Dean Kamen rides Segway at Disney World
Dean Kamen demonstrating the Segway Transporter at Disney World, identified as one of his early market targets. He wears his trademark denim shirt and blue jeans. The pivotal question asked during the infamous meeting in San Franscisco has yet to be answered: What is Ginger's value propositon?

Code Name Ginger

An exclusive EV World interview with Steve Kemper, author of Code Name Ginger

By Bill Moore

It's called the "San Francisco ambush."

West Coast venture capital legend John Doerr had asked Steve Jobs -- the mercurial head of Apple Computers and Pixar -- along with Jeff Bezos, the head of Amazon.Com, to offer their critiques of Dean Kamen's top secret project code-named, "Ginger."

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During the hour and a half meeting at a hotel near the airport, Steve Jobs proceeded to crush virtually everything about Kamen's project from its design to his manufacturing and marketing plans.

The echoes of that meeting in January 2000 can still be heard as Segway continues to push forward into the brave new but uncarted world between walking and driving, between the SUV and the sneaker. And there, listening like a fly-on-the-wall was journalist Steve Kemper, whose leaked book proposal would cause an international stir.

If you want to understand the mind of Dean Kamen, part of whose soul can be found in the remarkable Segway self-balancing, two-wheeled EV, then you'll want to read Code Name Ginger.

What was it like to work so closely with the brilliant but paranoid inventor and super-salesman for 18 months, flying with him in his helicopter and corporate jet, both of which Kamen flies himself?

Click the Play Audio links to the top right in order to listen to my 38 minute-long interview with Steve Kemper. You will need the RealPlayer plug-in, various versions of which are available for free from Real.Com

Times Article Viewed: 4085
Published: 23-Aug-2003


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