In case you were distracted by the Pe’ahi challenge and post-election blues, a bunch of videos of karma drones falling out from the sky have popped up and GoPro has officially started a recall program. Apparently, the camera company just pulled a Galaxy 7 moment, but although a falling drone could be pretty dangerous, its not as dangerous as a drone bursting into flames in your pocket, right?
It’s a make it or break it moment not only for the camera, media and drone wannabe company, but also for their CEO Nick Woodman who has been going through a little bit of a rough patch lately. But don’t worry folks, not all mistakes are bad, and for what it’s worth, maybe it’s not even GoPro’s engineers or Nick’s fault. A power loss issue during flight could very well be a case of a manufacturing slip up, and we know these kind of things have also happened to drone giants like Parrot and DJI.
Is this what happens when the production and delivery of a product gets rushed? Was this a case of sabotage from DJI’s team of lobbyists who are jealous of the Hero 5’s superior image quality ? Is this the bad karma resulting from a yacht purchase and a 7% workforce layoff shortly after ? Will GoPro be able to recover from an already challenging couple of quarters ? Nick, if you’re reading this, know that you were totally right when you said that Karma is so much more than a drone and GoPro is so much more than a camera company–but maybe not quite the drone company just yet.
Don’t get me wrong. I still support GoPro and I still use my black and silver Hero 4 cameras to shoot all kinds of stuff. The new Hero 5 looks amazing and I can’t wait to be paddling for a wave and yell “GoPro, start video” without awkwardly interrupting arm strokes. That is probably the most impressive feature yet, and it can be traced back to the first ever GoPro video edit, which happened almost 10 years ago during an epic Baja surf trip. Nick Woodman had a dream and the vision to make it happen. This video proves that surf stoke runs through GoPro’s just like it does ours.
People worldwide know what a GoPro camera is and what it’s capable of doing. Indeed, it’s the world’s most versatile camera, and it has captivated millions of people all around the globe with its mesmerizing footage.
It has enabled thousands of artists, athletes and explorers to capture amazing moments that tell their epic stories. A decade after their first video, GoPro cameras have been taken to space, sending back mind-blowing scenes from the ISS, stratosphere jumps and even a DIY Lego spacecraft made by kids. No other drone or camera company has achieved the level of transcendence that GoPro has. Its footage is unmistakable and their production prowess unparalleled. And yet, as a life long GoPro fan, I hope people don’t see the Karma recall as a bad thing, and realize that great things take time.
All those dreamy slow mo videos of a Skeleton Bay barrel? GoPro. All the amazing POV shots inside pipeline with Kelly Slater, Jamie O’ Brien and Shane Dorian? GoPro. That kook who became a better surfer because he meticulously looked through his surfboard mounted GoPro footage to correct his mistakes? GoPro.
This may sound corny, but GoPro gave me a bigger purpose. I started capturing the moments that make life epic, and I’m still eager to fly a Karma drone over a lonely Baja dirt road heading towards perfect waves right after the sunrise. I want to bring my friends and family with me on my adventures and knowing that shaky footage is a thing of the past because I literally have a better grip on the situation. My most valued possession is a malfunctioning hard drive with 300 Gb of GoPro footage I never got to see or edit; I’ve been invited to the GoPro headquarters twice and I know that the third will be the charm.
Karma is much more than a drone, and GoPro is more than a camera company. It’s the perfect example of a zero to hero story. In every great story, there has to be a struggle–a thing to resolve, a princess to save. Will GoPro save the Karma? Will I get a Karma drone for Christmas? Hopefully, yes.