GoPro came to the consumer forefront after launching the original and most successful range of portable cameras back in 2005. Despite being designed for adventurous travelers and fans of extreme sports, GoPro quickly became the icon for the growing selfie trend, simultaneously representing the idea that consumer photography had broken free from the limitations posed by the natural environment. Theirs was a camera that could go anywhere and shoot anything. And everyone was loving it, from teenagers taking selfies with friends to surfers and skiers eager to watch extreme experiences back a second time or share them online.
It could be argued that GoPro’s main customer base slowly grew apart from the original intentions of the company. When you think about it, the rise of selfie sticks and photo-tourism couldn’t be further from the action photography GoPro was designed for. But hey, that’s hardly anything to complain about. In fact, appealing to these two burgeoning markets simultaneously saw GoPro rapidly become a household name and a tech must-have. So much so that in June 2014 the company went public. But after a hot IPO with trading starting at $24 per share, the markets grew more skeptical and GoPro shares have since sold for anything from $85 to $8.62.
Alongside the rise of GoPro, another forward-looking industry was slowly beginning to take shape. Consumer drones were starting to move from science fiction into reality, and several manufacturers realized there was a potential market for aerial photography – If the price was right. One of these manufacturers was the now industry leader DJI. And part of making the price right was to concentrate on building a flying device capable of carrying a camera. Instead of spending time, money, and effort developing cameras to work with their drones, companies like DJI instead designed drones compatible with GoPro cameras.