Scooting Toward Skepticism

By Scott Signore

Stating the very obvious, not all things go as planned. Matter is among a group of forward-thinking businesses here in Newburyport that ordered a branded electric scooter from a new-to-town dealer this past spring. Having ordered product from that same vendor at or around the same time, we were collectively in the same boat when this organization first arrived and its initiative first began. All these businesses were enthused about the statement we were making – be good to this earth! – and proud to be a part of the positive and fun impact these scooters were going to make on our much beloved hometown. Today, however, being in the same boat with these other local business means that Matter is still waiting for our scooter to arrive, despite the expectation that the products would be here months ago. Apparently, these eco-friendly modes of transportation are “held up in customs” — or at least that’s the story being told to those who ordered them, as well as what’s been reported to local newspaper reporters, as well as the local police. (Yikes!)

Any businessperson who claims that it’s easy establishing a new business is either dead wrong or lying. It’s not. No matter the size and scope, it’s a challenging task that is particularly difficult in today’s economy. In my experience working with start-ups of all shapes, sizes, dreams and hopes, the work that takes place before the organization launches has always been as critical as the work that occurs once the entity is up and running. Planning is essential, and so is being realistic about delivery of products, services or results – regardless of what exactly is being provided. I can’t speak for the other local businesses here in town which made similar financial commitments to the scooter vendor, but this situation would have clearly been easier to digest if the delivery timeframe was more realistically set at the outset. I think, too, that someone should have researched the paperwork necessary to bring these scooters into the U.S. – certainly well before sharing an expected delivery date with customers.

I’m not judging our vendor, but rather I’m giving its leadership the benefit of the doubt and taking them at their word. The scooters are held-up in customs and they will arrive soon. I’m (still!) looking forward to it and I’m sure the impact here at Matter and in our community will be significant. At the minimum, it will be another nice addition to the palette of fun here at Matter.