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GoPro Goes Big as a Hybrid Media Company/Videocam Maker

With a far-reaching roster of contributors, GoPro is reinventing what media means
GoPro Goes Big as a Hybrid Media Company/Videocam Maker
Photograph by Joan Bonet; Courtesy of GoPro

A few days after Thanksgiving, a friend tagged James Kenison in a Facebook post that he couldn’t forget: It was a photo of a deer stranded on frozen Albert Lea Lake, in southeastern Minnesota. The deer and two others had been out in subfreezing weather for at least two days, in full view of traffic on I-35, as an online debate raged over their fate. The “Just shoot ’em!” crowd was losing to the “Please save them!” crowd, but how exactly could they be saved? The ice was too thin for emergency vehicles or snowmobiles, and the local authorities were unresponsive, despite TV news stories about their plight.

Kenison, 39, a K-9 police officer in nearby Rochester, had an idea. His hobby happens to be hovercrafting—riding around in propeller-driven boats that float 6 inches or so above the ground or water (or ice) on a cushion of air. The next day, Kenison and his father, Doug, hauled two hovercraft to the lake and set off across the ice. “We expected the worst,” Kenison says. “We were prepared, if we had to put them down.”