Why a pizza can’t fly

The story of a world-shaking innovative enterprise should start in a garage. The story of a flying pizza is no exception to this rule. One day in the spring of 2014, a police department in Syktyvkar, a city in Northwestern Russia, got a call from a concerned person who reported that a few suspicious young men occupied a garage in his neighborhood. They were making a lot of noise and were bothering all the respectable citizens living in the area.

When policemen arrived at the location, they did find a few people in the garage, although the crime scene looked somewhat unusual. The gang wasn’t smoking pot. There was no loud music. No half-naked girls. No parts of (probably stolen) cars could be seen. The space was instead filled with electronic equipment.

One of the men was Fedor Ovchinnikov, an entrepreneur and the founder of Dodo Pizza, a fast-growing Russian pizza chain established in Syktyvkar a few years ago. He was joined by Oleg Ponfilyonok, the founder of Copter Express, a startup company from Moscow.

The pizza guy and the сopter guy teamed up to find out how to make pizza deliveries by drones possible. The challenge was to do the real thing, for actual customers—not a performance for shooting a TV ad. Nobody had done something like this yet—not only in Syktyvkar or in Russia, but in the whole world.

The officer was evidently puzzled by what he saw. It was hard to articulate what exactly these people were doing that was against the law, since drones didn’t even exist when the law was written. He did his best to find the words to voice a complaint.

“People say that your thing is flying around at night making noise, and they can’t sleep,” he said.

“So, your recommendation for us is not to fly after eleven?” Ponfilyonok asked.

“My recommendation for you is to stop doing whatever you’re doing here,” the officer said.

Luckily (for the sake of our story of a flying pizza), they didn’t follow his recommendation. They didn’t stop.

Read all the article with pictures and videos at dodo's website

1 comment:

  1. I saw this! Still waiting for the American FAA to approve pizza drones here. :D