As hard as everyone tries, it is inevitable they they will reach the end of their long journey. Sometimes, that end is a little more embarrassing than others. Last Sunday the owner of Segway Inc. perished in an ironic twist of fate when he drove a Segway off a cliff and into a river. Making this tragedy even more hard to believe is the fact that Jimi Heselden had only owned the Segway company since December. This blogger thinks that maybe that was an unwise purchase.
Last Sunday it was reported that Jimi Heselden had perished when he lost control of an ATV version of the Segway and plummeted to his demise over an 80-foot cliff. When the news went public about just how Heselden died, Segway Inc went into damage control mode, saying that “Segway Inc. stands behind the safety of its Segway PT product when used in accordance with the User Materials. Mr. Heselden believed in the Segway PT product, and we know that he would want us to get back to work at Segway Inc.”
I applaud the can-do attitude of Segway Inc, but the undeniable humor of a man who used to make protective walls for soldiers in battle meeting his demise at the hands of a Segway cannot be good for publicity. The Segway already got a bit of negative media coverage a few years back when President Bush took a dive off of one of the two wheeled vehicles. Back in 2001 when the Segway was only known as the “It” and “Project Ginger”, speculations were abounding about the fantastic new product, and the reality of the vehicle failed to impress.
All humor aside, the death of Jimi Heselden is a tragedy for his family and company, but it can be taken as a message to other business tycoons, that even though you like a product and have the money to buy the company, maybe it’s not the best idea. If Mr. Heselden had been a little more informed about the Segway and a little less a fan of it, then maybe all of this could have been avoided.