Drone-maker 3D Robotics cuts jobs, refocuses on corporate market.

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.


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Comment by Erik Graham on March 24, 2016 at 9:47pm
On the one hand Chris says 3DR has enough runway (financially) to get them through to the 2nd quarter of 2017, at which point they'll need to raise more capital (they'll actually need to start raising the round months in advance). On the other hand, in the Orielly podcast he talks about the slow sales cycle to the enterprise customer (they aren't RC guys, they just want solutions that work at the touch of a button).

The 2nd quarter of 2017 may seem like a long way off, but it really isn't given how long it takes to raise capital, and the long enterprise sales cycle. It's doubtful they'll have generated much revenue from enterprise sales in such a short period of time. Their only enterprise product so far is site scan - and its not even legal for an enterprise to use in the US without a 333 exemption (which still requires a pilots license). How interested are investors going to be? I'm sure Chris can pull off another round, but it sure seems like he's got a timing problem in his hands.

Let's just hope Chris and 3DR have something else up their sleeve.

Comment by Randy on March 24, 2016 at 11:48pm

There's a lot of good people at 3DR so I hope those that left find new homes soon.

Comment by Gareth on March 25, 2016 at 12:50am
I second Randy's comments. Redundancies are soul destroying but the staff sound very skilled so I hope they find new jobs quickly
Comment by Euan Ramsay on March 25, 2016 at 12:57am

In some respects, 3DR are wise to get out of the DIY space; you can now buy full pixhawk clone kits for less than $100, and the Solo needs lots of work to bring it up to Phantom specs and value, never mind exceed them. I wanted to get in on the "Made for Solo" program with our payload system, but it's an utter mess, with different people telling me different specs.

However, there will be a monumental backlash from the community, and their reputation will be severely damaged. They're gambling to think that damage wont rub off on corporate sales.

Comment by Fnoop on March 25, 2016 at 4:42am

@LanMark that article is written by a notorious 3dr troll.  Not saying it's wrong, but it will at very least be severely biased - he takes great pleasure in bashing anything 3dr.

Comment by Erik Graham on March 25, 2016 at 5:31am
Isn't it safe to say that on a personal level Chris Anderson isn't getting out of the DIY side of things. It's just 3DR as a company. DIY and this site seem like a real passion for him. I don't know, it just seems that way to me, but a lot of you guys have been around longer than me and would know better.
Comment by Jimmy Oliver on March 25, 2016 at 8:36am

I love building and tinkering with this technology. Solar, Hybrid, Geomapping, etc. As long as this site is up I could be happy. I think the Pixracer holds great promise for smaller delta-wing mapping platforms. The education I have received from this site priceless. The ideas shared here are, for lack of a better word, awesome. If there is any trouble with this site going down, please contact me and I will host it on my servers.

Comment by Pmarche on March 25, 2016 at 9:54am

I hope they survive. I hope they focus on their roots....

Comment by titeuf007 on March 25, 2016 at 2:09pm

it s the end...it s so sad!!!

but it could be a great thing if this project stay open source without commercial  mind behind the project!!

for example 2 usd for each firmware release , and keep a good price without huge margin for the pixhawck2(to avoid chinese copy..)

Comment by Darius Jack on March 25, 2016 at 2:40pm

DIYDrones can be easily turned into

Open Corporation

and micro payments can be done on peer to peer basis via Paypal,

as successfully implemented by my friends from San Francisco.

I have previous experience managing Large Open Corporation in Austin, Texas

in the past, as board member and CEO.

There is still room for  3DR Solo  and DIYDrones integration to keep

all developers active, funded and happy.

Since if DIYDrones is closed, there is no contact point to keep present developers

active and integrated.

I would like to turn DIYDrones into Open Corporation, Open Technology Park

with groups of developers, teams managed by challenges set.

Such Open Corporation could give jobs and full-time activity up to 1,000 man r&d team,

otherwise we have to learn to read drone manuals in chinese as quick as possible.

Open Technology Prk made of fabrication shop, labs, testing site, to build commercial drones out of box.

Users are ready to make micro payments  for service, for consultation, for advice

via PayPal to save time and avoid drone crash and other problems.


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