Axon has Enough Money to Acquire Drone Company, Still Strong-Arming City of Scottsdale

Axon CEO Rick Smith. Photo Credit: Jim Poulin, Phoenix Business Journal

Axon is in the news yet again. We have been covering their absurd plans to plop nearly 2,000 apartments into an area of Scottsdale that doesn’t want them, and the bullying that they’ve been doing to try to ram their plans through against the wishes of essentially all local stakeholders (get up to date here). This time, it’s good news for them, and a further reminder of how ridiculous and wrong-headed their plans are.

Axon announced their quarterly earnings recently, and wouldn’t you know it, they knocked it out of the park again. Their earnings grew 31% year over year, and revenue came in above the range of expectations. All in all, they brought in over $460 million in revenue in just one quarter. But the most interesting news came in the way of an acquisition: Dedrone, a Washington, D.C.-based airspace security company with a focus on drones for use by law enforcement.

All these things sound great for Axon, and on the surface an acquisition like that does sound like it makes plenty of strategic sense for Axon. But it is more like a slap in the face of Scottsdale.

Clearly Axon is making money hand over fist. They have enough cash on hand to acquire a significant sized company, after all. Being headquartered in Scottsdale has been excellent for them, if only tangentially. And yet they just want more and more. They want subsidies in the form of an incredible degree of population density. They dangle threats over us thoughtlessly if we don’t acquiesce.

Axon could have nearly everything it wants, within reason. And the one thing it is focused on is something that no one else wants. Like children, it is throwing a tantrum and telling its parents that it hates them and is going to run away from home because it can’t eat an extra dessert. It’s petulant, childlike, arrogant, and the complete antithesis of being a good corporate neighbor.

We don’t want it to leave Scottsdale, but that desire to have it remain does have an upper limit. Axon needs to listen to Scottsdalians, the people who have helped it build into the significant corporation that it is now. Scottsdale has been so good for Axon, and now it’s time for it to return the favor, or at the very least not be such a bad actor. It should cease its apartment plans immediately.