Profile: Jordi Munoz and 3D Robotics
Since the early beginnings of the United States, Hispanics have contributed greatly to the development of the country in many different facets. In the last few decades, they have made a substantial impact on the national economy by creating hundreds of businesses across the country in addition to hiring thousands of employees. What we are beginning to see in this country is that people of color are slowly becoming more empowered and are enjoying the same opportunities that the traditional majority has.
One such entrepreneur, Jordi Munoz, a Mexican immigrant from Tijuana, Mexico, is proof that traditionally marginalized groups are accomplishing amazing things. Munoz is known to have created one of the most successful drone businesses in the United States, named 3D Robotics. This company, which was created in the year 2007 when Munoz was just a mere 20 years old, has an interesting story behind it.
When Munoz was waiting to obtain his green card to legally reside in the United States, he started to tinker with some electronics that were in his house and garage. Already having in interest in technology, Munoz thought to himself, “What can I do with all this junk?” Well, with this junk Munoz managed to create a flight system for drones by utilizing the motion sensors that are in most video game controllers today and applying them in an unconventional way. See, before the concept of drones became as highly popularized as it is, people like Jordi were brainstorming and trying to discover innovative ways to bring about positive change to society. Inicidently, he came up with the invention of commercialized drones.
In the beginning, Munoz received most of his help from an individual named Chris Anderson. At the time, Anderson was the editor in chief for Wired magazine, which is widely known for covering technology related topics. Upon finding Munoz’s drone projects online, he immediately became fascinated with Munoz’s spirit and extensive technological know-how. After regular correspondence and the necessary capital, both Anderson and Munoz decided to co-create a business called 3D Robotics. Using his informal skills in engineering, Munoz became the chief technology officer and Anderson took charge of the business and investment aspect of the company.
Employing close to 400 individuals, 3D Robotics has grown relatively quickly to be one of the leading technology companies in the last decade. 3D Robotics has multiple sites in which they conduct business. For example, while production takes place in Tijuana, Mexico, the sales operations and business operations is handled here in the United States in both Texas and California.
Since the inception of 3D Robotics, business growth has increased exponentially. Less than 5 years after 3D Robotics began selling drones, 3D Robotics reached the $1 million annual sales mark. Just from the year 2011 to 2015, sales increased from $1 million to $40 million, illustrating just how popular and successful drones have become in the current decade. Though the pricing of the drones that 3D Robotics sells is a little steep for your average consumer, ranging from $500 to $5000, 3D Robotics has managed to make a substantial impact on the market as one can see from the yearly sales.
Since the demand for the drones has been increasing this past decade, Munoz and Anderson have opened up an additional production facility that is located in China to help increase the number of drones being introduced into the market. Given that products tend to become cheaper as the production and buyer market expands, we can expect the sales numbers to increase in the future as a result of more people being financially able to buy them.
As people of color begin to advance and become more integrated into society, they are demonstrating their unique skill sets that have long been ignored by society. In the future, as the gap of inequality continues to shrink between people of color and the upper classes of society, we should expect to see more creative, innovative ideas come to fruition. Stories like Munoz’s stand as a testament to the American dream and is one we all should strive for.