My reason for creating the list was to get new ideas for how people doing
community bike work engage with their communities. Shops that focus on
sales, or who use sales as their measure of success are going to engage in
a different manner that is less interesting to my aims. We can start
another thread on cooperatives if anyone wants. ;)  If anyone wants to
learn more about worker directed non-profits there is a webinar next week.

PLEASE NOTE: I'm getting most of my information by snooping through
websites and facebook pages. If I missed a shop or if I misunderstood what
a shops/orgs mission please correct me. I think Eric pointed out that
Uptown Bikes is for-profit (WB and Blackstone are both on the list). You
can leave a comment on this google.doc

- Joshua

On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 12:01 PM, Joshua Hoffman <joshuahof at gmail.com>

> Here is a searchable document
> <https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1S0FOc6ZJA-wYWo4qZ4yx75SBFq53aD8ELY1JGBt6UQY/edit?usp=sharing>
> if you want to check for your shop.
> NOTE: So far THE LIST <https://www.facebook.com/lists/792013340883812>
> only includes shops that run cooperatively or at very least include some
> DIY elements. I've done this for a specific reason.... I'm an
> anti-capitalist. I'm interested in how bikes build community and engage
> people in acts of cooperation and self-determination. There are many
> "non-profit" shops that sell used bikes for high prices because they
> believe it will "raise the perceived value" of bikes. There is nothing
> inherently wrong with this approach except that I'm not interested in money
> or perceived value. I'm interested in more people learning to do more
> things for themselves and for others. Cooperatives have the potential to
> lower costs by focusing on mission rather than profit. They can also
> transform the social relationships between humans by substituting hierarchy
> for equality. The benefits of encouraging DIY are obvious.
> What do you all think? Should I include all "non-profit" bike shop
> regardless of their mission? What are the arguments for/against?
> On Wed, May 20, 2015 at 6:52 PM, Joshua Hoffman <joshuahof at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I've put together a Facebook list of all the community bike shops who's
>> pages I could find. 133 in total from around the world. This list is
>> constantly turning up amazing stories and new insights (lots of job
>> opportunities as well).
>> https://www.facebook.com/lists/792013340883812
>> Please let me know if I need to add other shops.
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