LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

The Other Side of GoPro's November 30, 2016 Announcement

COW Library : : Ronald Lindeboom : The Other Side of GoPro's November 30, 2016 Announcement
CreativeCOW presents The Other Side of GoPro's November 30, 2016 Announcement --  Editorial


CEO, Creative COW LLC
©2016 by Ronald Lindeboom. All rights reserved.


When GoPro management rolled out their press release on November 30th announcing that Black Friday sales demand was strong with "Solid Holiday Demand In The U.S. For GoPro HERO5," what was disclosed elsewhere in the press release seemed to bring to a boil the feelings of some investors, employees, customers and tech watchers who felt they were watching the unravelling of one of the strongest tech companies in recent years.

Taken at face value, it would be easy to read the November 30th news as an admission that GoPro was in dire straits. This, as further down in the press release, GoPro announced that their president, Tony Bates, was leaving and that GoPro would be losing about 15% of its workforce, cutting 200 full-time jobs in the wake of the closure of their entertainment division. The GoPro product line would also see models culled to leave only the most successful models.

Admittedly, those inescapable items followed the cheeriness of the headline with a disquieting thud, and were seen to be about as dark as the Black Friday sale alluded to in the press release.



GoPro Hero5, Up 35% in Sales Year-on-Year in U.S.A.




THE INTERNET GOES WILD
While the title declared that Hero5 sales were strong, it was what lay further down in the release that proved troublesome because it didn't follow the glow of the titular spin. Because of this glaring disconnect between the headline's bright announcement and the perceived doom-and-gloom that followed, It didn't take long for the initial boil to come to a full rolling boil as it made its way across the Net. Many hoisted GoPro onto the petard of their own success and more than a few broiled GoPro in the juices of a perceived arrogance that they attributed to GoPro's rare degree of success. It was a visceral emotional reaction like few I've seen in 25 years of being on the Internet.

Was all the rancor justified? In fairness, I am not convinced that it was.

Many antagonists seemed to be pointing to things that they clearly didn't understand, things that are not all that uncommon in business. Markets change and shift and companies do their best to adjust and take advantage of those shifts. Humans run companies and decide the course, and not every decision flies. Some crash.

Do short-term setbacks mean that the company is doomed? No, things often turn around, especially if a company has a strong customer base, manufacturing arm and a means to move product -- all of which GoPro has in ample measure.

Apple is probably the greatest example of the turn-around phenomenon in the world of tech, though there are many others that could be pointed to, as well. Let's compare a onetime Apple to what GoPro is currently experiencing…


APPLE OF THE MID-TO-LATE 1990s
It has long been said that great companies are not made because they make no mistakes, they are made by what they do when a mistake is made. The Apple of today is far different than the Apple of the late 1990s. Like GoPro, that Apple had tried to expand into markets and product lines that simply didn't work. There were entire product lines that were tried and failed: LCs, Performas, and the licensing of its OS was cannibalizing Apple's own sales, thanks to companies like Power Computing, Motorola, Daystar and others.

There are many other ideas that Apple tried which ended in failure, and there are many business books that portion the blame and name names. Much of the story is too ugly to write about on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, so I'll leave that to your own research and reading. Suffice to say, Apple may be the biggest company in the world today, but in the late 1990s they were the greatest example of squandered opportunity and what not to do in business.

The ride was a painful one but often the most valuable lessons are the painful ones. "You don't forget your scars," as my father used to say. GoPro's founder and CEO, Nicholas Woodman, is undoubtedly drinking from that painful experiential cup right about now. I have little doubt that his scars will remind him of the lessons, going forward.


GOPRO GROWING INTO MARKETS AND PRODUCTS THAT DIDN'T WORK
In some ways, GoPro's recent troubles are not unlike Apple's problems in the 1990s, problems which are the outcome of drinking from the same well: the desire to dominate the market and grow by covering as many bases as possible, adding to that that you are not doing it in a vacuum and your competitors are doing their best to excel in their own efforts -- while the market itself is a dynamism outside the control of any company and has its own developing desires and needs.

But to their credit, GoPro cut away their failed experiments a lot sooner than Apple did, and for that, many investors, employees and customers have to be glad. Add to that, GoPro's founding visionary is still its CEO and that means that customers and investors can expect a degree of consistency in both the company and its products.


