Sometimes, even ideas that seem like they have the potential to become grand – fall through when the execution is fallible.
The story of this company can serve as a cautionary tale for every person who thinks that all you need is an idea. Read carefully, since you might learn something from their mistakes!
Does anybody still remember the camera ball that allowed you to take a 360-degree panoramic picture from the birds perspective by tossing it into the air? Sounded like such a great idea that its crowdfunding campaign raked in over 1.25 million dollars. Well, in the end, it did not turn out well for them at all. They filed for bankruptcy and have been purchased by an investment firm under the name of Bryanston Group.
SO, WHAT IS THE PANORAMIC BALL CAMERA?
The panoramic ball camera was indeed an interesting idea, it looked like a toy, but it housed 36 cameras that, when used properly would snap a panoramic photo consisting of 108 megapixels, and was advertised as being quite durable.
The most interesting part was probably the fact that you would view the image in a way reminiscent of using VR, you would point your device in the direction you want to see and imagine that you are actually at the place from which the photo was taken.
It all started with their first throwable camera project that was incredibly well received with online communities and brought them thousands of orders. However, when they released the original video, the product was not ready for production as the cost was too high and they simply weren’t ready. So they improved the design and relied on crowdfunding to get their product off the ground (pun intended).
THE NEW OWNERS
Unfortunately, Panono failed in its plans. After 3 years they have only shipped out 400 cameras and had to declare bankruptcy, but the news is not all bad for those who supported the project. In a press release, Bryanston proclaimed that the company will still try to honor their moral obligation and find a solution to get the camera out and to allow everyone who supported Panono get their hands on one after so many years of being patient.
To be perfectly clear, the company does not have any legal obligations towards the project backers, but the words coming from them definitely sound very promising.
The Bryanston Group also has the intention to keep the panorama hosting platform running and actually promises to release new products and services to their customers within months, which definitely sounds like a tall order and great news for anyone who waited for over 3 years for the camera. That being said, the company is going to go through rebranding. The name Panono is being thrown out and replaced with “Professional360” possibly to mimic the idea behind the advertising of, already popular GoPro cameras.
Well, even if Bryanston does manage to give everyone a camera, there is a huge downside to this project. Given the fact that it took way too long to be realized, 360-degree cameras are simply not that special anymore. The rise of VR glasses and apps also means that cameras like this are becoming common. While Panono, or, as we are going to call it soon “Professional360” does have the added “fun factor” of being throwable and incredibly durable, there are simply cheaper solutions for everyone who wants to make 360 photos.
The market is saturated with tons of products that are cheaper than this camera and you can even buy a phone attachment that can create a high-quality panoramic photo for you. And, let’s get real if your phone can do it, why would you really want to buy a product like this one?
WHY IT FLOPPED AND WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM ITS FAILURE?
Panono is a perfect example of a properly prepared, well-researched and original idea that sought to crowdfund, but it lacked in execution. The main problem with selling high-tech products is that you need to move them quickly as trends come and go within months and high-tech products of today can become obsolete within a year, thus severely hindering the company’s prospects.
A project like a 360 camera is a costly one and crowdfunding is a slow process. So, you might want to have an idea that can provide returns as you are working on it in hopes that you can actually create a steady environment for the project that can promise you progress.