Segway continues to be a bust, only 6,000

posted by Jason Kottke Feb 18, 2004

Segway continues to be a bust, only 6,000 sold in first year.

Reader comments

BobFeb 18, 2004 at 5:06PM

Because they're too damned expensive for us Average Schmoes.

benFeb 18, 2004 at 5:15PM

...and besides motorcycles are WAY better!

Stefan JonesFeb 18, 2004 at 5:42PM

If they were sold with a big plastic scrotum down under between the wheels, you could make a killing in Texas.

tj hookerFeb 18, 2004 at 6:15PM

they do seem ridiculously pricey for what is the practical equivalent of a scooter.

sennanFeb 18, 2004 at 6:35PM



AlanFeb 18, 2004 at 8:15PM


Who's been screwing with this thing?!

MattFeb 18, 2004 at 9:36PM

On the bright side, that's six thousand cities that will be built around this thing!

don kingFeb 18, 2004 at 11:39PM


Kip IngramFeb 19, 2004 at 1:05AM

Let's see:

01. It doesn't keep the rain off of you.
02. You can't carry much (unless it fits in a backpack).
03. There's no place for your date.
04. There's no place for your spouse.
05. There's no place for your kids.
06. Your local mechanic won't know how to work on it.
07. Spare parts are bound to be way expensive.
08. You'll get tired of standing up all the time.
09. You won't be able to hear your stereo over the road noise.
10. You can only park it if you can chain it to something.

Items 3-5 cover thirty years of your life right there. Seriously, the Segway is a really, really cool idea that just doesn't fit into the average American lifestyle. The average American doesn't live within steps of his or her common destination, and doesn't typically visit those destinations alone.

I'd love to have a Segway. It would be my most expensive toy.

padraiginFeb 19, 2004 at 1:45AM

I live in San Francisco, I've seen exactly ONE Segway, and that was just last month.

I don't think it's going to catch on.

shakyFeb 19, 2004 at 3:59AM

reminds me of the Sinclair C5 brought out in the UK years ago, massive hype but nobody bought them

LeifFeb 19, 2004 at 5:33AM

Supposedly they use them here in the Chicago airports, but I've been to both Midway and O'Hare several times over the last year and I've never seen one.

LeifFeb 19, 2004 at 5:35AM

Heh, but I *have* seen one--it was on display at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. It's already a relic!

MattFeb 19, 2004 at 9:52AM

When the Segway first came out, my wife bet me $1000 that I wouldn't personally see ten segways before 2010. So far, I've only seen one.

Seth WerkheiserFeb 19, 2004 at 10:44AM

The thing does what, 12mph? For like 10 miles? Heck, a month on a bicycle and you'll be able to do that (though you still might get wet, run out of seating for your wife and kids, get hit by a taxi, etc.)

spygeekFeb 19, 2004 at 12:53PM

I saw in my university alumni magazine that they recently bought three Segways for use by the campus security force. The thing is, the campus is pretty small, and I don't see the point, other than the fact that they have tons of cash to burn.

RyanFeb 19, 2004 at 1:02PM

padraigan, i've also seen the one Segway in San Francisco. The guy was riding it on 17th St, headed towards Mission from South Van Ness. I wanted to tackle him off of it. Then again, I get similar urges to clothesline grownups who ride those gas powered razor-scooters around my neighborhood.

DaveFeb 19, 2004 at 3:09PM

I've been seriously considering buying one since 90% of my activity takes place within two miles of my home. And walking or biking any distance during the summer in Phoenix is like swimming laps in your own personal sweat pool.

But when an electric razor scooter costs $300, what's the point of paying $4,000? I'm going to look like a complete tool either way, and neither obviates the need for a car. Honda scooter, here I come...

DaveFeb 19, 2004 at 3:14PM

Oh, also, Segway opened a retail store in the Scottsdale Fashion Square just before christmas. They rented a large space that they turned into a training/obstacle course. Whenever I walked by, the store was empty except for the employees tooling around playing tag or something. It was closed by new year's.

Dan FasciaFeb 19, 2004 at 6:14PM

Can I raise the obvious point here: Driving round on a Segway makes you look like an absolute idiot... That is why they are gonna go bust, nobody likes looking stupid.

I saw one for the first time ever in the UK recently. The guy was surrounded by a huge crowd laughing AT him.

If you like yourself, don't go there....

the troutFeb 19, 2004 at 6:37PM

Wait a minute... you guys obviously haven't seen Arrested Development. Gob looks so awesome toolin' around on his Segway, they're bound to catch on with the kids.

I wonder if the show managed to get one donated for product placement. I would've loved to be in on that meeting: "Sure, it's a comedy, but the cool character rides it. He's a magician!"

JerelFeb 20, 2004 at 10:21AM

I think it's competition from Kottke's own Megway that is killing it.

tomFeb 20, 2004 at 12:17PM

Dan Fascia: Can I raise the obvious point here: Driving round on a Segway makes you look like an absolute idiot... That is why they are gonna go bust, nobody likes looking stupid.

Yep, it reminds me of the old off-color joke:
What do fat girls and mopeds have in common?

LeaFeb 20, 2004 at 1:52PM

Segways would only make people more fat. Walking by necessity is practically the only exercise I get. Hahaha.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.