This morning I added the editorial note below to a post about how bikes are made and factory conditions in Asia. The opinions I wrote in the post were inspired by Mike Daisey’s story on This American Life. That story has since been retracted because Daisey lied about it.
On March 16th, 2012, Daisey’s story got retracted by This American Life and the fallout from the lies Daisy told about Apple continue in the press and on stage at the theater where he performs. The story Daisey told led this this post about “hand made” bikes and the bike industry’s Asian factories. While the content in the post is entirley editorial and opinion, I thought it important to update it with the news about Daisey. I’m as dismayed by it as anyone in tech and where tech intersects with the bike.
I remembered these peasant workers I met in China when writing the post. Mike Daisey claims he met workers like this at Foxconn factories, where Apple products are made. In the post I wrote
So I’m not indicting the industry, on a vision quest with its leaders, or planning a one-man show about it. I am offering a perspective about handmade and thinking about where bikes are made by hand. While Apple has margins that Sinyard, Burke, Hon et al. can only dream about, I do think bike companies should publicly address supplier relations. They should tell us what they do to ensure their standards are met, whatever those are.
While Daisey has lost cred after bringing so much attention to where the producs we consume are made, my opinion about the bike industry is the same. I think it’s important for the industry to better connect the consumer to the factories; especially when the main marketing messaging from a dog and pony show about builders is made by hand.