Bad, Bad Segway

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Mike, when I saw that Dean Kamen had hired two GOP flunkies to work Washington for federal money for his Segway, I had to bang my head on the ground until the pain went away.

Kamen already targeted the Postal Service as potential customers and it essentailly said, neat toy, now go way. In fact, that was been the response of nearly every outfit that has tried the device. Wired goes into the details of what it calls the "Segway bubble."

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  1. An interesting lesson to be learned here, one that has been relevant in my own career as an automotive engineer, is that a good engineer does not necessarily make for a good businessman. Kamen had a lot of successes designing things that other people manufactured and sold. Perhaps if he had had to shop this design around to potential manufacturers, it would have become apparent that it is not all that he thought it would be.

    Engineers do become emotionally attached to their work, just like artists and musicians. It’s human nature. It helps to have someone emotionally detached from your work to get feedback from.

    I wish them luck with this thing – perhaps they can sell them in highly crowded areas like Japan. Some possibility to sell them in China where many people get around on bicycles and motor scooters, but the problem there is for $4-5000 you can buy a whole car, and the market for automobiles is growing fast….

  2. perhaps if they had low ground pressure tires and a trailer of some sort…Golf courses come to mind first. Although I guess if you had one of those RF-controlled club caddy things it could follow you…Still need wider tires though.

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