Friday, November 28, 2008
Will it ever take off?
It is a neat machine. The technology is amazing. But will it sell?
That's me "riding", "driving" or "mounting" the Segway. I enjoyed my short ride and it was easy to control. So, "Why hasn't the Segway taken the world with a storm?"
Because the Segway marketers haven't indentified a particular need or want.
The first question is who "needs' a Segway? And the answer is no one.
The second and more important question is who might want a Segway? The answer is - techno geeks who love the technology and have five to eight thousand dollars to throw away. That's a small market. Certainly not a mass market like the Apple I phone.
The I phone feeds the wants of people to be cool and connected.
The Segway might be cool - but what other wants does it satisfy?
The competition is bicycles or motorcycles. Bicycles usually cost less. That's where the mass market is. And enthusiasts will pay five thousands dollars because they want a high end bicycle on which they can exercise and compete. The Segway doesn't measure up.
Motorcycle riders want the independance, speed and esperience of zooming along straight and curving roads. The Segway doesn't compete.
People who need a motorized wheel chair can not stand up on the Segway.
It's a case of cool technology with no viable market.
Good bye Segway.