Already a popular camera brand, GoPro just couldn’t fly. The GoPro Vision – a small box that you can attach to the wing of an airplane or your ski helmet and enjoy unparalleled views of the world – is now cloudy as trading ceased this morning due to low performance due to price cuts, layoffs and closings in the emerging Company’s drone division.
“As we noted in our November earnings call, we saw poor demand for our HERO5 Black camera early in the holiday quarter,” said Nicholas Woodman, GoPro founder and CEO, in a press release. “Despite significant marketing support, we found that consumers were reluctant to purchase HERO5 Black at the price they had launched a year earlier. Our price cut on December 10th resulted in a sharp increase in sales. “
The company ended the fourth quarter with $ 247 million in cash, up $ 50 million from prior to the third quarter of 2017.
What is really happening here is another hardware giant’s death in heat. However, GoPro is unique. There’s no other product like it that offers the same functionality, which is one of the reasons it’s held up for so long. You can’t strap a cellphone to your chest and get the same footage, nor can you safely perform videography tricks such as walking. B. attach a couple of GoPros to a chase car to film an action scene. Even so, the action camera market is now a commodity, and while none of the Pretenders offer anything in the distance like GoPro quality, Alibaba and Amazon are priced right.
I’ve mentioned the deaths of several hardware products in the past and always kept my eye on GoPro. They grew quickly, went public, and then tried to do business in a changed world. Like Flip before them, they became a fad, then a tool, then a commodity that eventually led to a fight they were never born to win.
When your business is tied to a popular product – Palm, Fitbit, and Makerbot – competition quickly intensifies. Other hardware manufacturers are starting to shoot you and before you know it the dinosaurs (Apple, HP, Samsung) are coming to eat you.
My call? GoPro will be bought by DJI or Samsung this year, will run as a standalone product for a brief moment and then be integrated into the actual company. It’s a respectful ending to a wonderful product whose golden days are over.