Earlier this week POV action camera maker GoPro’s founder CEO Nick Woodman admitted to CNBC that “We failed to make GoPro contemporary and failed to align GoPro to the smartphone movement.”
Woodman also said that “The smartphone has set a new bar for convenience,” alluding to the amount of effort consumers were willing to put into making videos.
With smartphone camera technology quickly closing the gap amateur and professional quality photography, it’s not a surprise that GoPro finds itself in this predicament.
But that’s not even the worst of it. The encroachment of cheaper models targeting GoPro’s core market segments is making life a living hell for the action camera brand.
As a result, GoPro has been cutting costs and losing headcount. For the company’s investors that might be good news, but it’s merely a small measure of relief while the company faces a very real problem of losing money quarter over quarter.
There’s a combination of pricing and relevance that are now the bane of GoPro. Their attempt at making drones almost failed after the company was forced to recall 2,500 units of Karma, their drone camera system. This happened in September 2016, and the Karma eventually relaunched last month, but such mishaps could prove disastrous for the company considering the state it’s in right now.
GoPro has had three rounds of layoffs in the past one year, and the latest cut was 270 full-time and open positions. The job cuts serve to do little more than give investors prolonged hope for the future, but the real problem is the ever-improving quality of smartphone cameras.
The problem is not a shortage of people making videos; it’s the lack of extra effort in making those videos. With even mid-range smartphones now capable of recording HD videos, a phone serves just as well for most snap-happy users. That, compounded by lower-priced alternatives to GoPro flooding the market, is forcing the company deeper into trouble with each quarter that passes.
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