Photo of abandoned Birds shows the electric scooter backlash has begun

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Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists may be pouring billions into electric-scooter startups, but companies like Bird, Lime, and Spin are already facing backlash from residents.

This was highlighted by a lighthearted tweet from Madeline Eskind, a product manager at Twitter who this week posted an image of scores of abandoned Bird scooters in the startup’s home city of Santa Monica, California, 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’ 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 first asking officials. Similarly, Nashville earlier this year filed a cease-and-desist letter, saying Bird users were abandoning scooters by the sidewalks. And San Francisco was forced to issue permits to a handful of scooter companies to clamp down on the increasing numbers of scooters clogging up the city streets.



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