The Guinn Partners Reports

The Guinn Partners’ Reports

Guinn Partners serves discerning clients in the drones & mobility, enabling technology and outdoor sporting goods spaces with best in class marketing and product development.





Thank you very much for taking the time to read through our 2019 Guinn Partners commercial drone industry e-book. Besides the time we already spent researching the progress being made by the top companies in the commercial drone space for our clients, we’ve done a major deep dive into the value being created by these flying robots for large enterprises around the world. We wanted to expand our focus this time around beyond just what the top companies are developing and really deep dive into the market side to see what customers and what verticals are finding value in drones, how they are scaling their drone operations, and how they see this tech fitting into their business operations in the next few years. This e-book is filled with in depth interviews from not only the top companies in the drone space today, but more importantly, from large organizations that have spent the last several years evaluating how drone technology can provide ROI for their organizations.
With the progress happening in the regulatory space (including the FAA’s recent
BAA), and corporations establishing scalable processes to implement drones into
their workflows, we can confidently say that the next several years look very
good for the commercial drone industry!
We hope you

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Colin Guinn

Five years ago, I traveled up and down the west coast visiting every camera shop I could find to show them a cool new product category they should consider bringing into their stores. I was showing them the first DJI Phantom, a drone we had created to make the world of aerial imagery more accessible to newcomers. Many of those early dog and pony shows didn’t go exactly as planned, and there were plenty of times I probably said things like “the wind must have caught it” as I packed up my now-crashed $700 gadget. The original Phantom had no camera, no gimbal, no autonomous flight capability, no optical flow, no obstacle avoidance, no computer vision, no smart battery, no video link, no mobile app. And you didn’t dare fly it in cold weather. If you required a drone with all of those capabilities, you needed a Defense- Department sized budget…literally. Now, for around the same price as the original Phantom, you can get the Mavic Air with all of those things and much more— and it fits in your pocket. How does this relate to the commercial drone market that everyone is so excited about? Only a few years ago, using a drone to create a 3D model of a construction site, an orthomosaic of a farm, or an elevation map of a flood plain meant spending an incredible amount of time and money on piecemealed drone and camera hardware, dealing with extremely cumbersome workflows and buggy software, dealing with crashed drones on a regular basis, and oh yeah, disobeying FAA regulations. To say that things have come a long way in five years is quite the understatement. I’m not even sure how to quantify the pace of innovation between the Phantom 1 and the Mavic Air, but it certainly exceeds Moore’s Law. Drones’ ability to provide real ROI across industry is arguably less than two years old, and we’re already seeing commercial drone use graduate from the fringe cases and internal exploratory studies to organization-wide programs being planned and implemented across thousands of large companies the world over. As the commercial drone space goes from zero to 100 over the next few years, the one thing this industry is short on is expertise. Over the last decade, myself and the team at Guinn Partners have flown dozens of aerial platforms and stood on hundreds of real-world job sites in various industries: construction, telecom, oil and gas, production, real estate development, public safety and more. The conversations we’ve had and the connections we’ve made have given us knowledge and experience applicable to companies adopting these new technologies, as well as to companies developing new drone technologies. As we continue to have conversations with organizations new to the space, we are reminded again and again just how novel this technology is. We see how little information spreads about trends, standard operating procedures, and best practices- especially in commercial applications. We’ve come to recognize that one of the most valuable things we have to offer the industry is our experience and expertise.

So we sat down together to figure out what we agree on and where we think this industry is headed.

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