60 épisodes

Micromobility explores the disruption to urban transport that comes from new electric, lightweight utility vehicles. Using the history of computing as a framework, we unpack how e-bikes, scooters and more will change how people get around cities.

Micromobility 5by5

    • Technologies

Micromobility explores the disruption to urban transport that comes from new electric, lightweight utility vehicles. Using the history of computing as a framework, we unpack how e-bikes, scooters and more will change how people get around cities.

    60: How does micromobility conform to disruptive innovation theory?

    60: How does micromobility conform to disruptive innovation theory?

    This week we have a timely episode with Horace being interviewed by Katie Zandbergen on The Disruptive Voice - a podcast produced by The Forum for Growth & Innovation at Harvard business School a few days after the passing of Clay Christensen.

    Horace strikes a reflective tone - it’s a great episode that goes into the core of why micromobility is really disruptive assessed against the theory that Clay proposed. For those who are more into the theoretical, this is a wonderful episode.

    Specifically, they cover:
    - The impact that Clay had on how Horace viewed the world.
    - How Horace ended up finding micromobility through this efforts to study disruptive innovation in the auto sector by rethinking through the job that the car was hired to do into trips rather than vehicles, and how that need could be better served by the performance of smaller form factor vehicles.
    - Why micromobility lends itself to the benefits of software platforms allowing it to iterate faster vs incumbent producers of vehicles.
    - Horace runs through the paradox of mobility - we use overserving big vehicles for small trips.
    - Why Horace believes that this market will move towards a franchised model of shared systems, and how this market will develop as the technology and operations improve.
    - Why micromobility will serve as a bottom up disruption in the majority of the rapidly urbanising African and Indian cities.
    - Why parking and land use allocation in many cities will change away from parking to better, more economically valuable forms of transport with the rise of micromobility.
    - Why Horace is involved with Bond Mobility, and his rationale behind the premium end of Micromobility.
    - Why Horace dedicates all of his work in Micromobility to Clay’s influence.

    Also, for those of you who are fans of Clay, you’ll know that he holds a special place in our heart here. He’s obviously been a massive influence on Horace and Oliver and how they see the world. If you want to hear one of the best interviews Horace has ever done, we recommend going to check out the interview he did with Clayton on the Critical Path (episode 36) back in 2012, discussing the book ‘How Will You Measure Your Life’. It’s a poignant listen, and a beautiful embodiment of a teacher-student relationship.

    • 47 min
    59: Backing the best in micromobility - a conversation with Kevin Talbot, GP of Relay Ventures

    59: Backing the best in micromobility - a conversation with Kevin Talbot, GP of Relay Ventures

    This week, Oliver interviews Kevin Talbot (@Talbot), a General Partner at Relay Ventures, a VC firm based between the Bay Area and Toronto, who are investors in Bird, Populus and Bird Canada, among others. It is a great interview with Kevin about how they’re thinking about micromobility investments and the wider context of venture capital in this Softbank dominated world.

    Specifically, we dig into:
    - how you got into VC/joined Relay Ventures
    - His thesis at the firm and why they're interested in micromobility.
    - How they work with their portfolio companies, including former podcast guests Regina Clewlow from Populus.
    - How the landscape for micromobility has changed from the early days of their investment in Bird - including business models, regulatory landscapes and supply chains.
    - We talk about the Bird Canada venture - what it is, why it was formed, the market for micromobility in Canada and where they're seeing early traction.
    - How capital formation in the micromobility sector is interacting with cities, and whether he think this will ever be anything other than messy.
    - How their firm is thinking through owned vs. shared, and hardware vs. software investments.
    - What you'd recommend to entrepreneurs getting into the micromobility space
    - Bonus: his take on micromobility autonomy, and the promise and challenges in this space.

    It's a great interview!

    • 43 min
    58: Micromobility from the beginning - a conversation with Sanjay Dastoor, CEO of Skip and co-founder of Boosted Boards

    58: Micromobility from the beginning - a conversation with Sanjay Dastoor, CEO of Skip and co-founder of Boosted Boards

    This week Oliver interviews Sanjay Dastoor, one of the founders of Boosted Boards and subsequently Skip, who operate a shared scooter service in DC. Sanjay has been around this space longer than pretty much anyone, and has a wealth of insight and experience that were a joy to unpack.

    Unfortunately, the audio cut a little for Sanjay right at the beginning but we kick off right where it picks up.

