Cake
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    • I first experienced Lime on a business trip out to Phoenix earlier this year and it was a bit... disconcerting. I'm from rural North Carolina and unaccustomed to such services as the dockless bikes. I'd witnessed a steady rise in the docked bikes and always liked that organization of resources; though it does have limitations to users that don't live or work near a docking station. The Lime bikes seem to have a good solution to get around that, but it also seems equally flawed to negative public feedback from the perceived "littering" and randomness of the bikes at any given point across an urban landscape.

      Driving through Phoenix, it was difficult to avoid seeing the Lime bikes as their colors are so contrasting to nearly everything else in an urban landscape. It truly was one of those situations where "once you see it, you can't unsee it". They were peppered all over the city and surrounding sidewalks, street corners, bus stops, in yards, and even along the watershed greenway path I was running. Just standing idly there or even lying on their side in the grass.

      It's a bit perplexing to grapple with the dichotomy of how to offer a non-polluting and easily accessible method of transportation but without it becoming an obtrusive eyesore in an otherwise simple landscape.

      I worry about the ability of municipalities to absorb and regulate their influx. I certainly hope they see what happened in China and take very good notes on preventing such a situation from repeating itself. Lime bike has arrived in the city nearest me that I frequently ride MTB in and, again, they are impossible to miss... even when someone decided they wanted to try one out as a mountain bike.

      https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2018/03/bike-share-oversupply-in-china-huge-piles-of-abandoned-and-broken-bicycles/556268/

    • That link to the Atlantic's photo essay! I'll never be able to unsee that. It's one of those truth-is-stranger-than-fiction things. I had no idea and if there weren't photos I could not have envisioned it.

      Now that Lime just raised a fresh $333 million 😳I guess we can expect to see them everywhere.

      Here's how the Juicer program works. I don't think I'd like to make a long-term career out of this:

    • Oh man, there goes my side hustle.

      Criminals and pickpockets have also begun to recognize Bird hunters as prime targets and can use the Birds to lure their prey to isolated areas.

      One scooter charger said he has been nearly robbed on two occasions and that he now won’t retrieve scooters that are left in strange places, for instance, at the end of a dark alley. “I’d tell anyone getting into this to be safe,” he says. “I’d say to others: Bring mace or a taser because there’s a lot of crazy people out there, even the [chargers themselves]. I’ve had people yell at me, threaten me. It’s the Wild West.”

    • Hmmm....I had never heard of a dockless bike solution. I do like the ability to rent an e-bike for the reasons you mentioned. I rented a bike in Central Park/NYC and would have really liked an e-bike for the roving photography aspect.

      The City of Las Vegas has a huge subsidy investment for regular and ebikes here in Las Vegas. But, I hate to admit it, locals don't really hang out downtown and visitors typically just find one casino and get locked in. I do not think it will succeed long term. Plus, they are not a cool color like the Lime bikes.

      To me is seems the ONLY way this biking model works is that the ability to datamine the crap out of the renters and the only way to could offset the costs.

      Until then, I am always happy to see more people on bikes. I LOVE how in the Fisherman's Warf area, several bike rental companies are doing an excellent job deploying bikes to the tourist masses. It was my best experience of hanging around the Warf area for a few days.

    • When you mentioned data mining, I saw the light.

      The amount of data Chris had to give to rent that bike, while understandable, gave me pause. I assume that a generation already exists that doesn't think twice about coughing-up that stuff. I sure do, though.

      That it (probably) represents an important revenue stream makes perfect sense.

    • To your point....what I like about the bike rental ~shop in San Fran, was, yes, I gave them my CC, but, for the most part it was probably not being dumped into a datamining sales machine....I am sure my CC company sells my usage info but hopefully not at the level the Uber, Lyft, AirBnb and other shared-economy based businesses. I might be totally dillusional though.

    • yeah, they know the route I took, when I took it, that I went to Trader Joe’s, my true identity, phone... And what we’ve found out from Facebook, once they have your identity, they merge it with a lot of other data to get you profile.

    • That I think is where VC and entrepreneur interests don’t align. To the VC it’s growth over a relatively short period of time. It’s how their funds are measured. They would also like premium brands as references in their portfolios like Google and Amazon, but companies on great missions that don’t grow fast enough or get an exit are hard for VCs.

      To the founders it could be about the mission and whether it’s fun, respected, and brings good to the world. It’s about the team, the technology, and whether the company can build a sustainable advantage over a long period of time.

      I can think of a lot of companies I’d rather be an entrepreneur in than a scooter rental company.

    • To date, I've yet to give a single company access to my facebook profile. And very few have access to my phone's location. I'm a stingy mofo when it comes to my data. A handful of companies do have access, and even those I go through the trouble of turning on 'n off functionality wherever I can.

    • I don't disagree with you... however in this case might the only path to to a sustainable advantage to be at scale before anyone else? I don't really understand the economics at all for their business...

      hopefully all these electric bike and scooter riders will evolve into adventure riders :)

    • @baldy where do you think boosted board could end up in all of this? Seems like a board pickup and drop-off zone would consume a lot less space then the scooters and bikes and probably could easily charge with the right docking setup?

      I see electric boards in NYC all the time, scooters not as much.

    • That's a fascinating question! As the owner of a Boosted Board and a scooter, I always go for the board because it's 10x the fun. You can shred on a board but not on a scooter. You can pick it up and bring it inside with you for meetings.

      Sometimes when friends come over, they want to try out the board and their faces just light up:

      I'm skeptical that they could get widespread adoption on a rental because people without skateboard skillz are afraid to hop on and think they're dangerous. They have a separate controller. There would be more injury and loss and theft.

      Too bad because they are so. Much. Fun!