The best inventions don't always sell

@Fleura (7197)
United Kingdom
March 29, 2017 4:28am CST
A comment by @WorDazza about people joining the gym then never going again after February brought this to mind. A few years ago my friend worked for a company that made exercise bikes integrated with games consoles. It wasn’t just a case of playing a game to ease the boredom while you cycled; the speed at which you cycled affected the speed of the game, so if you cycled faster you got more time to escape the monster etc. There was one game along similar lined to Tetris, where shapes fell down the screen and you had to place them in a certain way. They would get faster and faster but if you cycled faster they would slow down; if you got one in the wrong place you could even cycle like crazy and make it go back up so you could try again! They were brilliant, you would be so focussed on the game you wouldn’t notice how much energy you were expending, they got fantastic reviews, even Bill Gates acclaimed them. I hate exercise bikes and absolutely never play computer games but even I enjoyed them! You would think they'd be a great success but the company went bust. How could that happen? The machines were rather too expensive for most private individuals to buy for home use. You would think they’d be snapped up by gyms and health clubs but no – because they don’t actually want their members to keep coming! If people join for a year, but then don’t bother going, the gym can sell that membership space again and again. If the members have so much fun that they keep coming back, the gym can’t sell any more membership. So it’s in their best interest to make going to the gym tedious and boring in the extreme. I haven’t got a suitable photo so I’m going to use these windmills instead! All rights reserved. © Text and image copyright Fleur 2017.
10 people like this
11 responses
@WorDazza (10091)
• Manchester, England
29 Mar 17
That sounds absolutely brilliant and by rights should have been an absolute winner. Sadly we live in a cynical, money-grabbing world these days and consequently it's not necessarily the great ideas that survive.
3 people like this
@Fleura (7197)
• United Kingdom
29 Mar 17
This is it on Wikipedia, I just looked for it:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search The Exertris Interactive Exercise Bike Exertris was an exergaming company founded in 2000 by Gareth Davies. Their flagship product was the Exertris Interactive Exercise Bike, an exercise bik
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (10091)
• Manchester, England
30 Mar 17
@Fleura You know what, that is absolute genius. I'm just wondering if that could be made more affordable these days. If you get the price down to something comparable to a good standard exercise bike there could be a market for it in the home. Some of the ideas such as variable resistance for different coloured gems and the ability to slow things down on the game by pedalling faster all fit in with the concepts of HIIT and Fartlek training which is pretty popular these days.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (7197)
• United Kingdom
30 Mar 17
@WorDazza It is, I know! It was such a shame, it was definitely ahead of its time. If it had been less expensive I might even have considered buying one myself, even though I hate both exercise bikes and computer games - weird or what? I think they cost 2 or 3 thousand at the time.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
29 Mar 17
That would have been so wonderful. I hate exercising but with that I might just make it a daily habit.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (7197)
• United Kingdom
29 Mar 17
So do I! Not that I'm lazy, I'm very happy to ride my actual bicycle when I'm going somewhere, but just to pedal away and go nowhere and with nothing to look at but a row of other machines and sweaty people - sheesh! Why would you do that?
1 person likes this
• Philippines
30 Mar 17
@Fleura true. It would have been a blast should they have been placed in gyms.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (7197)
• United Kingdom
30 Mar 17
@nottoooldtowrite I know, you can just imagine the laughter and shrieks and shouts of triumph instead of the grim silent determination and clanking of machinery you usually get.
1 person likes this
@DaddyEvil (25893)
• Aurora, Missouri
29 Mar 17
Huh! Those windmills are very colorful, Fleur.... How often do they need to be touched up? (I am curious and almost ask if they are for sale... We get too much wind here. Windmills like that will be destroyed in just a few weeks so we quit putting out things like that.) Years ago I was a gym rat. I spent an hour and a half every day, six days a week lifting weights at the gym about a mile from my house. Personally, I wouldn't have been interested in using the machines described in your post. I haven't ever been interested in playing video games and didn't like to be disturbed when I was working out. I was serious about being healthy and looking good. Then I got married... LMAO! (She made me stop going to the gym!)
