Growing GoPro

When anyone mentions “action cam”, the first thing in many people’s minds is GoPro. They’ve built up a reputation in the camera world, but even though it’s the only adrenaline focused camera you can name, they have been struggling to stay profitable. Between a manufacturing nightmare with their first drone, the Karma, and a stiffening competive market that has been flooded with super cheap, chinese made action cameras, GoPro has had a difficult few years. 

There were rumors of a potential sale, and for all we know, that could still be an option, but the latest plan is a licensing partnership with Jabil to manufacture 3rd party products utilizing GoPro’s lenses and sensors. This isn’t a completely new relationship. The two companies have worked together before on the Hero4.

The new products won’t be branded GoPro, which is a good thing IMO, cause if it doesn’t do well, it could accelerate GoPro’s descent to the bottom, but if it does, it will help keep GoPro afloat for now. And while I don’t think GoPro is the most amazing camera company out there, they still have a good handle on manufacturing durable hardware, and simple, useful software.

Speaking of software, I’m a big fan of their Quik app on mobile. A simple video editor that does a great job of tossing together your various clips with music and themes. Their venture into the software side of things makes me believe that they could easily re-purpose their current hardware line-up to do double duty, such as home security cams, and car dash cams.

GoPro has managed to win in the niche they chose. So much so, that people who wanted a GoPro already bought one, and those that haven’t, are looking towards cheaper options. Hopefully this deal is a great opportunity to help create the building blocks necessary to branch out their business and keep GoPro growing.

P.S.  Also saw the news on the budget Hero that came out… while it could help, the competitors are cheaper, and this one just adds confusion in their lineup since it looks the same as the more expensive/capable models.  I understand the importance of keeping the same form factor for addon compatibility, but maybe give it another unique name or slightly different color?

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