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Gaining authority by riding a Segway

Segway, photo by oskay

Segway, photo by oskay

I love Segways. In June I used one in San Francisco and I think it is an amazing extension of your body. Within five minutes riding feels completely natural. All the movements are intuitive, it is a brilliant piece of design.

I am at Learning 2008 in Orlando. I have been thoroughly impressed by how well designed the conference is. Everything seem to be consciously thought out.

The host Elliott Masie rides around on a Segway in between the sessions. I was looking at him and suddenly noticed that it does two things for him:

  • It makes him unique. He is the only one.
  • It adds height: he is the tallest guy in the room and can pet people on the back while they are looking up to him.

This reminded me of some research that I read years ago about taller people having more authority, being more successful and earning more (e.g. Short Changed).

I (obviously) wasn’t the first one thinking about this. See for example the height advantage.

This begs the question whether Masie is aware of this when he uses his Segway. If I look at how precisely designed the rest of the conference is, I can’t imagine he isn’t (which is fine…)

  1. Hi Hans,

    What a nice and sharp observation. So if I want to have some more authority I only have to buy such a wonderful machine.

    That sounds feasible to me! That will brighten up my life as a small guy. Or you can move to some other country. In Spain you are not that small when you are 1.78 m.

    Warm regards, Marcel

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