CYCLE: the importance of knowinghow things are made                   Peter Holmes à Court                   TED@Amsterdam...
This is a story about a visitto a remote bicyclefactory, the lost connectionwith the people who makethings, and a failing ...
I took my son to a small French factory where I was going to watch a bicyclebeing built. He was going to watch from a safe...
I was photographing a craftsmen with nearly 40 years experience. BernardBerthelot started by selecting the tubes, the stee...
As the cutting started in the clashof machine and metal
I began to see the beauty in aprocess…
…in which some parts were doneprecisely to the hundredth of a millimetre
Other parts were done by eye.
Then somethingunexpectedhappened.
As I watched myson, I noticed hebegan to standcloserand closer.
And soon he was transfixed,standing side by side with Bernard for nearly 3 hours.
I began to wonder “howmany things has he seenbeing built before?”Most of the objects in hisworld have arrivedfinished, pre...
I know that in economicterms, something can bevalued at $10 onemoment, 10 cents thenext.But that’s not howpeople think of ...
What transforms something from a mere commodity into somethingthat we cherish is how it makes us feel. When we know how so...
When we have this connection something amazing happens: we get anextra value that we apply to the product that comes back ...
Clearly my bike wasbeing built by mastercraftsmen andwomen, but its just astrue for cookies baked byyour child. Because of...
In general, our   plus subjectiveenjoyment of a    values that weproduct is the    attach to thecombination of    product,...
We live in a society where many of these links have been lost. Wedon’t buy our bread from a baker, nor milk from a farmer....
What I am suggesting isthat when we find theconnection between ourthings and the peoplewho made them, we geta number of be...
1: We enjoy our things more. For the same purchase price we get more from them.
1: We enjoy our things more. For the same purchase price we get more from them.2: They last longer, because we tend to tak...
1: We enjoy our things more. For the same purchase price we get more from them.2: They last longer, because we tend to tak...
For my son, this was a short visit toone factory. But hopefully it startssomething.
Wouldn’t it be great, if he could see that the things in his life carrythe finger prints of the people who made them.
thank you.
Peter is a writer, photographer, businessman and father. His previous roles includefounder of Back Row Productions, a live...
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  • This is a story about a bicycle factory, the lost connection with the people who make thingsAnd a failing of economics to help us understand value
  • Then something unexpected happened.  As I watched my son, he began to stand closer
  • We want to know what it can do for us, how long will it keep doing it,and,can we find who made it, if something goes wrong?
  • Andyou don't have to love how something is used: you’d valuea cigarette case given to you by your grandfather even if you don't smoke.
  • After theywere carefully measured
  • thank you.
  • TED@Amsterdam Presentation

    1. 1. CYCLE: the importance of knowinghow things are made Peter Holmes à Court TED@Amsterdam June 20, 2012
    2. 2. This is a story about a visitto a remote bicyclefactory, the lost connectionwith the people who makethings, and a failing ofeconomics to help usunderstand value.
    3. 3. I took my son to a small French factory where I was going to watch a bicyclebeing built. He was going to watch from a safe distance.
    4. 4. I was photographing a craftsmen with nearly 40 years experience. BernardBerthelot started by selecting the tubes, the steel rods that he would join tomake the frame.
    5. 5. As the cutting started in the clashof machine and metal
    6. 6. I began to see the beauty in aprocess…
    7. 7. …in which some parts were doneprecisely to the hundredth of a millimetre
    8. 8. Other parts were done by eye.
    9. 9. Then somethingunexpectedhappened.
    10. 10. As I watched myson, I noticed hebegan to standcloserand closer.
    11. 11. And soon he was transfixed,standing side by side with Bernard for nearly 3 hours.
    12. 12. I began to wonder “howmany things has he seenbeing built before?”Most of the objects in hisworld have arrivedfinished, pre-packaged.“Doesn’t that make itharder for him tounderstand what thingsare worth?”
    13. 13. I know that in economicterms, something can bevalued at $10 onemoment, 10 cents thenext.But that’s not howpeople think of value.”Whats it really worth”we ask, by which wemean “what’s it worth tome”?
    14. 14. What transforms something from a mere commodity into somethingthat we cherish is how it makes us feel. When we know how somethingis made, we understand what people did to make it and this gives usan opportunity to form a unique personal connection.
    15. 15. When we have this connection something amazing happens: we get anextra value that we apply to the product that comes back to us and thebonus is it can keep coming and can even grow over time.
    16. 16. Clearly my bike wasbeing built by mastercraftsmen andwomen, but its just astrue for cookies baked byyour child. Because ofyour feelings towards thechild you actually enjoythe cookies more. Thecookies are enhanced bythe emotions you add tothe mix.
    17. 17. In general, our plus subjectiveenjoyment of a values that weproduct is the attach to thecombination of product, and thisits objective is where aqualities— connection withprice, fit for the makerpurpose, expe comes in.ctedlifespan—
    18. 18. We live in a society where many of these links have been lost. Wedon’t buy our bread from a baker, nor milk from a farmer. I am notsaying that to find happiness we have to become agrarian traders.
    19. 19. What I am suggesting isthat when we find theconnection between ourthings and the peoplewho made them, we geta number of benefits.
    20. 20. 1: We enjoy our things more. For the same purchase price we get more from them.
    21. 21. 1: We enjoy our things more. For the same purchase price we get more from them.2: They last longer, because we tend to take better care of the things we appreciate.
    22. 22. 1: We enjoy our things more. For the same purchase price we get more from them.2: They last longer, because we tend to take better care of the things we appreciate.3: We buy less other stuff because we are more fulfilled by being surrounded bythings we appreciate.
    23. 23. For my son, this was a short visit toone factory. But hopefully it startssomething.
    24. 24. Wouldn’t it be great, if he could see that the things in his life carrythe finger prints of the people who made them.
    25. 25. thank you.
    26. 26. Peter is a writer, photographer, businessman and father. His previous roles includefounder of Back Row Productions, a live entertainment producer, CEO of the AustralianAgricultural Company, Executive Chairman of the South Sydney Rabbitohs RugbyLeague Club, Founding Chairman of Brand Sydney and the Greater Sydney Partnership.Peter is writing a book on the changing nature of work since the Industrial Revolution andpublishing a book of his photographs on work in rural France.www.facebook.com/peterhacThanks to Robert Holmes à Court, Bernard Berthelotand the team at CYFAC bicycles, La Fuye, France.© all images by Peter Holmes à Court

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