Apple Design Pro Danny Coster Exiting, Moving to GoPro
Another analyst, Rob Enderle, principal of Enderle Group, told eWEEK that the hiring shows that "GoPro had decided they need to make their product more attractive and are pulling from a firm known for design." Yet while the company's product designs might look "a bit too geeky," the designs themselves are "far from their only problem," said Enderle. "The bigger issue is the limited pool of customers for this product class and the influx of drone cameras." Coster's departure from Apple could indicate that "designers are losing faith that Apple management can create iconic products anymore and are beginning to look to other places where they can make a bigger difference," he added. That "really depends on whether this is a broad trend or just one person who wants to work for a smaller company. If it is the latter, firms like Apple can easily deal with it; if it is the former, Apple is in trouble, but then we kind of already knew that." Jan Dawson, chief analyst for Jackdaw Research, said that the jump in the company's stock price after the hiring of Coster is "nonsensical" because "design isn't GoPro's problem, and as such hiring an Apple designer won't fix GoPro's problems."Even with the new hiring, GoPro is still faced with challenges such as improvements in smartphone cameras that are making devices like GoPro cameras less necessary for consumers, wrote Dawson. The company also made a big mistake in 2015 by pricing its Session camera "way too high," which undercut its other products when it had to be discounted heavily to clear inventory, he said. "Hiring a top designer doesn't solve either of these problems."
In addition, in Coster's case, he'd been at Apple for a long time and likely wanted to try something new, especially with several other senior design team members in front of him in the organizational chain, including Jony Ive, who is Apple's chief design officer, wrote Dawson. By leaving for GoPro, Coster now gets the chance to run the design department instead of working under others.