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Segway Performing a Balancing Act
Segway has staying power. It has survived overwhelming hype, a worldwide recession, and an acquisition buoyed by the robust technology.
By James E. Gaskin


Few modern products elicit as many polarizing comments as Segway’s Personal Transporter (PT), unveiled in 2001 by Dean Kamen and the Bedford, N.H.-based company of the same name. Some consider the product revolutionary and successful, while others note that sales of the system have lagged expectations since the day it was launched. Segway Inc. has sold roughly 50,000 units of the two-wheeled, dynamically stabilized transporter. That is impressive, but not when compared with the transportation revolution the early hype promised.

Was the $175 million in venture capital funding an investment in a better future, or good money thrown after bad? Furthermore, now that the company has been acquired by its U.K. distributor, will it be able to reach a new level of success, or was the sale a sign of desperation?

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