Tell me a little bit about yourself and your passions?
I am obsessed with entrepreneurship and Drones. I have loved entrepreneurship since I remember having thoughts. It could be because both my parents had businesses when I was growing up. I founded Urban Drones in 2011 as a supplier of drone parts, then things got really busy really quick, so now I’m working on re-launching the website to answer my customers needs and expand the use of drones.
Can you discuss the circumstances that led to your career and some challenges you have overcome?
I have been a TV/video producer in South Florida for over 15 years and that job has allowed me to see many different places, meet great people and have very unique experiences, but what get’s my heart pumping and giggly inside is entrepreneurship and drones. Running Urban Drones is different than being a producer. I like being a producer, I LOVE, entrepreneurship and drones. I am addicted to both.
What is your goal with Urban Drones and how do you use it to make a difference?
There are many websites and local hobby shops all over the U.S. that sell drones and that’s great, but only a tiny amount of people are really expanding the use of drones for everyday practical uses. You usually see these teams on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Our goal is to constantly expand the use of drones by developing and integrating technologies that make it easy for professionals or consumers to use drones for whatever they want. We understand that “whatever they want” is still undefined, that’s why we’re obsessed with having conversations with current and potential customers.
Let’s talk about hustling and hard work. How have both of these qualities helped you out in your career?
The thing about “hustle” is that it’s not hustle when you love what you do. When you love what you do it’s almost like you have an unfair advantage. I am sitting here on a Saturday night at 1:59 a.m. adding items to my new web store, talking to Chinese manufactures on Skype and thinking about the next Cyber Dust blast to educate Urban Drone’s followers on whatever new drone technology is out there. Tomorrow I have to fly a prototype drone that a company sent me to test out (very cool by the way). So for me, it just doesn’t feel like hustle. Having said that, two weeks ago I was faced with two choices, pay a web developer $4,500 to re-develop my new web store, or learn a new shopping cart software, that was a bit hard at first, but now I feel like I’ve been using that software for months. So I guess that was hustling.
Why should companies be using drones?
Why should companies be using drones? Three words: The Bottom Line. I’ll give you an example. My co-founder and I went out with a team of land surveyors to research exactly how they do their jobs. These are the guys you see on the streets with a stick and a measuring device. Construction companies hire them to survey an area, measure elevations and gather data that later gets imported into a map. After spending a day with them, we found that it it’s dangerous being being out on the sun all day and close to traffic. It takes a team of three a full day to survey 800 linear feet. A drone can do 1/4 mile in half a day. And that’s the story for so many other applications like antenna and power line inspections, agriculture, fishing and so many others that have yet been defined.
What advice would you give the youth out there looking to get in your line of work?
Get a drone, now. I mean it. This industry is in need of drone pilots and technicians. A drone pilot’s salary starts at $85,000. You can start practicing with a simple to use consumer drone to get the feel for it, then move up. If you need help deciding which one to get, send me an email at Alex@UrbanDrones.com or contact me on Cyber Dust at +urbandrones and I will respond. The worst that can happen is that you have a ton of fun while learning to fly. Get on the drone forums and start learning the lingo and other aspects. FPVLabs.com and RCGroups.com are two of the most popular ones. Find out if a local college or university is offering a drone program. A lot of colleges are promoting their newly formed drone program, so it’s a great time to start
What ways can Millennials use digital media to build platforms and tell their stories?
By being different and unique. We don’t remember normal, it doesn’t make us feel anything. I think the things that we hide from others to not be “weird” is what makes us different. But that is our competitive advantage; that what makes us stand out. I once read about a guy that made a career about sharpening pencils. He’s obsessed with it and wrote about pencil sharpening. Is that weird? I don’t think it is, I think, it’s different, that’s why I bet that most people that watch this will remember it for weeks after they watch it.
Now at UYD, we are always looking to find out different ways people use their difference to make a difference. How do you use your difference to make a difference?
I like sharing what I know with people, I love entrepreneurship and I love drones. It’s possible that those things make me different than most people. I don’t want to just sell drones, I wan to expand their use. I want people to think of ways they can use drones in their field or in their lives and I want to brainstorm with them to create something new and practical.
Where can we find out more about you and what you’re up to?