The inventors of a cardboard bicycle have pulled their campaign to raise more than $2 million to develop a sustainable production line for their unusual method of transport.
The Cardboard Bike - made of recycled materials - was intended to "change the world" by providing a new, clean-energy use for, well, garbage.
The inventors had claimed it could be a transformative invention.
"Imagine a time when every plastic or cardboard product that is thrown into the recycle bin will contribute to the creation of a bicycle, wheelchair or toy," said Israeli engineer and inventor of the cardboard bike, Izhar Gafni, in a press release.
"Basically the idea is like Japanese origami, but we don't compress the cardboard and we don't break its structure. We overcome the cardboard's failure points, by spreading out the weight to create durability."
But after the campaign managed to raise just $41,000, the plan has now been quietly shelved for now.
"We listened to you, our greatest supporters, and will re-open our Indiegogo campaign once the factory is up and running and can offer lower prices and a three-month delivery time. That is the beauty of crowdfunding," said the team on Indiegogo.
So why did it fail? In short, because no one bought the bikes. Only 24 pledges of $290 were received by July 1, which would have guaranteed the backers a bike of their own. After the bike was reduced to $135 more backers came on board - but only another $17,000 worth.
Over at Triple Pundit, Rad Godelnik, co-founder of Eco-Libris, writes:
"The thing is that the market value isn't as important for many people as the value they perceive from the gift. That's where the cardboard bike failed - it just didn't generate enough value to justify the $290 price tag. And ultimately customers weren't interested in subsidising the cost of the factory."
As for the cardboard bike? The team behind it are now looking to develop the idea and factory on their own, before returning to crowd-funding for another go on the merry-go-round.
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