Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists might be pouring billions into electric scooter startups, but firms like Bird, Lime, and Spin are already facing a backlash from residents.
This was highlighted by a light-hearted tweet from Madeline Eskind, a product manager at Twitter. She posted an image of scores of abandoned Bird scooters in the startup’s home city of Santa Monica, with the caption: “The 2018 remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds.'”
The plot of “The Birds” revolves around a huge number of birds going berserk and attacking a town and its residents.
Though intended as a joke, the photo highlights issues of electric scooter oversupply.
The electric scooter startup model involves dropping hundreds of dockless scooters into a city and then hoping people will use them.
Despite the startups themselves racking up huge valuations, that approach hasn’t always been successful, or to residents’ taste.
Bird pulled out of Louisville, Kentucky a day after launching because it put scooters into the city without asking officials. Similarly, Nashville wrote a cease-and-desist because Bird users were simply abandoning scooters by the sidewalks. And San Francisco was forced to issue permits to a handful of scooter companies to clampdown on the spiralling numbers of scooters clogging up the city streets.