Ashton Kutcher knows a good investment when he sees it, which is exactly what he thought when he saw Bird, the electric scooter rental service, but government regulations are making things difficult for the tech startup.
The 40-year-old actor, who was an early investor in companies like Uber and Airbnb, sounded off at TechCrunch’s annual Disrupt conference where he defended Bird, who in June had to remove their scooters from the streets of San Francisco as they await the proper permits.
“The Uber thing was very frustrating the whole way through. The Airbnb thing, regulatory-wise, has been incredibly frustrating,” Kutcher said (via Observer), speaking of the regulatory problems facing his investments. “Bird, to me is the simplest one of them all.”
“Nobody wakes up in the morning, opens their front door, and goes, ‘God! Look how many cars there are. They are parked everywhere!'” exclaimed the “Dude Where’s My Car” star. “They are f***ing parked everywhere!”
“It’s ridiculous. They are clogging up the roads. They are making it impossible to get anywhere you want to go. But, boy! Did we open the door and go ‘Man, there are scooters all over the place!’”
Kutcher was referencing the extreme reaction from both government officials and civilians after the scooters appeared overnight in the city of San Francisco back in March. While some found the scooters useful, many others found them a nuisance, causing obstructions to pedestrians.
The city of Los Angeles, where Kutcher lives, is considering a bill to ban the scooters outright next year in an effort to protect pedestrians and riders. Kutcher called it an “aversion to change,” and said the scooters would make for a “better world” from an “energy consumption level” and a “mission perspective.”
Kutcher directed his final message to transportation regulators: “Let the battle be between these companies, don’t make the battle about suppressing the freedom of your citizens, suppressing the ability for us to make the world a better place.”