39: The Market for Owned Micromobility :: Jeff Russakow, CEO of Boosted


In this episode, Oliver interviews Jeff Russakow, CEO of Boosted Boards, makers of the famous electric skateboards and now scooter. Boosted focuses on vehicle-grade owned micromobility, which provides a refreshing counter to the hype around shared models. It’s one of our best episodes to date—highly recommend checking it out!

Specifically we cover:

  • the origins of the company, and how it proves out Horace’s early thesis on the disruptive potential of modularized componentry.

  • Jeff’s history with lightweight electric vehicles and his eventual coming to Boosted

  • How they think through their role as manufacturing ‘vehicle grade’ vehicles in the micromobility space, and how this differentiates them from other manufacturers

  • how their customers use their products - hint: 82% of their customers use them for their commute.

  • How they think through shared services vs. the owned micromobility market, solving the job-to-be-done of travel and why they’re doubling down on personally owned vehicles

  • Why they consider their competition the car and not other scooter or board manufacturers.

  • How they think about safety, why shared scooters have given a lot of people the wrong impression about what micromobility safety can be, and the standards that they build their vehicles to.

  • How they think about infrastructure for these lightweight vehicles, and where the opportunities are for regulators to harness the benefits.

  • The challenges that they’ve faced scaling to being a global, growth stage electric vehicle company.

  • How the venture capital community have viewed them vs shared micromobility.

  • Hints at their product pipeline and what they find interesting.

Key quotes: 

“What are your options? You can buy a vehicle like ours and you're down to two dollars a day for unlimited mileage and no parking. You can pay $2 a mile for scooter or car share, or you can take your car -  it's 40/50 cents a mile between insurance and depreciation and then parking could be $30 a day. So quite literally buying a premium scooter is the cheapest thing you can do.”

“It’s been fun for us with the scooter shares because somebody is spending a billion dollars of somebody else's money to put free demos on every street corner on the planet and educate people to the value of these vehicles. There's a bunch of people say, ‘this is great.’ I'm going to use sharing and that's awesome, and then there's a bunch of people who say I like this so much, I’m going to buy one.  If they want a vehicle grade one, there's only one. So we're in an interesting market spot.”

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Oliver Bruce