I am afraid that our relationship isn’t working out. It is not me, it is you – most definitely you. I have been a loyal fan-boy for years, but 2016 has undone us. Let me explain:
I have 4 GoPro cameras, 2 originals, one Hero Session and one Hero 4 Black. There must be $400 worth of mounts and accessories in my video equipment cabinet and mounted to almost everything I own. I was the first in line for the KARMA Drone, and I own a few shares of your stock. Hell, I was at your booth/jam box at NAMM 2 years ago and gushed to the staff there like teeny-bobber. I was at the 2016 NAB show when you guys won the “Best Of” award. Trust me, that I was all in and committed to making it work between us.
I can’t say enough great things about the cameras I own. I love them and use them while biking, boarding, cart racing, 4-wheeling, diving, running, working in the shop, etc… I am happy that the engineers, programmers, and employees in the SF Bay Area can go to work and do cool stuff, get paid a living wage, and work on tech that millions of people use every day. So why are we breaking up???
I mentioned that I own stock. Have you seen those numbers lately?! Hmmm… Screwing up the Amazon relationship before Christmas and not having production capacity did not help after the KARMA fiasco. Did your Contracts Team not even flip through “The Wal-Mart Effect” before negotiations started? Yes, I am somewhat irritated at losing money because a great product line is managed like a PTA bake sale. Additionally, I have had a DJI Phantom 3 Pro for a year or more and it has never once fallen out of the sky. I had the KARMA for 3 days before I had to climb 30 into a pine tree to retrieve it after it fell out of the sky. Camera was OK after the fall, but I sent the drone back for a full refund. One of the smarter things I did in 2016.
The final straw though is GoPro Studio. Holy sweet baby Jesus, I wish I had all the HOURS of my life that have been lost due to crashes, auto-overwrites, searching web forums for patches, and completely re-processing almost half videos I have made in the last 10 months. A recent attempt to make a film out of a Christmas snowboard trip made me want to beat my computer with a hammer for even associating with GoPro Studio. I know, I know it is “free” software… Bundled software with a $500 camera and an $800 drone is not free. As of the writing of this post, the last update to Studio was in October of 2015 – that was 15 months ago, eons of time for software. I finally had to drink the Kool-Aid and use my wife’s Mac Book to edit the film in iMovie. I made a killer little film in like 50 minutes. The software didn’t glitch, hang, or overwrite my project. It was easy to use even the first time and it just worked. As a note, iMovie is “free” as well…
To be clear, I do not see any of this as a production, software, or engineering failure. It is an issue with program & senior management. Hire professionals that understand product launch logistics, QA/QC, beta test management, vendor & supplier relationships, and the impact all of this has on your business and investors.
In closing, I am sorry that you made me do this on such a public forum. I am sorry that I can no longer support the hard work of your engineering team and production staff by purchasing your products. Spend some time on you, work on who you are and who you want to be, and get some professional help. Maybe someday we can sit down at the table again, but I am going to need my space for now.