portrait of Nick Woodman

The next time you shoot video with your phone, Nick Woodman wants you to edit it with GoPro software.

Then he wants you to do that again and again and again. It will be so good and fast and easy that you’ll get a rush, like a surfer riding the barrel of a wave, or a skateboarder stomping the perfect trick. And then that rush will keep you coming back for more. Woodman thinks this could turn you into a “habitual storyteller,” and maybe then, if you don’t already own a GoPro, you might want to buy one.

In the last four months, GoPro bought, rebranded, and relaunched two powerful mobile editing apps called Replay and Splice — opening up GoPro to users who don’t own any of its cameras. And in the second half of 2016, GoPro will release a desktop editing experience that will rival iMovie and a cloud backend that will tie everything — devices, files, and the overall GoPro experience — together into a
single ecosystem.

But Woodman is unfazed. He believes GoPro is on the verge of a major evolution. Previously the company staked its success on hardware; now, Woodman says, he’s betting on software. The future of GoPro, he says, depends on it.

In the 80’s and 90’s a clothing line called No Fear enjoyed great success. It appealed to bullriders, the BMX crowd and the like. I think the GoPro team would have liked it. Because I can’t think of another company that is gutsy (foolish? ballsy? nuts?) enough to try to master drones and video editing software in one year, never mind figuring out how to launch both into two distinct, highly competitive marketplaces littered with casualties.
If any of this makes a point, it is that the future is in software. And that Nick has no fear. BTW this is an excellent, in-depth article. If you still own GPRO it’s a must read.
UPDATE Came across a blistering critique in Gear Patrol called GoPro Is Doing Everything Wrong And It’s Pissing Me Off. I thought it worth sharing since this website targets GoPro’s target market and because the writer Eric Adams is a drone enthusiast.

Oh, there’s also the Karma drone. Where to start. How about the fact that the drone market has plenty of cutting-edge companies — DJI, 3DR, Yuneec — that have mind-bendingly great products and multi-year head starts. Or how about the fact that there’s not a ton of evidence that the drone market is truly sustainable, long-term. They’ve flown off the shelves for the last two holiday seasons, but I (a drone advocate and enthusiast) guarantee you that 90 percent of them are already more or less permanently shelved. When was the last time you saw a recreational drone user flying around? After you film your neighborhood, a sunrise at the beach, and one ski run, most consumers run out of ideas of stuff to shoot.

We know little about GoPro’s plans for this product, though there are hints that it will incorporate 360-degree footage. (Which, by the way, can be easily achieved with any drone and any 360-degree camera.) As for other features, we have nothing except a teaser video, narrated by Woodman, that came out months ago and implied 360-degree capability, but to the average viewer looked more like the company finally discovered drone tech and can’t wait for you to try it. I’d rather GoPro worked — as it does with 3D Robotics — to optimize their cameras for drone use, via smooth interfaces and on-the-fly settings adjustments. Let the drone-makers make the drones; you focus on being their go-to camera supplier.

read more at theverge.com

read more at gearpatrol.com

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