3D Robotics cuts jobs, refocuses on corporate market

clackey

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3D Robotics Inc., one of the better-funded, high-profile drone startups, is laying off an undisclosed number of its staff in a restructuring aimed at moving more quickly into the commercial market, due to heavy competition in the consumer drone market.

“DJI is doing great, it’s because they are moving so fast, it’s forcing the others to adapt,” 3DR co-founder and Chief Executive Chris Anderson told MarketWatch, referring to the biggest consumer drone maker. “Some companies are adapting by leaving, and others are adapting by moving upstream to the enterprise, which was always our plan. And is it just accelerating right now.”

Full story - Drone-maker 3D Robotics cuts jobs, refocuses on corporate market
 
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It seems like Solo is the platform for their commercial stuff too. So I can't see it going away anytime soon. It sounds like they're planning to shift their focus to the commercial/enterprise market, with consumer use being a side thing. As opposed to now, where they're on the consumer market with a side dish of commercial. I hope their products remain available for consumers like they are now.
 
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clackey

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It looks as though they may continue it for now, just reposition as a platform for larger businesses/industries to leverage for their niche. Creating accessories, software, etc..

Here is a good example...

"Anderson said 3DR will focus more on developing products like Site Scan, an aerial analytics platform it launched earlier this month in a collaboration with Autodesk Inc. and Sony Corp. The system has a software-as-a-service monthly subscription model, which integrates Autodesk software, where using the 3DR Solo drone, businesses can upload aerial images, analytics and other data to the 3DR cloud. The system uses a tablet from Sony, a GoPro camera and starts at $3,249 for the hardware."
 
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It seems like Solo is the platform for their commercial stuff too. So I can't see it going away anytime soon. It sounds like they're planning to shift their focus to the commercial/enterprise market, with consumer use being a side thing. As opposed to now, where they're on the consumer market with a side dish of commercial. I hope their products remain available for consumers like they are now.
I agree. They aren't going anywhere, just focusing the business more on commercial and less on the money losing consumer side. They still have 100 employees and plenty of money into 2017. I bought mine for commercial work and look forward to the new accessories.
 
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What's good for us right now, is their big fancy new commercial product hasn't made the consumer product cost more. The commercial cost is in the software and licensing. So us consumers can buy a solo for the normal price of a solo.
 
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Thanks Steven, But the link does not show the article. I think they hijack it to the home page. I did a search on the above term and it found the article, but no audio.

Jubalr- Edited the post, try the soundcloud link.

I listened to this yesterday via the Pocket Casts app on my phone, in my car. Funny that it's not yet on O'Reilly's website...
 
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It's going to be interesting to see what unfolds from 3DR and other 3rd parties build off of Solo this year. The question should be, what will Solo be in the future.

CA has referenced Solo in two contexts over the last year, the design we have presently in a bird and controller. Then he's states Solo the platform of hardware and software, stating that Solo is what we will build from...winged, heavy lift, micro...

If you look at the software side, the total package was setup to be re-branded. Referring to the Solo apps. Further still the SoloDev side allows further enhancements based on "Solo" the platform.

We didn't buy a company, we bought a platform to develop from.....
 
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Well I'm afraid this is not good no matter what we all try to convince ourselves, but let's see what 3DR does at NAB.
 
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We didn't buy a company, we bought a platform to develop from.....
Yes, as long as you can still get proprietary replacement parts for said platform. The software is irrelevant to me. I could live with the current version for years. If my mainboard has a prob, or the gimbal connector beaks off due to crappy soldering, or the gimbal just starts going limp due to a faulty motor - my solo would be pretty much dead. There isn't much on the Solo you can just go out and replace with off the shelf parts unless you have an electronics background and can do things like solder replacement motors onto the pods. Batteries will eventually die - you can't easily just plunk a new 4s pack into there without destroying the battery housing to take it apart.
 
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Valid observation Steve, as always. Like Erik said, guess we'll know more during NAB.
Remember, they also said they have a large # of SOLOs, and I would assume accessories. But even if they closed their doors today; as is the case with countless businesses in the past, a smart investor/entrepreneur would buy the remaining inventory at pennies on the dollar and continue to sell through as inventory allowed. And if demand is there, parts will come. And by then, I would be on to the next MR anyway.
 
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Remember, they also said they have a large # of SOLOs, and I would assume accessories. But even if they closed their doors today; as is the case with countless businesses in the past, a smart investor/entrepreneur would buy the remaining inventory at pennies on the dollar and continue to sell through as inventory allowed...

Chris A. alludes to this in the aforementioned podcast... talking about his visit to a dollar store and how their inventory comes from 'forecast errors'...
 
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Yes, as long as you can still get proprietary replacement parts for said platform. The software is irrelevant to me. I could live with the current version for years. If my mainboard has a prob, or the gimbal connector beaks off due to crappy soldering, or the gimbal just starts going limp due to a faulty motor - my solo would be pretty much dead. There isn't much on the Solo you can just go out and replace with off the shelf parts unless you have an electronics background and can do things like solder replacement motors onto the pods. Batteries will eventually die - you can't easily just plunk a new 4s pack into there without destroying the battery housing to take it apart.
ouch. Good points. Painful though
 
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Unfortunately I think this is an sad direction for the consumer mid-range drone market. With 3dr getting out of this portion of the market - there will be much less competition in this area. In a couple of years (3 - 5) the advances in these type of drones will make the current models look quite basic. I think we will miss 3dr influences in producing sophisticated sub $1500 consumer drones.
 
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This just indicates that 3DR was not able to compete with the likes of DJI or Yuneec. i think the gimbal wait time and the price were the real problems that did them in. And then there were a bunch of other issues.

The competition was too great to overcome.

Laying off employees is just a bad sign in general.
 

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