    Specifically we cover:

    - Sanjay's journey as a Micromobility OG starting Boosted Boards and then on to Skip - his original motivations, how your thinking has evolved, and lessons learned about what works and doesn’t.
    - How he's thinking about the current shared scooter space in terms of business models and regulatory response, as well as a discussion about Skip’s foray into subscription models
    - We dig into the challenges that Skip have faced in San Francisco and the bidding processes. We talk about what if anything could have improved it, and why Sanjay sympathizes with the city officials for the outcomes.
    - We talk about vehicle design, and the opportunities and challenges for shared vehicle design and what he thinks is coming
    - How Sanjay thinks through shared vs. leased vs. rented vehicles and reflects on what works and doesn't
    - We discuss where and why legacy regulations will result in highly specific solutions for different geographies.
    - We talk through capital efficiency in operations, why it’s important, and what creative destruction in this space looks like
    - Sanjay's thoughts/critiques on Horace’s thesis around micromobility, including the interplay between hardware and operating systems

    • 1h
    57: The Trough of Disillusionment - unpacking hype, adoption and funding

    57: The Trough of Disillusionment - unpacking hype, adoption and funding

    This week, Horace joins Oliver on the podcast to talk about hype cycles, capital formation and transport funding patterns historically, and what we can learn from them about the micromobility space now. 

    Specifically: 

    The parallels between the hype cycles for MP3 players, the internet and personal computers vs. micromobility.

    The perils of ‘being early’ in large scale technology adoptions. 

    The history of funding for the auto, railway and canal sectors transport systems, and parallels to micromobility and the infrastructure required.

    Why pioneers for traditional transport innovations largely end up with arrows in their back. 

    Why we’re unlikely to see large scale infrastructure deployments like we used to in democratic countries. 

    • 46 min
    56: Building the Largest Micromobility Player in the World, with Joe Kraus, President of Lime

    56: Building the Largest Micromobility Player in the World, with Joe Kraus, President of Lime

    This week, Oliver interviews Joe Kraus, President of Lime.

    Lime are the largest players in the shared micromobility space globally, and this episode has been a long time coming. It was awesome to get Joe on to talk about their history and plans, the state of the industry and business model, regulation, the challenge of climate change and where micromobility can assist. Joe is an awesome guest, and in a world of hype, keeps a very level head about the potential of this space.

    This episode is well suited to investors, operators and regulators interested in hearing about why the opportunity Lime/the wider industry offers is far more than just a few scooters on the street. 

    Specifically we dig into: 
    - Lime’s history coming out of 2016 Chinese bikeshare bubble, the move into scooters and rapid growth of that business. 
    - The Google Ventures investment and how Joe came to be involved.
    - Joe’s thoughts on business model evolution and how the market will shake out in the short/medium term, especially around a global player vs local competitors. 
    - We dig into regulation, and whether there are parallels to other global/local companies and traditional public transport funding/operation models. 
    - We discuss Lime's policy/operations challenges, using the example of Auckland, New Zealand, where wheel locking issue/death on a scooter lost them the licence in the following round. We talk about how the binary nature of the businesses ability to operate impacts the structure they have for operations/policy teams to ensure they have sufficient local agency to be responsive. 
    - We talk about the missing gap of a micromobility industry association in terms of advocacy, research and lobbying and what needs to happen to make this a reality.
    - We talk about how Lime is working to avoid the mistakes that Mobike and Ofo made in the Chinese bikeshare bubble, and Joe’s plans to ensure that Lime stays afloat and relevant for the long term.
    - We discuss the Call to the Industry that Joe made in Berlin regarding safety, climate and equity of access, and dig in on climate change, and what Lime can/is doing to help push that conversation forward.

    - We talk about Lime’s plans to reach the next few billion riders, especially in the developing world, and what is needed to make that a reality.

    It’s one of our best interviews to date - highly recommend checking it out. 

    Joe will also be speaking at the upcoming the Micromobility America summit coming up April 22-23 in Richmond in the Bay Area. It’ll be an amazing event - we will have industry leaders from all over the world there speaking about the best new ideas in this burgeoning industry. Check out the website (micromobility.io) to get tickets. 

    • 45 min
    55: At the intersection of regulation and new mobility with Emily Castor Warren of Lime, Lyft and more

    55: At the intersection of regulation and new mobility with Emily Castor Warren of Lime, Lyft and more

    This week, Oliver interviews Emily Castor Warren, one of the first employees at Lyft and then Lime in the policy space. We have an amazing conversation about the history of rideshare and micromobility, especially as it pertains to regulation, and where operators are getting it right and wrong. Emily is currently working with Fontinalis, a VC firm investing the future of mobility. She has some of the deepest experience in the weeds with regulating new mobility, and yet at the same time able to see the massive wider vision of possibility for this. It’s a great interview.

    Specifically we dig into:
    * Her experience as one of the first employees at Lyft, her interest in ride hailing and how she saw the conversation re: cities and technology shift over the 5.5 years she was at Lyft.
    * Her view on the quickly shifting regulatory landscape of micromobility, and what the likely predictable outcomes are 12-24 months from now re: particular business models.
    * Her post-Lime life working with VC at Fontinalis (the Ford Family Venture arm) and how they, and the wider industry, are thinking about the policy and regulatory implications of their investments.
    * What areas she’s excited to see technology disrupt in the transport/mobility space and why
    * Where the upcoming challenges for micromobility are coming from in the regulatory space including enforcement, new vehicle types, micromobility autonomy (she’s less bullish than Oliver!), speed of infrastructure adaptation and more.
    * What she’d recommend entrepreneurs think about when looking to build companies in the mobility/transport space.

    • 47 min

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