Portland (ME) as Seen from the Drone

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Portland and the harbor
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Portland, Maine

I was on a panel about Artificial Intelligence at Maine Startup and Create Week yesterday, and brought the drone up to see what could be seen around Portland. I didn’t have too much flight time, but took some nice shots of downtown and the harbor.

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My Drone is in San Francisco Bay

Should I Expect To Lose A Drone Every 3 Months Or So?

Where I think my Drone is
At the end of the red arrow, under about 15 feet of water, is the new resting place for my drone. (From Apple Maps)

My drone is sitting at the bottom of San Francisco Bay. For reasons unknown to me or DJI, it entered “come home” mode while about 400 feet in the air, taking some great shots of San Francisco as the sun was coming up. As I wrote on Facebook: “Fuck!”

While flying the drone over Dreamforce a few days earlier, it entered “come home” mode unexpectedly, but I chalked that up to all the Wifi signals around the Moscone Center. Or maybe the fog. And then when I flew it over North Beach the day before it went into the Bay, all seemed good:

On this day, I got up extra early to catch the early morning sun and to fly the drone before starting work. I think the views were pretty good. I went down to the Ferry building, and flew out over the San Francisco Bay looking back at downtown, and should have been something like this:

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San Francisco from the Bay. (from Apple Maps)

What Am I Doing?

I’ve been back and forth with a diver about recovering the drone. It’s not too far out into the Bay, and because I watched it descend into the water as it was just a bit too far away… I think I know exactly where it is. I really want the SD card that shows the emergence into the water. Right? But I don’t have any hope for the drone to fly again.

Just got off the phone with DJI support, and I must say these guys rock. They need me to fill out a form describing exactly what happened, and the phone rep couldn’t tell me exactly what would happen next, but he said in these situations DJI takes care of it’s customers. He was very empathetic and reassuring.

Stay tuned for updates on the drone recovery and resolution of the issue with DJI.

High Altitude Drone Flying Over Boston

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Last night’s drone flying adventure was all about getting it as high up in the air as possible.

Learning to understand how the camera works on the drone is a bit tricky. When I pan or move around, controlling the drone from the ground, it seems slow and controlled… but then when I watch the video it always seems too short and sort of jerky. I’m working on that.

If you live in the Boston area and are interested in renting a DJI Phantom 2+, let me know. Or if you want a drone to deliver leads to your sales team, I know the place to go.

Boston Drone Ahoy!

This was the drone I was looking for.

You might recall that I smacked my drone into the house before I went to China. Well, it’s back from the shop and out and flying around in Boston. Well, mostly the two blocks in Boston around my house. In a big park where I couldn’t hurt anyone or the drone.

Anyhow, here are some fun videos I pulled together of the most recent flights:

Drones Come Back from adamhonig on Vimeo.

If you’re a friend of mine, let’s make a date to take the drone around where you live! If you’re interested in renting a drone, let me know too. And finally, if you want a drone to deliver leads to your sales team, I know the place to go.

DroneForce™: Lead Delivery Via Drone, The Best Way To Ensure Lead Follow-Up

How does your marketing department cut through the clutter and engage the sales organization? Today I’m announcing a great new feature for your CRM application: DroneForce, the drone delivery of leads.

Today’s challenge for the marketing department isn’t just generating leads. Using tools like Marketo, Pardot, etc., any competent marketing team can generate hundreds and hundreds of leads each and every day. And many do.

Yet, according to my friends at HubSpot, the typical sales person throws away nine out of ten leads given to him by the hard working marketing department.

The real challenge is how to get the sales team to take these great leads we’re generating and actually follow-up on them.

Sales People Are Special

Let’s face it — when we say “the sales team is from a different gene pool,” we’re talking about Neanderthals. Or perhaps that’s even unfair to our prehistoric cousins.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one CMO told me recently that he has resorted to giving out candy and beer to his sales team to get them to listen about the resources he has created for them.

“The problem with our sales department is that they have such a short attention span, they often just forget about the leads we’re sending them.”

Rise Of The DroneForce

Once enabled, DroneForce™ will solve all of these challenges. Using the same drone technology that has made our wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan so successful, our solution dispatches a fleet of drones from your corporate headquarters to deliver leads in real time to your sales team, no matter where they are.

There are a number of features that can be configured by your CRM administrator:

  • GPS tracking of sales reps via mobile phone; this enables the drones to deliver leads at the coffee shop, McDonalds or any strip club where the sales team is working.
  • Lead follow-up request; the drone will stay and hover until the sales rep actually makes a call and follows up on the lead. We’re still working on the partnership with TASER International that will shock the sales rep every thirty to ninety seconds if they’re not following up on the lead.

But Wait, There’s More

Now that we’ve launched DroneForce™, we’ve started a top secret program that will reverse the lead-generation paradigm as we know it. Our as-yet-unnamed product will dispatch drones directly to prospects, and hover until the prospect calls our sales team. I suspect that our conversion ratio will skyrocket, once we work out the kinks.

This blog was originally posted on April 1st, 2014. Happy April Fool’s Day! If you’d like to see my other April Fool’s Day blog posts, feel free to learn how to use salesforce.com on your Google Glass, read about the time I bought a fictitious Italian software company focused on bringing Facebook and Twitter to the 3270 crowd, or gather new CRM insights from the life and times of Lindsay Lohan.