While it might be wrong to call Segway, a total failure, it is true that it was a great mode of transportation that didn’t live up to the hype around its predicated success. It’s hard to imagine that a self-balancing two wheeler transportation device that is also fuel-efficient and easier to mobilise with could go wrong. Even though Segway still continues to be used for niche purposes by a small yet meaningful number of people, it didn’t quite turn out to be the gamechanger in the way people commute on a daily basis (something it was presumed it would be). That in someway failed the vision the company and early adopters had for this really cool tech.
Why did it fail?
- An image (or illusion) of success comes from beating the expected earnings. Excessive expectations are in general a bad thing.
- However, in this case, had the expectations kept lower, the product would have not gotten the loser image.
- Improper targeting is the one to blame if you ask us. Segway, in a way, is a device that does not fill a gap of any sort in the market. What Segway could’ve done was to target a specific user base and section instead of promoting it as a more general allpurpose user base. Had the company demonstrated the need for a Segway by a section, it would’ve appealed more, which was not the case with their general targeting.
- Reports showed that people faced difficulty in maintaining balance with many falling off the Segway and that didn’t help the scared users.
- Traffic authorities didn’t know what to do with a device like Segway and hence many didn’t allow a Segway to be driven.
We’re happy that a product as brilliant as Segway did not vanish and still serves meaningful purposes and continues to evolve. But we wish it had transcended to become a new mode of transportation. Something like a novel takes time to sink in and maybe so will it be with Segway.