words by Emil Rosenberg, header photography by Carl von Arbin
The year is coming to an end. For many of us it means a time of reuniting with friends and family and the recharge of those well-drained batteries.
And it’s the same for Velonode. But this time, the end of the year will also mark the end of an other era.
When we first launched the Velonode Beta over two years ago our vision was to create something new and unique. Something that would bring relief to the information-flooded cyclist.
We had an idea of Velonode as a platform for distilling content, data and trends and to give it back to cyclists who wanted to find that epic local road, that unique jersey or the the perfect way to take a bike photograph.
And with our new filters, our members would escape the noise and only see what was truly relevant to them. And in contrast to every other social platform, the members would essentially be curating their own channels, the other way around.
Our motto “Collect – Curate – Connect” was taking shape. We were energized and had our sleeves rolled up.
We believed in the idea so much that it seemed obvious to us that anyone – and everyone – would want to join in and share their knowledge for the greater good of all cyclists, knowing that some day, the favor would be returned.
At first, things rolled quickly. During the year of birth, we had already been mentioned in the press as “the Spotify of cycling” and had gathered the interest of many incredible people willing to call themselves Velonode Contributors.
We were getting stores from every corner of the cycling universe and were getting the content other platforms and brands would dream for. And we were giving it away for free.
Things were really intriguing. And I think we were all enjoying the excitement. We were getting to know new and interesting people each day. At the time, our biggest problem was keeping up with all the action.
And things kept rolling. We were able to do better and better content ourselves and new ideas of an e-commerce integration emerged.
We visualized a dual-concept store that would house both our own creations as well as an curated division that would be the home to all products we found interesting and unique. Up to this point, we didn’t have the possibility to give back to our contributors the way we wanted.
But this was all going to change. We thought of the shop as a perfect way to give something back – in terms of a generous discount to our generous contributors.
The e-commerce construction was initiated and so was the approaching of possible partners.
But then came our first epiphany. Our grande ideas wasn’t getting the positive response from the corporation-side of cycling.
Our ideas of marketing, selling and shipping products weren’t traditional. They were new.
Not to the e-commerce market as a whole – but to cycling. We saw a market in change and a market that could benefit of reinventing itself to be more customer-driven, because that time is coming.
Perhaps we were a bit ahead of our time.
We continued to work with our incredible contributors to find and produce interesting and unique stories from the biggest and smallest events.
And the love for beautiful content was constantly praised by people who came across our work. It gave us energy to keep working hard.
So our channels kept growing. We’ve always been headstrong with how we wanted to keep the site – clean and relevant. After some internal discussions a courageous decision to keep the site ad-free was taken.
Later on we began to explore the possibilities of creating advertorials with the brands we wanted to work with. In our eyes, we had an attractive concept of editorial experience combined with a unique possibility for brands to reach out to the micro-trends and markets they wanted via our influential contributors.
Brands could work with us and get high-quality content spread into the micro-trends and subcultures they wanted to appear in without having to search for – and acquire – the influencers themselves.
We were offering a short-cut to creating powerful advertising while still being consent with our philosophy of always being honest and transparent.
And the response was great. Many of our dream collaborators reached out and we established great relationships with many of them early on. Some even thought our ideas was too good, and decided to copy them and make them their own.
Despite that, we were determined to stay true to our philosophy. We wanted Velonode to become a useful tool we could all use for benefit and fun.
Something we would build together our of a collaborated effort. We wanted to give Velonode to the all the cyclists out there.
But finding unique and creative stories doesn’t always come easy and it’s a lot of hard work. Especially in a community this niche. And so it’s time for us to deliver our unfortunate news…
We’re going to put the Velonode project on ice until further notice but we still believe in our ideas of offering a cyclist-first experience when it comes to knowledge, products and trends.
Our belief has always been to create what the cyclist wanted. Never to shape the cyclist into what suits the industry.
Before we go, we would like to express our greatest thanks to everyone that has been involved with Velonode. And especially our incredible contributors. You’ve made our journey worthwhile.
We wanted Velonode to become so much more.
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Collect – Curate – Connect
Sincerely, the Velonode team
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