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GoPro’s year-long drone launch delayed: “We gaffed it,” says CEO

GoPro put on a big launch event today, unveiling its Karma drone, the Hero5 Black, Hero5 Session, and a set of software tools that together form an “end-to-end” content creation solution.

But the company had aimed to have that event as much as a year earlier, CEO Nick Woodman said, and “gaffed it.” That delay that may have contributed to its stock falling from a high of more than $86 a share to just over $15.

“We didn’t do what we said we’d do,” Woodman said, before adding that GoPro “will never release a product or an experience that isn’t ready.”

The upshot: The company took “it on the chin” and “lost a little face” as a result of being slow to market with the drone and the accompanying products and services, which together form an unparalleled storytelling system, Woodman argued.

“It takes a lot of time to get it right,” he said. “If it was that easy to do, you wouldn’t need GoPro.”

Ultimately, he said that although it took longer than planned, “the vision we shared today is exactly the same vision we shared” when the company went public in 2014. DT