Am I Next? 200 - 300 Layoffs at Go Pro, mostly in their Karma Drone Operation.

GoPro, the company that revolutionized action sports selfies with its affordable and ruggedized high-definition camera has initiated the layoff of up to 300 employees, mostly those associated with its Karma drone division.

The drone division, which really never took off after a poorly executed launch which saw drones falling from the sky with power failures, faces even bigger problems as the use of its drone products becomes more and more regulated, both here and abroad, to meet privacy and air-safety standards.

“Furthermore, a hostile regulatory environment in Europe and the United States will likely reduce the total addressable market in the years ahead,” the company explains. “These factors make the aerial market untenable, and GoPro will exit the market after selling its remaining Karma inventory. GoPro will continue to provide service and support to Karma customers.”
— GoPro

The drones are a cheap method to facilitate real estate photography, perform maintenance checks without undue personnel risks, and – unfortunately – take embarrassing or unauthorized pictures. Some counter-intelligence agencies are also worried about the weaponization of drones or their ability to interfere with aircraft.

Management, of course, made with the corporate-speak, telling employees that the layoffs were necessary “to better align our resources with business requirements.” It is no secret that GoPro’s stock is depressed and the company is struggling. Some analysts doubt that the niche company can recover its former luster given the proliferation of drone manufacturers from China. In addition, offerings from larger and well-financed camera competitors like Sony and Nikon are looming in the near future. 

However, the secret sauce is the drone's stabilization system which can be plugged into a hand-unit to produce great stabilized footage with a light-weight portable unit. I would not be surprised to find that the company morphs into a complete source-kit for video production, including editing and effects software, in the near future. 

Are you asking yourself, Am I Next?