GoPro: Drone Wars - Part 1
GoPro was released to the adventure market in mind, long haired neo-hippy adventurers and bourgeoisie hipster Stadt vacationers were the target audience.
Releasing their first Hero digital camera in 2006 by 2012 everyone including their grandmother seemed to gift, buy and possess one, a far cry from the saturated heart-beating adrenaline pumping videos of numb-nuts jumping out of aeroplanes and human bait swimming with sharks, we got to notice the majority of GoPro owners showing off their amazing action extravaganzas of walking randomly around Oxford High Street or a brisk walk to a mall to buy a new gimbal for the device.
Yes, another case of advertisement imagery not in conjunction with reality. Somehow seeing your Uncle with a GoPro took away from the "mad" adventure type.
But to hand it to GoPro they do make some fantastic products. Like the brief says, and I am paraphrasing here, built for the adventurer and the crazy jumping from a cliff person, these people, however how nuts needed to have a device that would not shatter into a million pieces like an egg meeting a jet turbine. GoPro had definitely delivered. These things are rugged, built to last and very easy to use. (I don't dare say Cool, as I am the drinking Earl Grey while wearing your PJs type of a man.)
This aspect of ruggedness and "reallywellbuildability" would in this writer's opinion have a consequence in its now apparent future. But I will get to that in a bit.
GoPro within a few years generated huge incomes from their production and by 2014 were according to Forbes, capturing (....pun) around 75% of the adventure camera market and almost half of the entire camcorder market.
Also in 2014, the company was listed by Adweek as one of the "Top 10 Best Brand Channels on YouTube" based on a combination of views, shares, comments and overall engagement.
By that time until now, the majority of people you see with a GoPro set-up will have had the Hero 4 or a contemporary within this generation. It sold.... alot!
Within the next few years GoPro released new generations of the Hero range including Hero+LCD and released in October 2016 the Hero 5.
Please allow me to digress slightly.
There is a kind of cognitive dissonance involved with making products. It seems to become a popular and rich business one must practice certain rules of the market-place; one is to survive through honest practices, another is to create the supply to meet the demand and a major and probably passed-over attribute these days is "reallywellbuildability".
For instance, lets take an example and use Gillette, 'The Best a Man Can Get' product. The Best! Nothing is better! It is the BEST!! Keep that in mind.
Gillette has been around for ....... years. A long history of creating shaving products for men which started with creating razors that not only looked great but could probably chop down a tree as get rid of your facial whiskers.
Gillette kept making razors that continued for decades and Gillette become one of the world's leader manufacturers for men's toiletries. But what changed? They began to make crap! Simple.
I remember when the multi-blade stuff started to emerge, in a way multi-blade was touted as the better than best experience, coupled with OTT advertising, not only have we seen a steady decline of disposable razor quality but an entire package which is predominantly made of cheap plastics at not so cheap costs.
With Gillette churning out multiple versions of a razor and cartridge systems, not only are they innovating but their customers are coming back because the newer version of their razors are now better-than-better-than-better-than-best.
But this ploy every consumer knows what the trick is. We see it with Apple and Samsung, same crap every year under a guise of innovation, but ultimately it is consumer wanting only the latest and not the best.
Now this example of Gillette is merely an observation on my part. Gillette indeed have innovated their products but their commercial aim is for the customers to return to buy a brand brand new product than wanting to replace parts (cartridges) or accessories at a lower cost.
This is where GoPro currently stands and looks upon..."the Gillette model". Is the comany going to begin making less quality products and then possibly releasing a slightly better version in a very short amount of time?
Is GoPro going to create a very short lived product so the customers are forced to upgrade within a few generations of the product?
Well these are just assumption as of now, but we may be seeing "the Gillette model" being played by Go Pro, and I will talk about this more in depth in Part 2...soon.