This month, Propeller celebrates eight years of growth, innovation, and amazing relationships within the civil construction and earthworks industries. This milestone seemed like the perfect opportunity to reflect on where we have been and look ahead toward a bright future. Propeller CEO Rory San Miguel shared some of his thoughts on the company’s journey so far and what’s next.
Reflecting on the past eight years, what are some milestones or learnings that come to mind?
The importance of focus—and the day we decided to double down on tracking earthmoving (and helping those businesses that do or manage a lot of it!)
We’ve grown so fond of our customers; we love working with them. I honestly can’t imagine another path!
Despite zooming in on these customers, and the initial application being drones on these worksites, our understanding of dirt has led us down all sorts of amazing paths to help our customers solve more of their problems. This is a path we’re firmly committed to and it’s a pleasure to reflect on this solid focus of the business.
Of course, we wouldn’t be here without our epic team who has gone above and beyond in all ways, across all corners of the business. Getting accurate drone surveys happening at scale is not a simple task, but our team rises to the challenge every day. I’m so happy with where our product is and the value it’s delivering to our customers.
Why has Propeller focused so heavily on drone technology for earthworks?
We focused on this for a few reasons:
- A great fit for our technology: With the launch of AeroPoints in 2016, Propeller was able to credibly deliver highly accurate maps. These maps are well-suited to measure dirt, particularly dirt moved over time.
- A huge opportunity: Our customers and these industries are excited to be digitizing their workflows. We see a bright future for not only Propeller, but the entire industry as more high quality tools become available to help our customers reduce waste, lessen rework, and ultimately create a more efficient operation.
- The people we were interacting with: We have almost unanimously delightful interactions with our customers and the industry. It’s a small, respected group of people and we cherish the trust our customers have in our products. Earthmovers stood out in the early days as being not only easy to work with and collaborative, but also troubled with problems that we could solve.
As you look ahead, what are you most excited about for the Propeller product and overall company?
I’m excited to see us branch out even further, solving more problems, for more customers. As we grow, it’s important that we don’t lose our approachability and that we are mindful of taking simple, meaningful steps that allow the whole team to get involved and gain insights around their operation.
There are not many industries where robots are operating at such scale. To think 5 years ago that we’d be here and saying that the dirt world has been one of the fastest adopters of drone (and related) technology—it’s pretty incredible.