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BrettRocketSci last won the day on July 9 2018

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  1. Hi all. If you have discovered that the non-technical aspects of the commercial drone business are a major challenge, I have created a resource that should be a major benefit for you. The book "Success with Drones in Civil Engineering" is packed with case studies, lessons learned, business strategies & tactics, and interviews & insights from industry leaders. You'll get an accelerated introduction and overview of disciplined project management and how that can help you plan, execute, and deliver more accurate and effective results with your drone. You'll get a crash course (ha) on marketing and sales so you can learn how to most effectively market yourself to higher end clients in civil engineering. You'll also get some exclusive discounts and deals in the long list of additional resources that includes hardware, software, and business services that commercial drone entrepreneurs or enterprise team members need to use. The book was written to help drone entrepreneurs as well as people in established companies who want to establish safe, legal, and profitable operations. Any questions? Please ask below and I'll check back to answer. But first I appreciate you checking out the book on Amazon here. It should pay you back many times over with the time, money, and knowledge you'll gain from it. Here's to more long term success in the commercial drone world! Brett Hoffstadt (aeronautical engineer, certified project manager, and Part 107 pilot)
  2. Broadcast announcement - if anyone lives in the Sacramento region, there is an important evening event on Wednesday, October 12th, 2016. This brief but concentrated event will introduce, connect, and educate many active players from all segments of the drone ecosystem. If you are in the vicinity, please click the link below to check out the event. It is hosted by the Drone Pilots Federation, a young but international organization I'm proud to be associated with. We strive to serve the drone pilot community and by extension the larger communities we all live and work in. California Capital Region Drone Swarm If there are any questions about this event or DPF I'll be glad to answer as best I can. Happy, safe, and rewarding flying to everyone out there! Thanks, Brett
  3. September 7-9, 2016 are the dates. Location is Las Vegas, NV. Only the 2nd year for this event but it is jammed with massive topics, leaders, and exhibitors. If you are going to be there, make a note below and give your contact info if you want to be found. I'll be there all day & night Wednesday and first half of Thursday. My goal is to meet as many people as possible and learn as much as possible about drone services as B2B, including establishing a dedicated drone capability in-house. I'm now based in Sacramento, California and actively working to create awareness and demand for drone services there. If you want to connect with me my cell is 210-753-0843 and Twitter is @BrettRocketSci. Alan, hope to meet you in person finally! Here's the event website: Very affordable price if you just get the exhibit hall pass!
  4. Welcome Wes! You posted a while ago, but I just moved to Folsom from out of state. Near to Sacramento by any chance? I'm interested to get connected with drone pilots in the nearby area. Figure out how to deal with the locals in a good way... Hope to see a reply back from you, Brett
  5. Hi Richard. Which part of Northern CA can I ask? I just relocated to Folsom. Checking for any nearby people on the forum if I can find them. Brett
  6. Hi Merlin. I love the idea too! Agree with concerns and risks noted above too. Let me recommend some things for you. Not what to do, but rather how to do them. You want to identify your most critical and fundamental assumptions about whether this will work or not. Then design a way to gather the information you need to test them. Nothing beats that more than actually talking and engaging with your potential customers (other parents). Try it with a just one drone and the number of kids you think should be "assigned" to one drone. How many would that be? I like the idea of a pilot, "safety officer" / spotter, and technician. :-) Here are two of my posts in the forum that I suggest you read and use as tools. The most elegant and efficient way I've found to map out a business plan and all of your assumptions is with something called a Lean Canvas. You can get one from my post here: There are excellent books about Lean applied to business which I highly recommend. I can give you specifics if you ask. I just made another post here about the benefits of using maneuver warfare strategy and guerrilla marketing for a startup UAV business. It's a deep topic but very powerful. It makes you a master of time as your most valuable resource, making it a variable to play with just as much as what drone you are going to use. Here's the post: I hope you continue investigating the potential of this business, if you are passionate about it. Please keep us posted!
  7. Those of you who want to start or maneuver into a profitable business niche with your UAV, I want to share and recommend some wisdom from military history and innovative marketing professionals. Here is an excerpt from my latest blog article that I believe (and hope) will benefit you greatly: If you focus on time (speed and agility) and direct engagement with your target customers more than your particular drone model or software version, you'll be moving in the right direction. Combine that with guerrilla marketing tactics and you'll do it very cost-effectively too. If you want to learn more, please read my full post, link below. Give yourself 10 minutes or so - it turned into a long article. If you want to dig into more details or want me to expand on anything, I would like to know so I can contribute more. Upward and onward! Why maneuver warfare and guerrilla marketing are essential to succeed in the commercial drone business (plus 3 important books)
  8. This was a great debate. Thanks for posting here Jon. Every UAV pilot needs to stay informed on the legal situations. Maybe you'll choose to ignore them and take the risks, but that needs to be a conscious and informed choice. If / when someone shoots down your drone and the cops come (or you are wondering if you should call them yourself), you better know where you stand legally! Is the current information and guidance clear enough, or I wonder if this is still an area where pilots need help?
