Segway stumbled a bit after it launched in 2001 despite the glowing predictions about how the two-wheeled self-balancing scooter would redesign entire cities. We thought the Jetsons had finally arrived, and then a few towns worried that rolling commuters might plow over small children, so banned the devices.
But Dean Kamen‘s idea was audacious genius, akin to inventing the wheel, so today we’re digging Segway’s move into the green zone — with fat-tired versions for golfing and the new Segway Social microsite by design shop Plaid. To be honest, we were pitched this site launch by Plaid, and find that PR behavior despicable, except for (a) Plaid does genius work and (b) the site is really cool.
Yeah, yeah, the site has social media angles, like joining an X2 Roaders group to go through dirt trails in New Hampshire. But the coolest bits are the pricing models. As our economy enters a recessionary black hole, it’s gonna take some motivation to get us to shell out big bucks for a discretionary roller-thingy.
Consider how these clever Segway savings models might help reframe product prices at your business:
1. A daily coffee habit estimator, which shows you how much cash you’d free up if you stopped drinking fancy caffeine.
2. A cheerful gas cost/mileage/commute device, where we learned we spend $19.58 on fuel and emit 91.33 pounds in carbon every day.
So. The pro is we now know we’re environmental pigs, feel extremely guilty, and would consider buying a Segway if it could handle our 40-mile daily commute with a good heater for winter. The con is now we know we spend $1,733.75 for coffee each year — so we can’t really afford to go anywhere.