I love new technology and gadgets. Over the last thirty years, I have often been one of the guys first in, an early adopter of the latest and greatest technology. Not always to my wife’s liking, I have purchased early and often. The exception to this was the iPhone. Don’t ask me why I was late to that party!
I have justified these purchases in two ways. As a software start-up guy, the new technology gives me a first mover advantage in the event that I should identify a software business opportunity associated with the new gizmo. As a technology investor, I get a head-start to better understanding the new product technology and whether it may launch its parent company to Nasdaq success.
I recently bought common shares of the start-up Fathom on Netcapital, a website that lets you buy stock in private companies and startups. Fathom is a football-shaped tethered drone that connects with a smart device to gather underwater video and images. They are using the Netcapital platform for an initial raise of up to a million dollars.
So why did I purchase stock in this start-up that doesn’t yet have a product on the market? I’m not planning to start a software business around Fathom data nor do I have the product in hand to judge its likelihood of financial success.
The opportunity to invest at this early stage enabled me to realize first dedicated mover advantage. There are other companies in the underwater photography space, but Fathom is a company focused on one mission. There’s going to be a winner, a company that breaks out, owns, and defines the drone-based consumer and prosumer underwater image and video capture market. I’m making a bet that company will be Fathom.
Digitizing the world’s surfaces is big business. Google bought Keyhole in 2004 to introduce Google Earth and folded in technology from Stanford University to add Google Street View. Isn’t it reasonable to think that geo-referenced underwater imagery will be a natural extension of this?
It’s early, but it appears that Fathom is leading the way. It will be a while before I will know if my bet was a good one, but I’m optimistic. But then again, I was late to the iPhone!
Note: I am an investor in Netcapital, a SEC registered funding platform. Also, DroneLife, where I am the CEO and publisher, has an agreement with Netcapital whereby Netcapital has the ability to use the DroneLife brand to help them list drone-related companies.