Chapter 7. Doing Things Right and Doing What Matters: Excellence and Relevance

“A truly 21st century idea.” “Bigger than the Internet.” “More important than the personal computer.”

These were just a few of the early impressions of the Segway Personal Transporter, one of the most celebrated innovations of the last several decades. The first technological marvel of the new millennium, the scooter was expected to revolutionize transportation. Inventor Dean Kamen predicted his two-wheeled device would be to the car “what the car was to the horse and buggy.”1

So much for great expectations.

When the much anticipated invention went on sale in 2002, the public yawned. Shortly thereafter, new-age observer Wired magazine went so far as to sneer, “It ...

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