NOT ALL FAILURES ARE FAILURES
One thing my father taught me well, was that those who never try to do anything new, never fail -- failure is often the end result of attempting great things and pursuing new ideas.

While I have little doubt that many of GoPro's critics will focus on Tony Bates, GoPro's president who will be leaving the company at the end of the year -- what many will forget is that under his leadership, GoPro has compounded growth and has built a formidable customer base that can buy the company's cameras at most all major US retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and many others.

Today's brand conscious buyers trust GoPro and that trust, along with the major retail channels that Tony Bates will leave behind, means that a more streamlined GoPro will be quicker, more focused, and likely much more responsive to their core customers.

While some forget the very disruptive and visionary nature of the first GoPro cameras -- cameras that brought some of the most innovative and original footage ever seen -- like Apple, GoPro has a customer base that is dedicated to GoPro cameras and like the diehard customers who refused to abandon Apple at its lowest moments in the 1990s, GoPro's customer base is one that has that same sense of commitment to the tools they use and have a genuine emotional connection to.

Yes, to those paying close attention, their lens distortion and artifacting could drive a discriminating cinematographer nuts, but GoPro cameras have been capturing some remarkable footage and adding breathtaking footage to the chronicle of life on Earth.


WHAT ABOUT THE HUMAN COST OF GOPRO'S LAYOFFS?
I feel terrible for the 200 people who lost their jobs in all this and I am sure that both Nicholas Woodman and Tony Bates do, as well. I know many people in business and contrary to many media reports, very few business leaders I know are the cut-throat type who would throw away people to squeeze another nickel for the bottomline. (Yes, they exist but in all my consulting work and relationship building that I've done over the last four decades, I've yet to meet many of that ilk.)

People forget the 85% of the people who will be surviving the cuts and stranger still, and others still will fail to consider the fact that a company like GoPro now employs vast numbers of people who beforehand, did not have those jobs. That seems to be forgotten in the emotion of it all. Again, not every plan works and the costs of failure is sometimes measured in human costs.

The news from GoPro on November 30, 2016 had to be hard news to the company and its people who had not long before watched the idea that was GoPro rise as few companies have. It seemed they could do no wrong and their cameras were everywhere, doing things that no camera had done before. That and the 85% of the company's workforce who will remain at their stations seems to be getting lost in most all of what I've seen online.



Nicholas Woodman, founder and CEO of GoPro
Photo, courtesy Wikipedia.org



IN SUMMARY
Few companies can grow without making mistakes. Like our children, they stumble and get up, and they learn from their mistakes. Experience is a hard teacher but it is a great teacher. I have little doubt that Nicholas Woodman will learn his lessons well, people who care often do. I have watched from a distance as Nicholas has built an incredible company on an idea that took off like some of those whose lives his cameras documented. That GoPro stumbled is not surprising to me, what is surprising is that they had such a remarkable unbroken string of success until 2016.

Now it's time to get back to work and take the lessons learned into the next chapter. I am sure that Nicholas Woodman and the team at GoPro will do just that.

# # #

Comments

Re: The Other Side of GoPro's November 30, 2016 Announcement
by Alex Douglas
That's hilarious, about 4 weeks ago I was in the room just above Nicholas Wooman's head recording a radio show for BBC Radio 2 which airs this Sunday.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0857yv2
Re: The Other Side of GoPro's November 30, 2016 Announcement
by Eddie Roman
I just purchased two GoPro Hero 5 Black cameras. It is the best camera GoPro has produced.


Related Articles / Tutorials:
3 Ways to Improve Video Engagement

3 Ways to Improve Video Engagement

Engagement is my favorite metric to track, as it represents the overall performance and health of your video. Unlike vanity metrics such as Views (which simply shows the reach of your video), metrics like Audience Retention tell you the percentage of the video the audience watched (engaged with) and exactly what parts were watched. Analyzing this metric will help guide you on what your audience really wants to see so you can do more of it in the future.

