Some of you know that a couple of days ago Nick Woodman, the CEO and Founder of GoPro was live on Reddit doing AMA (Ask Me Anything). It was not a surprise that some inconvenient questions were asked. We decided to share some highlights of that night with you guys, hope you enjoy.
Why do you think it’s ok that you sold GPRO stock before all of your employees? You weren’t allowed to sell shares before December 2014, but you paid JP Morgan a hefty fee to give you a special exemption which they did, and you sold shares in October tanking the stock before anyone else could sell it. Stock was down 25% from the $85 price you sold before anyone else could touch it, and is now worth less than 1/5th it was when you sold. And don’t say it’s because it was a charitable gift, the “Jill + Nicholas Woodman Foundation” you created for this purpose gave away 0 dollars in those 2 months you FRONT RAN employees with no plans in place for giving and being a legitimate charity. You gave yourself a Trump level tax exemption where you’ll never have to pay taxes again, profiting hundreds of millions of dollars from this “charitable donation”. Please explain yourself.
Answer from Nick Woodman:
Here we go 😉
1) We didn’t pay JP Morgan a fee of any kind for an exemption to transfer shares for the formation of the Jill+Nicholas Woodman Foundation and the Foundation didn’t sell shares until later in 2015. The Foundation has gone on to fund causes supporting women and children and will continue to do so!!!!
2) I personally haven’t sold a single share since November 2014.
3) Since 2015, I’ve consistently purchased GoPro stock by paying my taxes on vested shares in cash and holding vs. selling. I’m a believer.
4) 1500+ GoPro employees and I are passionately working our tails off to continue making GoPro great…as you can see from all of the awesomeness we just released.
But how much have you paid JPMorgan in fees already? I’d guess over $5 million, more than enough for them to justify giving a freebie on this one. It doesn’t feel like you confidently held onto your stock, since you “gifted” or sold over 3x the value you currently own. If you didn’t sell a share until after the lockup period expired, and don’t get credit for giving $1/2 billion dollars then that’s a very good argument. But I doubt that’s true considering the lengths you went to set this up, and the trading volume that day. I believe you that you’re confident in your company’s future, and a buyer of stock down here at $17, but before that you took advantage of a finance loophole that allowed you to cheese out of shares early to the detriment of your shareholders and valued employees.
-No answer from Nick
What do you think about DJI Mavic?
Answer from Nick Woodman:
I think it’s a sweet drone. DJI did a really nice job and should be stoked with what they’ve accomplished. Personally, I’m partial to Karma because I want more than just aerial footage…I want amazingly smooth, sick footage of everything I do…not just buttery shots from the sky. Karma lets me capture “drone-smooth” footy from my chest while I’m skiing, in my hand while I’m chasing my crazy kids around the skate park, and yes…in the air when that’s the shot I want. Being “more than a drone” is what Karma is all about…but in the area of drones specifically, DJI did a great job.
Comment from We Talk UAV:
Nick Woodman is man enough to admit that DJI did a great job. I can imagine how much it hurt him but the truth is still a truth. Of course, after Mavic’s release, Karma had only 1 selling point left: Handheld Gimbal. They will stick with this point because that is the major advantage of GoPro drone.
Hi Nick! Will you bring out software/hardware improvements to Karma, like being able to track the user while moving or obstacle avoidance/detection?
We will introduce updates to Karma to enhance its performance and what you can do with it. Karma already has a lot of hardware features built into it that we’re not exploiting yet, so expect more radness to come. We know everyone is excited to learn more and we promise to share more as soon as we can. Thanks for the stoke.
Comment from WeTalkUAV:
Some software based features can be added but obstacle avoidance can not. Karma has no sensors and an extra processor for it. Maybe GoPro will add it in future but not in the current generation of the product. Follow me mode will be possible but only with extra hardware like GPS bracelet. If they will come up with something like this price will be around 80-120$ for GPS module. To make Karma follow the object without GPS (Like a Phantom 4) will require at least one more video processor, which Karma doesn’t have. So if you are expecting some major improvements, you’d better wait for the next generation of Karma.
Question from Vultureshadows:
How do you feel the Karma holds up against recent drone industry competitors such as the DJI Mavic and the Yuneec Breeze — especially considering the difference in price point?
I may be biased 😉 but I think Karma shreds…especially for $799! It’s amazing that you get the drone, the removable stabilizer, the handheld grip, the touch display controller all together in the backpack for that price. A couple of years ago, all of this would have been $10K! We are living in the future.
Comment from We Talk UAV:
Well, being biased about your own product is kind of alright. Probably that is why he didn’t mention that for 799$ you getting Karma without a camera and the version with the camera will cost 1099 which is actually 100 bucks more expensive than Mavic.
- You can check the original conversation here.
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Thanks for reading!