It may seem like a lifetime ago, but Bird made its debut only a year ago on the streets of Santa Monica.
By the summer of 2018 scooters were already the year’s, if not the decade’s, biggest blockbuster. Scooter adoption levels rivaled potentially any other technology in human history and resulting in much analysis in the disruptive potential of these vehicles.
But Bird didn’t manage this alone. Disruption usually doesn’t just happened by just one company.
Conferences and industry events. All too often, they are forums where industry actors can perform on stage for clever sound bites and self-congratulation. All fluff, no substance.
Maybe because the industry is young and the participants are naive enough to be speaking their minds, maybe it was because the organizers’ focus was education instead of mere indulgence, the first ever Micromobility Conference was a significant cut above the rest.
On the whole, liberals identify with the following values:
1. Evidence-based, with the ability to change their opinions and quickly adapting when presented with compelling facts
2. Collectivist-minded, concerned with the plights of fellow human beings and society as a whole
3. Deep concerned for environmental issues
Historically, the expansion of humanity’s horizons has often been paid for by the public. As Neil deGrass Tyson often points out, governments have frequently bankrolled endeavors whose costs were very high and whose risks were unknown such as such as long sea voyages or space exploration. These ventures mapped out the risks, learned by trial and error, innovated, and subsequently paved the way for commercial ventures.
In a curious turn of events VCs and entrepreneurs took on the risk themselves, pushing the boundaries of electric micromobility with the force of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Over the last decade, Elon Musk has been crying out his solution to urban mobility from the mountaintops. His vision is replacing our polluting, fossil fuel based cars with electrified cars and replacing (very) fallible human drivers with machine learning algorithms. At first glance, not terrible ideas.
Now having lived in Los Angeles for the past few years, he’s noticed another problem with our urban mobility: traffic. So he has another solution: tunnels. Lots of them.
His solutions are dead on. That is if you take his ideas and do the exact opposite!