  9. Thanks for posting the big news here. Yes, that is massive news! I would love to learn how they achieved this huge score. Lots of other drone entrepeneurs would also love and benefit to know I'm sure, but this company has good reason not to share too much. :-) One thing is for sure, drone inspections for infrastructure are now legit and too big to quit!! Hammer time...
  10. Hi there Jim. Very cool combinations of skills and passions, because I can relate! Airplanes and music have been dual pursuits of mine since childhood days too. Any links or samples of your music available for us online? I was watching a drone video today with some good music soundtrack. But the music could have been a lot better...made me think that there could be an opportunity for someone to create a library of music especially suited to drone videos. Licensing and royalties would have to be part of the business model of course. Maybe that's a prospect for you? Or post-flight production services for other pilots who want their videos or still photos turned into captivating videos with a great soundtrack? My music has previously been used in a tourism video for a UK destination site, so maybe between you and me we have the beginning of something there... I'll be glad to get acquainted and bounce ideas off you more if that sounds good with you. Thanks for introducing yourself here.
  11. Great discussion topic so I'm looking forward to more comments too. Air One gave a great response, I would echo everything he said. And I'll add my experience, bootstrapping is much more advised. Force yourself to be lean, learn and do only what you need to do in order to identify, connect, and sell to customers ASAP. The Lean Startup is a brilliant book and approach. Seek out local startup groups or venues such as SCORE. What city are you in? I might have specific recommendations. More agreement on the basic, formal business setups. That includes a domain name and website. I can get you discounts with proven, reliable providers for several online tools if you tell me what kind of product or service you need, so please ask. One painful thing I learned is that free websites end up being very much NOT FREE. Time, debugging, security concerns, limited capabilities, learning curves, looking for compatible plugins, unprofessional appearances... you could start with a free platform like Wix or Wordpress if you do 100% bootstrapping. But I recommend skipping that if you can because you'll want to get a professional site ASAP. A platform that you know will seamlessly integrate email subscriptions, social media accounts, blogging, embedded video, etc will save you tons of time, stress, and bring in revenue so much faster than trying to assemble and maintain all the free pieces and parts.
  12. Heads-up on this event for people in San Diego CA! I don't live nearby so if anyone goes to this I hope you'll give us an outbrief. :-) Thanks, Brett Key paragraph (hyperlinks may not work -- go to original link for that) San Diego Press Club to Discuss Drone-Based Newsgathering The San Diego Press Club will host “Using Drones for Newsgathering,” a program on the issues and concerns of drone-based reporting, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 18, at the Press Club office at the Spreckels Theatre building, 121 Broadway, Suite 640, in downtown San Diego. Speaking will be Gary Buzel, a journalist and drone pilot for XETV/CW6 San Diego. Buzel has a permit from the Federal Aviation Administration to use a drone, or as the agency calls them, unmanned aircraft systems. In February, CW6 used a drone to show wreckage of the SS Monte Carlo, an oil tanker that sank near Coronado shores in 1937 and is sometimes visible at low tide. The story reportedly received more than 3 million hits on the station’s website. Buzel also consults with other TV stations on how to start their own UAS operations. Cost to attend the Press Club event is free for members and $10 for nonmembers. To RSVP, contact Terry Williams at (619) 231-4340 For more info, The program is part of the Press Club’s “Nuts & Bolts” series.
  13. I think this article belongs here more than Agriculture. Interesting news. They are testing drones to drop balls filled with chemicals to fight fires. Doesn't seem very efficient to me, but you've got to start and learn with something I suppose. They'll need fixed wing aircraft with large payload capacity to make this effective.
  14. This is a very good (optimistic) article with examples and prospects for how drones can benefit small businesses and their customers. Fun and exciting things are happening with many more ahead!! That's my take. BTW - if anyone is having frustrations or roadblocks with their website or online presence, shoot me a message and I'll do my best to fire back a quick suggestion or potential resource for you.
  15. Here is an open question and invitation. Have you struggled to find a reliable and safe way to get through a particular process with your drone? Maybe it's a technical setup. Maybe it's a business process like qualifying and reserving a customer appointment. A preflight checklist is a rather obvious example. Has anyone taken the time & effort to make one of those for themselves already? I'm a huge fan and believer in checklists. They have proven to be an effective tool for quality, safety, time savings, consistency, reliability, and risk avoidance. I've seen them work in other aviation settings (airline cockpits being a famous example). But other examples and benefits can be found in the book The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande: I doubt people here will buy the book for themselves, when you would rather be working on or flying your drone. Can you think of situations where you wish you had a clear and reliable checklist to help you "check the boxes" and make sure you had done everything you were supposed to? I'm looking for ways to help around here and was thinking that a checklist would probably help in some situations. Thanks in advance for anyone's replies. Please don't consider this a promise to deliver. :-) Just the start of a discussion. Thanks, Brett