Chopperpix – a brief history (part 2)

8 01 2009

So I got off on a tangent about what it takes to be an r/c aerial photographer – it is definitely one of the topics that gets me going – but this is about the history of Chopperpix

After the first little helicopter was pretty much worn out, I bought a second helicopter, that was bigger – about 50″ long. It was nitro powered, loud, and the exhaust emitted a smokey wonder that followed it through the sky. I flew that helicopter during 2004, putting through about 35 gallons of fuel. That’s a LOT of flying. By mid-year, I decided to take an old Canon point-and-shoot digital camera and strap it on to see what it was capable of. It did ok, and it really got the wheels turning as I realized I could accomplish a lot more with a bigger, more powerful helicopter. It wasn’t long before I became the new owner of a gasoline powered helicopter that was capable of flying at a all-up-weight of nearly 30lbs. It was finicky, but it worked. I made several camera mounts for it to carry, bought new camera gear, and really started to move forward in development and skill. I learned quickly that I was not a photographer. Nor was I fully capable of piloting the helicopter safely. I also learned that I needed a vast set of skills in other areas apart from the flying that I hadn’t really expected. While I was successful in doing my own private work to start a portfolio, there was a disaster looming that I didn’t foresee coming.

I had a lot of ideas brewing in my head for Chopperpix. I started to formulate who I wanted to market to. I started thinking about pricing. I developed a decent website. But I didn’t know how to market. To be honest, I was pretty much a chicken at that time when it came to selling. I was not the guy who could sell the ketchup popsicle to the old lady in the white dress. Far from it. Creativity was abounding, but execution and sales of my creativity was wholly lacking. I had a few minor setbacks along the way of course, either with money or achieving marketing goals. But nothing prepared me for the huge emotional setback of June 4, 2005.

Check out part 3 for more of the story!

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