The difference between a GoPro and a phone is, the phone is a great camera for capturing other people doing things, while a GoPro is great for capturing yourself immersed in that activity with friends and family.
US-based GoPro has been in the news after announcing that it was pulling out of the drone segment and the buzz that the company could be up for sale. Also, at CES 2018 the company launched the Fusion, a new 360-degree camera with OverCapture software that creates multiple perspective fixed frame videos from one spherical video. Nandagopal Rajan spoke to GoPro founder and CEO Nick Woodman about what makes his company tick. Excerpts:
What are you plans for India, how has it been so far and what next?
We think India is a terrific market for GoPro. We are selling through Reliance, Chroma, Flipkart, Amazon…and we are looking to triple our business in India in 2018. The Hero 5 Black is selling well in India and with the latest price reductions we are excited about the impact it can have here. We have an exciting new entry-level product for first half of 2018 which we think is going to be perfect for the Indian market. We are also excited for the content that is coming from Indian consumers.
Don’t you think GoPro Fusion might end up being a wedding camera here?
The GoPro is more of an activity capture solution, action is a subset of activity. For example, take a wedding. Do you want to be standing on the side filming the dance or do you want to be dancing with a GoPro with you in the experience? GoPro enables the ultimate selfie. GoPro does enable the ultimate self-documentation, the wedding and experiencing. The difference between a GoPro and a phone is, the phone is a great camera for capturing other people doing things, while a GoPro is great for capturing yourself immersed in that activity with friends and family. Indians’ passion for weddings and celebrations is a phenomenal opportunity for GoPro to succeed in India.
What are you plans with the new GoPro Fusion camera?
Consumers want a convenient way to capture and share their lives and want that footage to look beautiful and professional. If it happens to be a 360-degree camera that enables that, they will buy that. Our vision for spherical cameras is that they can be the most convenient, versatile and easy to use cameras as you don’t need to aim them, the video stabilisation is incredible, and the application identifies interesting scenes, pulls them out of the spherical video and edits them into a short story.
With the new OverCapture feature, do you think you have solved the problem with 360-degree video?
We are starting to solve it. It turns out that consumers, prosumers and professionals all value OverCapture and the ability to create really engaging and creative traditional videos out of 360-degree content as opposed to being excited about video. VR is one of the things Fusion can do, but consumers are more excited about fixed perspective video.
Are you done with drones?
We are still selling the Karma and still very proud of it as it is definitely the most versatile drone. But we are not investing in the development of a next generation GoPro drone. Though it has been a commercial success for us, when you look at the amount of money we need to invest in drone development along with the number of drones we ultimately sell versus the GoPro cameras we sell, it is clear that a majority of our customers don’t want to buy a drone from us.