Hey Duran! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Tell us a little bit about SteadiDrone and your role there.
SteadiDrone develops and manufactures high quality foldable, fully ready-to-fly drones which are ‘open’ to fly a huge range of different payloads and camera. Key focus being our ‘Rapid Deploy’ design that features on all our drones, very unique front mounted gimbal systems, and offering fully ready-to-fly system unlike anything else available.
My role is owner and Director of SteadiDrone. I also handle all the drone design and engineering as well as marketing, website, and pretty much anything involved with moving the business forward. I have a really great team working with me. We are all very young and very blessed to be doing what we do.
Where did you get your formal education, and what did you study? Do you feel your formal education helped you in starting this business?
I never had the privilege to receive a formal education apart from high school so I’m very much self-taught. I think hard work, a lot (a lot) of late nights and a passion for pretty much anything I find myself doing is what has lead to our success thus far. Other important factors are obviously having good people to work with – my wife and I run the business with a great team of 8 others, none of whom have a formal education and all under the age of 32.
I think hard work, a lot (a lot) of late nights and a passion for pretty much anything I find myself doing is what has lead to our success thus far
What advice would you give to others who want to get started flying drones?
Learn, learn as much as you can – the best way is reading up on things. Google is your best source of info. I know I’ve spent thousands of hours just reading through forums, threads, reviews, technical docs, etc., to learn what I need. Experience is obviously king, so start small and just grow it from there. It’s really not that complicated once you understand things.
How would you define success? Do you think you’ve found it yet?
For me, success is very much being happy and living life. We live in an amazingly beautiful town called Knysna, on the southern tip of Africa and spend a great deal of time outdoors. We might not have the huge opportunities the bigger cities and other countries offer, but we do have a very high quality of life. So yes I think we have been very successful if you take into account the bigger picture, where we’ve come from, where we live, the financial climate, how a small business in a little coastal town is making a great impact globally on the drone market and having our products rated, reviewed and flown next to the likes of 3DR, DJI, etc.
What would you consider to be the greatest failure in your career to date?
Employing the wrong people. It’s of course impossible to know if they are the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ person for the job when you employ them, unless you know them already. A great deal of time can be wasted trying to solve useless staff – again it’s key to have great people to work with.
Where do you see drones and drone technology in the future?
I think most of what we’ve seen in movies will eventually become a reality. It’s hard to believe that in 2004 you only got 128Mb flash drives, now you get 128Gb. Technology is advancing so fast, and that’s what makes what we do so exciting – human creativity which enables these amazing machines, code, robots, etc. to do what they can and will one day do.
…human creativity which enables these amazing machines, code, robots, etc. to do what they can and will one day do
To what extent do you think drones can impact this world?
I think they have already made a huge impact, from being able to effortlessly capture aerial media to agriculture mapping and data collection. The better the technology gets, the more we will be able to do with drones – it’s a very exciting time.
Is there an aspect of drones at the moment that you’re particularly interested in?
Well, with new regulations, in South Africa specifically, drone ‘education’ is a very interesting aspect we plan to explore.
What was the best piece of advice ever given to you?