Changing the world with its drones is not a vision, but a reality for Parrot.
Changing the world with its drones is not a vision, but a reality for Parrot. “I don’t have a vision” Henri Seydoux claims, the founder and CEO of Parrot, the French leader in high technology who just raised 300 million euros at the end of 2015. Could success then be a gift for this entrepreneur who, after the success of hands-free kits and drones, just presented a connected flower pot?
There is unfortunately no miracle recipe, because innovation is “super difficult” as he likes to remind it with his characteristic honest and direct words. An internal process which works like a startup to make ideas emerge, with over half of the concepts abandoned after the prototype phase. “My secret projects” as Henri Seydoux likes to call them with a mischievous smile, “because they are not presentated to the board of trustees, who might not understand them at a too experimental phase”.
“Putting back imaginary in video games”
Not a vision, but a dream. The one behind drones was “putting back imaginary in video games” he reminds, and offering a product that would primarily be a general public success, “because before winning a professional market, great successes in high-technology go through a success with final consumers, like it was the case for Atari before Apple”.
This is not Parrot’s first strike, and the recipe for his success is refining, as it is shown by his flower pot presented at this year’s CES. Answering a need, that of watering a plant with the right amount of water, with a “fun” product than can be adapted in many ways. With its sensors, this pot defines the state of the soil, the water and sun-needed by the plant and precisely releases the required dose.
Spurred by the success of his hobby drones, Henri Seydoux now wants to accelerate professional uses, and “change the world”, as he does not hesitate to state. For agriculture, by flying over a field, a drone can provide essential data to define the necessary amount of fertilizer. Deliveries, surveillance of high-voltage lines or concrete art works are developing applications. Many ongoing project also aim at fighting deforestation by replanting in places that are difficult to access for men.
These are just the premises of the applications. And when you know that the drone is the only way to obtain “big data” in the air, you can imagine its potential. “You only have to go outside. There are plenty of birds”, Henri Seydoux sums up. “The 500g flying thing concept is fully provided by nature. The drone is like a bicycle, it carries in itself a huge potential”.
Henri Seydoux is a member of CroissancePlus, a group of entrepreneurs who aim at developing the economic, social, cultural and societal framework to turn France into the most favorable country for scale-up development while offering the sharing of the “best practices”.
Crédits photo : DR Pluris