At last it can, er, has been told: the True Story of the Segway
Many moons ago, my publisher rang me up with a strange tale. He had been invited to bid for the rights to a book on something called “Project Ginger” — code name for a product created by inventor Dean Kamen which (it was claimed) would transform the world. Nobody knew — least of all the hapless bidding publishers — what Ginger was, but it was revealed that John Doerr (the patron saint of venture capitalists) and Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) were fanatically keen on the idea. “So”, asked my publisher, “should I bid?” My friend Quentin and I did some digging into Mr Kamen’s patent holdings and concluded quickly (as did most geeks) that it must be some sort of personal transportation device. And so indeed it proved to be — the Segway scooter (yours from Amazon.com for $4,950). Now the book of the great adventure is out. The NYT review is surprisingly generous.
My publisher, incidentally, decided not to bid. Smart lad. Interesting to note also that the only time I have seen a Segway on the mass media was when Niles Crane (Frasier’s infinitely precious brother) had one. Perfect casting, I thought.