Pay-by-the-ride scooters only last a month, according to Louisville public data

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So. What’s the business model here?


Well, eventually they’ll replace us all with self-driving scooters.


My question exactly.

Approximately everyone whose city is invaded by them hates them, and they’re losing money hand over fist.

Why are they still a thing :interrobang:


I’m a bit torn here… I like the concept of getting people out of their cars for short trips and the rapid adoption of dockless scooters certainly points to a pent up demand for such things. I live in the downtown urban core and have used these things a couple of times. They really are convenient for short trips around the city that are too far to walk but too short to warrant a car.

However, the roll out of these things has been horrendous and irresponsible with virtually no oversight or regulation enforcement. The damn things litter the sidewalks and people are recklessly zooming around endangering pedestrians and generally behaving badly.

Now that the economics have been exposed as nonviable (not really a shock), the whole Uber-ization business model of disruption needs to be chucked in the wastebasket pronto.


You’ve got to spend money to lose money.


“In the first two weeks, we lost 200 vehicles to theft, which was just shocking,” said Michael Keating, CEO and founder of San Francisco’s Scoot Networks.


“Every homeless person has like three scooters now,” Ghadieh said. “They take the brains out, the logos off and they literally hotwire it.”

Leaving scooters unattended in high crime neighborhoods turns out to be a poor business model. Who knew?




Awesome. This means that eventually the VC should dry up and these things will disappear. Unfortunately the arrogant asshole CEOs running this will now have valuable “experience” and will be welcomed into some other giant boondoggle.


Scale up, make it on volume. /s


My HOA, home owners assoc. collects them from our property [twice monthly] and deposits them at the city recycle center, what’s left of them…


So. What’s the business model here?

In the short term: murder everyone who rides a scooter.
In the long term: there is no long term everyone is dead



That’s a big assumption. Uber has been a VC ponzi scheme with a fig-leaf driving-people-around app for years now, if it wasn’t started that way initially. But they just keep getting more money and keep continuing to recoup only a fraction of their costs.

The thing is, because billionaires get paid massive rent on the money they already have, it may be less personally costly for them to keep paying in millions to failed companies than it is to admit they made a mistake.


It’s a scam to get VC funding, like 99% of tech companies in 2019…


I’m guessing the step before “Profit!” currently consists entirely of punctuation.


That’s true but it lets the VCs off the hook. They’re in on the scam, too, but the name of their game is pump and dump.


Agreed, I see a lot of good in these scooters, and personally I really don’t get the hate that so many people have for them. Here in San Francisco I occasionally see someone riding one on a sidewalk, but I don’t think any more often than bikes. I haven’t seen them “littering the sidewalks” any more than bike shares, except on social media or the web in general where you’d think people can hardly walk the sidewalks for all the scooters.

I’ve noticed the newer scooters now have cable locks for customers to leave them attached to parking meters or whatever, presumably to fight all that theft, but maybe that’ll help keep them parked more neatly. And who knows, maybe that’ll even help them make it profitable.

All in all though I really hope they last. Doubly so for bike shares, especially dockless bikes.

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Disruption is not a business model, the same as smashing stuff up with a hammer isn’t a building technique. You need to have something else in place that is actually going to make money to replace whatever you destroy, err, disrupt first. Well, unless your name is Trump, of course.

This is more like making a mess and letting someone else mop it up when they inevitably go belly up.


I’m in Austin and i do see them taking up space everywhere and being a general nuisance. Right across from my work there was one for a few weeks, then two, then 5 or 6. Eventually they must’ve fallen over and onto the road because i noticed that they were tipped toward the road and looked like they’d been crushed by traffic. I typically see them on the ground more often than not and sometimes even taking up parking spaces downtown. Even sidewalk space downtown can be tight and having a row of them is annoying. By comparison i usually see the bikes in designated bike stands.

I do understand that they can serve a good purpose but the implementation is so half baked and poorly implemented i would rather not see them at all. Not to mention how dangerous they’ve been for users…