1 person likes this
@Fleura (7197)
• United Kingdom
29 Mar 17
The windmills are made by a little old man who lives not far away. He makes them out of old plastic buckets and things like that. I don't know how long they last, I only see them when I happen to park near his house on the way to town sometimes! He did tell me he sells them occasionally. I'm impressed at your dedication going to the gym! I couldn't bear that, I think I would go mad with the boredom.
1 person likes this
@DaddyEvil (25893)
• Aurora, Missouri
4 Apr 17
@Fleura When I worked out I was shooting for a goal, so that kept me focused. All I had to do was think about what I wanted to achieve and I wasn't bored. Pretty and I just finished setting up our bench and weights in one corner of the living room. Pretty has been working out and jogging for a couple of months now. She wanted to lose some weight. (She actually has lost 44 lbs in the last four months. I am quite proud of her!) I told her I was thinking about lifting again, but I am not sure I really want to get back into it. I think something will have to make me start back up. SMH!
1 person likes this
@Fleura (7197)
• United Kingdom
4 Apr 17
@DaddyEvil Yeah you definitely need a goal to focus on!
1 person likes this
@CRK109 (14414)
• United States
29 Mar 17
We have a TV show here called Shark Tank, where people come to present their products or businesses to millionaires in hopes of getting some money to keep their businesses going. Some people have fantastic ideas (I think!) and yet they are turned down because the millionaires don't see how the businesses could make money long term. They seem to know something that regular folks like us don't know. I love that idea of the bikes with the games. But there had to be a reason why they failed.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (7197)
• United Kingdom
29 Mar 17
We have a similar show, it's called Dragons' Den over here. And yes some people are really inventive! Other times people make their fortune from some little thing that makes you think 'Why would anyone want that?'
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@CRK109 (14414)
• United States
30 Mar 17
@Fleura Exactly! I'm not sure anyone ever really knows what products will take off with people. But it sure is fun to watch all the new things before they get on the market!
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (175653)
• Switzerland
29 Mar 17
I loved to play Tetris, I still have the game on my old GameBoy, but I never enjoyed going to gym. Exercising in a closed space had never been my thing, I need fresh clean air to breath.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (7197)
• United Kingdom
29 Mar 17
Yes I would much rather ride my real bicycle! I never play games, the only time I did now and then was when I was trying to write my thesis and sometimes I needed something less taxing for a bit of light relief!
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (175653)
• Switzerland
30 Mar 17
@Fleura When we lived in France, my husband wrote articles for several Computer magazines (both French and Americans). We received dozens of computer games to review each week and I was the one in charge to test them. It was only half funny, because it was a hard work too.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Mar 17
I don't do gyms LOL Love the wind spinners. We have far too much wind to have one of those.
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@Fleura (7197)
• United Kingdom
29 Mar 17
Neither do I, I find the very idea unbelievably boring!
• United States
29 Mar 17
@Fleura I joined on many years ago - when I was thin and a bunch of girls from work joined...that lasted a month or two!
1 person likes this
@Ronrybs (7392)
• London, England
30 Mar 17
I was thinking that. If folks pay for something they don't use, then it can be sold over and over again. I don't like video games and am happy to pedal my bike. A bit of weight training wouldn't go amiss, but gym membership is too expensive just for that
1 person likes this
@Fleura (7197)
• United Kingdom
30 Mar 17
Like you, I much prefer riding my real bike!
1 person likes this
• China
29 Mar 17
It is strange that the less the members go to the gym ,the better.How to maximize profits,that is the name of the game.
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@Fleura (7197)
• United Kingdom
29 Mar 17
Yes it is a flawed model as far as actually getting people fit isn't it?
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@MALUSE (43422)
• Uzbekistan
29 Mar 17
Crazy as it sounds I find it absolutely believable.
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@Fleura (7197)
• United Kingdom
29 Mar 17
Oh yes it all makes perfect sense in monetary terms.
• Philippines
29 Mar 17
I regret buying video games cassettes or tapes during my child hood.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (7197)
• United Kingdom
29 Mar 17
Do you? Did you spend a lot of time and money on them?
@Corbin5 (115637)
• United States
29 Mar 17
One would think that those machines would be a big hit, but glad you explained why gyms did not want them.
1 person likes this