GoPro Offers Free Camera to Karma Drone Buyers

Back in September we were excited to announce the launch of the Karma, GoPro’s very first foray into the drone market. It was foldable, and featured a detachable stabilizer that could be used to make non-aerial, handheld shots more steady, along with a rugged, outdoor-ready travel case.

But as you may have heard, GoPro’s first attempt at breaking into the drone market has essentially failed due to several of the Karmas dropping from the sky due to sudden power loss. Given the number of Karmas that have failed, GoPro has issued a general recall.

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The Impact on GoPro’s Business

It’s no secret that GoPro isn’t doing so well. To quote The Verge:

GoPro announced its first quarter earnings today, and the details were fairly bleak. It saw its revenue drop by 49.5 percent from the same period in 2015, and it swung from a $22 million profit to a $121 million loss. The company also announced that its new drone, the Karma, will be delayed until the winter holiday. It was originally slated to be released in the first half of this year.

What GoPro Is Doing to Make Things Right—and Why It Matters

Hero5 Black GoProBut wait! This is not the full story.

While the Karma recall could be a story about failure, we prefer to see it as a story about company culture and doing right by people.

Even though GoPro has had to issue a recall—which is certainly frustrating for consumers and GoPro manufacturers alike—they are doing right by those effected, and offering those Karma buyers who return their drone a free Hero5 Black camera.

This is a big deal not just because they’re offering something for free, but because what they’re offering is GoPro’s top-of-the-line action camera, just released last month in October. How cool is that?

We’ve been excited to see other demonstrations of transparency and ethics in the drone industry, such as the open communication DJI kept with consumers when they faced a delay delivering the Mavic Pro, and that’s why we choose to see a silver lining in this story.

Usually, when a company is failing is the time they do everything they can to cut losses. This almost always extends into how customers are treated. For GoPro to stick to their integrity at a time like this seems to be a clear indicator of their culture, and if they do swing back up, we like to think that those values will be an integral part of their return.

Alan Perlman

Founder at UAV Coach
Alan is an FAA-certified drone pilot and founded UAV Coach in 2014 to help connect drone enthusiasts, to provide world-class sUAS industry training courses, and to help push the drone community forward with a focus on safety and commercial opportunities.