092 – Seg no way

Posted by  Anecdote International —January 26, 2021
Filed in Business storytelling, Podcast

What problem is your product solving? Listen to hear how Dean Kamen’s Segway was an overnight success and not much more than that.

In this week’s episode of Anecdotally Speaking, Shawn shares the story of a renowned inventor, Dean Kamen, and his invention, the Segway. The Segway’s invention brought a lot of excitement to mainstream media, but sadly it didn’t last very long.

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For your storybank

Tags: innovation, product development, problem-solving

This story starts at 01:02

In December 2001, Dean Kamen, an inventor, had been working on a secret project. He soon announced that he had invented the Segway.

The media went wild with the story. Newsweek said it was the invention of the century.

There was a lot of excitement and investment behind the product, so Segway ramped up their production and began producing 10,000 a week.

There was a flurry of purchases, but then purchases dropped. Suddenly, they were only selling ten a week.

After ten years and a lot of effort, Segway only sold 50,000 worldwide. They initially expected to sell 50,000 in five weeks.

The product never took off because they never answered the question of what problem the Segway was solving.

About  Anecdote International

Anecdote International is a global training and consulting company, specialising in utilising storytelling to bring humanity back to the workforce. Anecdote is now unique in having a global network of over 60 partners in 28 countries, with their learning programs translated into 11 languages, and customers who incorporate these programs into their leadership and sales enablement activities.


  1. Soundari says:

    Coincidentally, just yesterday, was speaking with someone who is collaborating with FIRST, Dean Kamen’s Robotics NGO.

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