About us

Dronedesk is a small independent company based in the UK. Read our origin story and find out more about our business philosophy and strategy.

Here's how Dronedesk came about

Hi, I'm Dorian - that's me (on the left) and my wife Martine, who supports me with our social media strategy - the Founder of Dronedesk.

Back in 2018 I decided it was time to jump off the corporate treadmill. I chose to train as a drone operator because I saw huge potential in this nascent industry.

I was over the moon when I gained my PfCO. But, I quickly realised that the massive amount of admin needed to plan even the simplest of flights was a real pain in the proverbial. I hate admin.

Because I had some coding skills, I started building web tools to make my life easier; scraping data from other sites and bringing it all together in one place.

I shared what I'd done with a few of my fellow PfCO trainees and they loved it because it made their life easier too. That gave me the impetus to build something more scaleable.

Dronedesk is born

I released the first beta version in August 2019. Then it all went a bit crazy!

Amongst the 100's of commercial drone professionals who signed up to try that first version, a large number were kind enough to give their time, thoughts and input into how I could make Dronedesk as good as it is today.

I haven't lost the momentum built up during the beta phase and every day I work to continually refine and enhance Dronedesk.

In fact, I've now put over 6,000 hours of development into the project and there's over a quarter of a million lines of code behind the scenes!

Keeping Dronedesk affordable

I know how hard it is to get up-and-running and estabished as a drone operator - I've lived it. There are any number of companies queing up to charge you a monthly subscription for services like accounting, web hosting, job portals and so on. Those subscriptions can quickly add up to a significant sum each month.

So, when I came up with Dronedesk as a concept, I wanted it not only to be an app that would help operators streamline and standardise their operation, but also be affordable.

I started out offering a free version of Dronedesk which was supported by a very small amount of ad revenue and also subsidised with income from the paid service.

This approach, unfortunately, turned out to be unsustainable. So, so I had to change things up and start charging for the base version of the application. This has levelled the playing field a bit and made the Pro version more affordable for a wider audience and, at the same time, ensured the base version is accessible, in terms of cost, to new startups.

What's next?

Dronedesk is what's termed a "bootstrap startup" which means the project is entirely self-funded by me with no external investors whatsoever. That's a bit of a double-edged sword in that it means that we run on a tight budget. There's no swanky parties at Christmas or expensive business lunches here. No chance.

But the incredibly positive benefit of bootstrapping is that I'm not answerable to anyone except Dronedesk's users.

I can steer the development in the direction users want it to go instead of in the direction that would give investors the best return on their money.

I find that liberating and exciting and I believe it means I can continue to deliver a product that's sustainable, ever-improving and genuinely useful to its users. Forever.

Thanks for your interest in Dronedesk. I look forward to welcoming you on board so that you too can experience the daily joy of "less admin, more flying"!

Dorian Ellis
Founder and Director

This content was printed 30-Sep-23 16:12 and is Copyright 2023 Dronedesk.
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