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Code Name Ginger

2006-07-24 01:17:54.652748+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

Over at Sacred Cow Tipping, Mike linked to an extract from a book called Code Name Ginger (alternate link) about a meeting between facilitated by John Doerr[Wiki] between Dean Kamen[Wiki], Steve Jobs[Wiki] and Jeff Bezos[Wiki] wherein Steve Jobs[Wiki] gives a lot of interesting feedback on the marketing and design of the Segway[Wiki]. There are lots of good bits, enough that I think this book just went on my "must read" list, but here's a paragraph about Jobs taking on the notion of doing their own manufacturing:

Partly, explained Tim, because giving our code to someone else would be a great risk. Not a good reason, in Jobs's view, because the code could easily be reverse-engineered. No it couldn't, said Tim. Could, said Jobs. He added that Tim should be spending money and management time on other things, especially since there was no way he could convince any world-class manufacturing and procurement people to move to New Hampshire, for God's sake, his tone implying that only slow-witted rubes could bear such a place. Dean lifted an eyebrow.

Now New Hampshire has its appeals, but if we look at the history of the Segway[Wiki] there are a bunch of lessons, and most of them are about marketing and brand more than technology, although some of the styling issues are addressed in Trevor Blackwell's description of his Balancing Scooter Version 2:

However, I think something can be done about the "homo" part (not that there's anything wrong with that.) It reflects the not-so-masculine soft plastic styling of the Segway. I'd like to see if I can tweak the styling of mine so I don't get yelled at as much. At least mine is metal, but it still looks spindly. I'd like to give it a muscular look with lots of chrome tubing and polished metal surfaces.

(And the fact that Trevor has built a faster lighter version from off-the-shelf parts says something about owning the manufacturing process).

Anyway, the book looks interesting even if the Amazon reviews of it aren't entirely complimentary.

[ related topics: Apple Computer Books Invention and Design Bay Area Consumerism and advertising Marketing Segway/Ginger/IT ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-07-25 19:57:45.869127+00 by: ebradway

From the Balancing Scooter:

"In the fairly likely event of the software crashing, a wire coming loose, a component failing, or the batteries running low, the wheels will stop and the entire kinetic energy of the system will be used to accelerate my head toward the ground."

#Comment Re: made: 2006-07-25 22:11:12.546994+00 by: Dan Lyke

I've absolutely no desire to see 10 MPH, but the crash scene in the trailer is hilarious in a "when technology goes bad and hurts other people" sort of way.