Google Backs High Stakes Bicycle Contest

    September 25, 2007

A new contest gives participants two choices, and the second option is “die.”  I guess Google, which is involved in the competition, really wants people to innovate.

Of course, it’s unlikely that anyone will be executed as a result of the Innovate or Die Pedal-Powered Machine Contest, but Google and Specialized (a bicycle company that is also behind the challenge) are trying to emphasize some environmental issues.’s Dan Riecher lists a whole host of ways in which the company is doing its part, writing, “We opt for locally-grown food whenever possible in all of our cafes.  We’ve covered our roofs with solar panels.  We offer a rebate on our employees’ fuel-efficient car purchases.  When it comes to getting people to the office, we offer round-trip shuttle service to our Bay Area Googlers, as well as incentives for creative commuting, from walking to biking and even to kayaking . . .”

Google and Specialized (along with Goodby Silverstein & Partners) want your help, however, and death threats aside, they’re being rather generous about it.  “[S]how us with a YouTube video how you harness pedal power in innovative ways,” writes Riecher.  “In January, you could win $5,000 in cash and Specialized Globe bikes to keep up your commitment.”

Be careful about visiting the official Innovate or Die site, though – clicks on any of the tabs within it are, at least on my computer, causing Firefox to crash.