“Once you get bit by the startup bug you figure out what the joys are, and you definitely figure out what the challenges are. You might go from a Ranchers Club diet one day to a Ramen Noodles diet the next day. So it can definitely be a challenge. You’ve got to have endurance and stamina to be an entrepreneur.”
UNM graduate Luke Davis is the managing partner of Flytcam Studios, one of New Mexico’s first drone videography-focused studios, as well as ZiaSat, a small satellite company based in Albuquerque providing highly accurate, real time satellite video for businesses.
While working on building ZiaSat, Davis and one of his Air Force friends saw the potential for drones to provide filming services that used to be reserved to those who could afford a helicopter and crew. He applied his knowledge of making small, (relatively) inexpensive video satellites, and his drive to innovate to this new industry, when there were no readily available video drones that people could purchase at the store.
“At the time there weren’t any commercial ones that you could buy. You couldn’t go to Best Buy and buy a drone. So you had to take a list of 50 vendors, pick the parts and try and build it yourself.”
Since starting Flytcam Studios, Davis has worked on a variety of films, including Netflix’s recent Atari ET documentary in Alamogordo, and another project documenting the changes to the Las Vegas Freemont area funded by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.com
“That was a really fun project. Tony Hsieh’s crew asked us to come out and document the $350 million of his own money that he was investing in the area. Now it’s amazing. It’s a different city, It’s not the ‘strip-style’ Las Vegas. It’s startup after startup, very tech centered.”
Always keeping an eye open for another startup opportunity, Davis is already working on his next big secret project. The common theme for Davis’ startups is looking beyond small changes and focusing on tools that will revolutionize an industry.
“To me there’s a test of whether something is evolutionary, or revolutionary. And I only want to be involved in stuff that’s revolutionary. That’s the only stuff that really excites me.”