Can The Segway Balance Itself As A Platform, Not A Product?

“Rember back in 2001 when there was all that hype (yes, us included) about some crazy new secret project from an inventor that would change the way people traveled? In the end, it just turned out to be a lot of hype for what became the Segway scooter. The balancing act was cool, but the usefulness (especially at thousands of dollars) was widely questioned. As many suspected, massive sales never materialized. In the meantime, the company went through a lot more top executives than product enhancements, leading many to wonder if the company would ever amount to anything. A few months ago, the company began exploring an IPO (which didn’t make sense, given how little they have to show on the financial side) and for at least the second time explored the idea of selling the Segway more like a car, with dealerships and leasing plans. However, it seems that the company has finally come to terms with the fact that the original idea that the Segway would change the way people travel was way oversold — and what’s really innovative wasn’t the Segway itself, but the concept of using the technology to build self-balancing devices. The latest CEO is now trying to push the company towards using its basic balancing technology as a platform to be used in other vehicles, including the very cars it was supposed to replace, rather than being focused on building the end-product themselves. It’s finally realizing that, while the technology was cool, perhaps the specific application of it didn’t really fill a need. It seems like a step in the right direction, but after everything Segway’s been through, it’s going to take a lot of work to get this new vision moving.”

via techdirt


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