Riding my new onewheel

Newsletter #6

It’s official, I’ve joined the illustrious ranks of Deliveroo riders, techno-blasting ah bengs and trinket-hoarding uncles. With my recent Onewheel Pint purchase, I’ve now become a self-described Pavement Pest, also know in long form as: Pesky People Using An Electronic Vehicle On The Pavement.

The Onewheel Pint falls within the genre of electronic skateboards. You stand perpendicular to the direction you’re headed, while a battery-powered motor propels you forwards. However, unlike a skateboard and its four small wheels, the Onewheel has, well, one wheel. The wheel sits in the middle of the board, and houses a motorised gyroscope. Watch this promo video to see it in action

Unlike an e-scooter, riding a Onewheel takes practice. It took me a couple of hours, spread over two days, of trial and error before I was comfortable enough to ride it to my sister’s house, 1.2km away. Much like snowboarding, you navigate simply by adjusting your centre of gravity – weight on your front leg means accelerate, weight on your back means slow down or stop. Riding it is incredibly intuitive and requires neither remote control nor handlebars. There is no other motorised vehicle like this. To borrow the pithy words uttered by an envious adolescent boy as he watched me whizz by Tanglin Mall on Friday afternoon, the Onewheel is “cool”.

The Onewheel has served me extraordinarily well as a last mile mode of transportation. I’ve used it a number of times this week to run errands in town. Riding it is fun and novel enough that it turns errands into joyrides. However, the joy quickly vanishes when I reach my destination, because the Onewheel is extraordinarily heavy (10kg). The misery experienced lugging it up and down escalators and lifts almost negates the fun of riding it. Almost

There aren’t many Onewheels in Singapore, so bringing mine around has never failed to generate looks and conversations. From Gojek drivers to prata shop uncles, I’ve demo-ed the Onewheel a few times now. I don’t mind this much, except when I fail to engage the board when setting off, or when I lose balance and have to unglamorously jump off. I look forward to the day when my aptitude stops getting in the way of me dramatically riding off into the sunset. 

Riding the Onewheel is as close as you can get to riding the hoverboard from Back To the Future. If you’d like to try riding it, just let me know! I’d love to ride with more friends. 

🍊Fresh From the Interwebz

Consistency, Consistency, Consistency

Two weeks ago, I missed writing this newsletter for the first time. I’m not beating myself up over this. I believe that the occasional miss becomes negligible, as long as I keep showing up in the long run.

Khe, the writer of one of my favourite newsletters – RadReads, recently shared with me an article he wrote on consistency. A simple reminder to keep showing up and chipping away, because small wins accumulate over time. Link to article →

How To Hire

Principles and heuristics for hiring better. I don’t understand what Carta does as a company, but I am glad their CEO took the time to explain how they hire. This article changed how I view employees and hiring. Link to article →

How ads actually influence you

If you’re like me, you might think that ads exist to generate emotions that create a pavlovian desire to buy from a brand. This incredibly well-written and nerdy article puts forth an alternate view of how ads actually work. Link to article →

Empathy + Trust

This article explains why design also needs trust – Products that say what they do, and do what they say. And companies with a heightened sense of responsibility that don’t betray the trust that people place in them. Link to article →

Why privacy matters

This is an important topic in an age where our data is bought and sold as a commodity, and it’s worth getting educated on the issues. This TED Talk by Glenn Greenwald covers all the main points succinctly and compellingly. Most importantly, learn why the commonly held view that “I’m willing to give up my privacy because I’m not doing anything wrong or illegal” is flawed. Link to video →

How the Inuit teach their children

A lovely, uplifting article about how the Inuit never scold, berate or raise their voices at their children. And the positive outcomes of this culture. They put to practice the theory “that screaming at a child only teaches the child how to scream.” Link to article →

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