Learnings from GoPro Business Model

In our fast-paced modern world, technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. It has revolutionized how we live, work, and interact with the world around us. 

As businesses strive to keep up with the ever-evolving digital landscape, the importance of hardware and software cannot be overstated. Although software has been the driving force behind the growth of many startups, it’s important to note that hardware has always played a significant role

However, as we move forward, it is becoming increasingly clear that the future will not be just software-driven but rather a harmonious integration of hardware and software.

The hardware industry has undergone a transformation in recent years. Hardware companies no longer rely solely on selling their products to generate revenue. Instead, they have evolved to monetize through software subscription models, resulting in a more sustainable and lucrative business model. Take, for instance, the juggernauts of the industry, such as Apple and Tesla, who have successfully implemented this strategy to great effect.

Intriguingly, even Tesla, a company known for its groundbreaking electric cars, monetizes by offering software subscriptions for features such as autonomous driving and premium connectivity. This highlights the growing importance of software in the hardware industry and how companies are monetizing by adapting to meet the changing demands of consumers.

As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, the integration of hardware and software will become increasingly vital for businesses. It is an exciting time for innovation, and those who can effectively leverage both hardware and software will undoubtedly lead the way towards a brighter and more connected future.

My Personal Experience

It has been a while since I purchased a hardware product. However, last week, to test out a few things, I ended up getting a Rode Wireless Go II microphone. Thanks Catherine Sulskis. I also thought it would be good to try a GoPro.

What is GoPro?

I have heard about GoPro from a few people (especially from kids). It did not relate a lot to what I was doing, and I did not follow it. However, I did know that it was a video camera (Branding). 

GoPro Hardware & Accessories

I went to a BestBuy store to purchase a GoPro device. I am not an expert in video cameras and had a lot of questions. I also did not know what to buy. They had different versions, GoPro 8, 9, 10 (similar to the iPhones). On another note, I did not know what accessories I needed. 

On doing further research, I found out that I would need to purchase batteries as an add-on, had to get a stick to hold the GoPro, and so on. The store associate was knowledgeable; however, he did not have all the answers either. I purchased whatever was recommended at the store and came back home to set it up.

At Home & Further Research

The charge on the GoPro battery would not last long. I thought it was a problem with the battery. On research, I found that the battery time is only less than two hours. So, I need to buy more batteries. I tried to connect my Rode Wireless Go II microphone with the GoPro video camera. I was excited to make this all work (I spent quite a few hours figuring all this out. I was scrambling and trying to find the pin to attach my GoPro to Rode Wireless Go II. I couldn’t find it. On further research, I found that I needed a GoPro Media Mod, and I had to research GoPro Media mod (tons of videos on youtube on when and why you would need one). This costs extra money. 

Do Not Give More for Less

One thing we always worry about when we work with prospects or customers is trying to close the deal by giving discounts. Also, we provide add-ons (e.g., Integrator Setup at no additional cost). These are things products like GoPro do not do. They set the tone right. They make you pay for each and every little thing. Sometimes, as a customer, it could be frustrating to pay more; however from a GoPro perspective, this is how they are able to make great products and hire great people. They deliver experiences.

Subscription Hardware-Software Interface

During setup, GoPro asked me to install the GoPro Quik app on my phone. I installed it and found out about the GoPro subscription – to auto-upload videos to the cloud. This is a monthly service – I was fascinated. 


They have a great GoPro community to answer any questions you may have. There are a number of things we can learn from this.

Here are some of my key takeaways from the last 2-3 days:

  1. Hardware -Software interface
  2. Subscription (Cloud)
  3. Price your product well
  4. Provide great experience and charge more (GoPro 10 is $400)
  5. Customers pay for Accessories. Provide a basic version of your product and charge for everything else.
  6. Youtube product tutorials
  7. And more.

The future of technology is ripe with possibilities, and those who seize the opportunity to invest in hardware and software subscriptions will be at the forefront of innovation. While not all products have this liberty, those like GoPro, iPhone, and Samsung are leading the way. Let’s create and nurture the talent needed to propel us forward and learn from the best around the world. 

This experience was great learning about hardware products & business models. I didn’t plan it this way; however, it just happened in the process of figuring things out. 

Thank you for reading. 

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