Bamboo Boom; June 2009; Scientific American Earth 3.0; by Michelle Nijhuis; 6 Page(s)
Daniel smith remembers when he first tried to sell a bamboo floor. The San Francisco entrepreneur thought his woodlike product was attractive and durable, but when he took samples to a Dallas trade show in 1994, the reaction wasn't quite what he had hoped for. No one believed the plant's round stalks—then most familiar in the U.S. as the stuff of backyard torches—could be turned into a smooth, lasting floor.
"One architect said to me, 'I appreciate that you're at the cutting edge of design and development, but I don't want to be cut by that edge," Smith says.