GoPro, already a favorite camera brand, just could not take off. The vision of GoPro – a small box that you can attach to the wing of an airplane or to your ski helmet and enjoy an unparalleled view of the world – is cloudy now that exchanges have stopped this morning due to lower prices, layoffs and the closing of the nascent drones division of the company.
"As we noted in our November earnings call at the beginning of the holiday season, we found low demand for our HERO5 Black camera," said GoPro founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman. "Despite significant marketing support, we found that consumers were reluctant to buy HERO5 Black at the same price it had started a year ago." Our December 10 holiday price cut provided a big boost. of the sale. "
The Company closed the fourth quarter with $ 247 million in cash, up $ 50 million from the quarter before the third quarter of 2017.
What is really happening here is the death by the heat of another hardware giant. GoPro is however unique. There is no comparable product that offers the same functionality, which is one of the reasons why this has been going on for so long. You can not tie a cell phone to your chest and get the same pictures, and you can not safely do some videography stuff like putting up some GoPros on a chase car to film an action scene. That said, the action camera market is now a commodity and, although none of the suitors offer anything remotely like GoPro quality, the price of Alibaba and d & # 39; Amazon is good.
I have called the death of several hardware products in the past and I've always had my eye twisted on GoPro. They grew up quickly, IPO, and then tried to do business in a changed world. Like Flip before them, they became a fashion then a tool then a commodity ultimately leading to a battle that they were never born to win. When your business is tied to a popular product – Palm, Fitbit and Makerbot come to mind – the competition is heating up quickly. Other equipment manufacturers are starting to kill you and, before you know it, the dinosaurs (Apple, HP, Samsung) are coming to eat you.
My call? GoPro is bought by DJI or Samsung this year, runs for a brief moment as a stand-alone product, and then is folded into the actual company. It's a respectful end to a wonderful product whose golden days are over.