Tutorial
Andy Ford
Fix Reverb Issues with DeVerberate 2

Fix Reverb Issues with DeVerberate 2

Reverb is an issue we all have encountered. Sometimes you just can’t help recording in an enclosed area. You may not have dealt with the issue because it seemed difficult to fix, but life is now easier with the DeVerberate 2 plugin from Acon Digital


Andy Ford
Bringing Homeland Home: Color Grading The Final Season

Bringing Homeland Home: Color Grading The Final Season

Keith Shaw of Keep Me Posted (a FotoKem company) has been the colorist for Showtime's Emmy-winning drama Homeland since its pilot episode in 2011. The show's eighth and final season brings the most extreme looks yet to a show shot in locations around the world, and where a scene that takes days to shoot unfolds in only minutes on screen. The challenge to create unified, consistent looks has never been steeper, but a rock-solid workflow from a global team is bringing the popular series home to a strong finish.


Karen Moltenbrey
Blackmagic Design Announced WHAT?

Blackmagic Design Announced WHAT?

As if this wasn't already the hottest summer on record, Blackmagic Design's Grant Petty rolled out some blazing news across a wide range of the company's product lines in cameras, production hardware, and software.


Creative COW
Makin’ Planets! Adobe After Effects Tutorials by Graham Quince

Makin’ Planets! Adobe After Effects Tutorials by Graham Quince

Here's a great new Adobe After Effects tutorial series from Creative COW leader Graham Quince that takes advantage of the free Orb plug-in from our friend Andrew Kramer at Video Copilot. Graham supplies project files, tips and tricks, and good humor on this tour through building every planet in the solar system, with customization options galore!


Creative COW
Rising Sun Pictures with SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

Rising Sun Pictures with SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

In its first contribution to the Spider-Man franchise, studio produces hologram that reveals the origin of the Elementals

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview, Business, Project
Creative Cow
Blackmagic Design's Epic Hardware Releases for NAB 2019

Blackmagic Design's Epic Hardware Releases for NAB 2019

Blackmagic once again delivers a jaw-dropping lineup of advanced hardware -- ATEM Constellation 8K with built-in Fairlight mixing in the industry's largest live production audio mixer, plus 16 hardware keyers, 24 8K outputs, and more; the New Teranex Mini SDI to HDMI 8K with dual on screen scope overlays, HDR, 33 point 3D LUTs and monitor calibration; HyperDeck Extreme 8K broadcast deck with advanced H.265 recording, touch screen interface, internal cache, built in scopes, HDR, and traditional deck control; and the URSA Mini Pro G2 camera featuring new electronics, Super 35 4.6K HDR image sensor, 15 stops of dynamic range, 300 fps high frame rate shooting, and Blackmagic RAW -- for prices even lower than how low your jaw just dropped reading them.


Creative COW
Making The Forest Leaves Dance for Ridley Scott's Hennessy Short, "The Seven Worlds"

Making The Forest Leaves Dance for Ridley Scott's Hennessy Short, "The Seven Worlds"

"The Seven Worlds" is the latest advertising epic short directed by Ridley Scott, a marvelous odyssey spanning surreal scenes inspired by the seven tasting notes of Hennessy premium X.O. cognacac. Realizing Scott's unparalleled vision required a masterful team and state-of-the-art technology to assist, that's where London's The Mocap Studio team came in. The mobile motion capture specialists lent their expertise to the project, using Xsens MVN inertial technology to help capture a human performer on-location in the heart of a Czech forest.


Creative COW
How Cinesite and Allegorithmic Substance Recreated a Legendary Medieval City for Lionsgate’s ‘Robin Hood’

How Cinesite and Allegorithmic Substance Recreated a Legendary Medieval City for Lionsgate’s ‘Robin Hood’

The city of Nottingham perpetually exists in two states: the metropolitan center that it is today, and the fictional home of one of the world’s most famous outlaws. So when the filmmakers behind 2018’s Robin Hood looked to recreate the fictional Nottingham, it needed to build it from scratch with help from London’s Cinesite Studio.


Creative COW
Perfecting Audio: Professional Audio Apps for Your iPad

Perfecting Audio: Professional Audio Apps for Your iPad

There's huge development going on for professional audio on iPad, whether for recording, hardware control for digital audio workstations, or music creation. Longtime audio engineer Keith Alexander looks at some specific options that audio pros will find indispensible.

Tutorial
Adorama TV
MORE
© 2020 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]