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A Feature Story Not To Be Duplicated

Why our recent story on the small unmanned aircraft vehicle industry can never be duplicated.
By Luke Geiver | April 29, 2015

Following the completion of Emily Aasand’s feature story on the burgeoning small unmanned aircraft vehicle industry, we realized that we had just put together a story that we would never be able to do again. Her story on a handful of sUAV firms finding their niche in the commercial world showed the early days, lessons learned and entry points for monetary compensation by four sUAV firms.

Because our feature articles are crafted to illuminate particular issues in great detail with elements of what we hope to be great storytelling, we give our features higher page, word and image limits. But, at some point, we have to say enough is enough.

For Aasand’s piece, we had to stop at four sUAV firms. At the time of the story, we knew we were shortchanging so many other unique sUAV stories, but that we couldn’t include every one into a larger piece on the overall sUAV industry.

Now, a month later, we know that any notion of producing version 2.0 of a similar story will be nearly impossible. We even said as much when we posted the piece online. Since the story’s release, the number of sUAV stories that show commercial applications and marketplace entry strategies has vastly increased. A new story taking the same approach would require our page lengths and word counts for a single story to turn the magazine into a lone short story. We will have to find other ways to explain how individual companies are finding commercial success. In this case, I think many in support of the UAS industry would argue that our slim chances of pulling off a new version of the same story are a good thing. Check her story out here