GoPro Inventor Nick Woodman Net Worth
|Billionaire Nick Woodman|
Rags to Riches Success Story
Nick Woodman, who revolutionized the way we capture video with his GoPro line of portable cameras, wasn’t always as successful in business as he is today. In fact, the wearable-camera inventor had tried several other ventures over the past few years, and nothing stuck like his Go Pro camera. Now, he’s a rags to riches business success story and one of the youngest billionaires in the country with a net worth of over $4 billion and a poster-child for business adversity.
The life-long surfer, Woodman started a surf club while growing up in California and even sold t-shirts during football games to supplement the club. He would later attend the University of California and later, during the early dotcom rise, he started two failed companies, EmpowerAll.com, and Funbug. EmpowerAll.com promised buyers of electronics a minimal mark-up on their purchases but failed to find a customer-base and was shut down. Funbug, a gaming and marketing platform that had raised close to $4 million in capital, failed a year later after it was unable to draw in enough users to keep it afloat during the dotcom boom. The company has been historically recorded as one of the biggest flops of the era.
It was after these failures that Woodman took an extended surf trip to the South-West and focused on his first GoPro prototype.
He envisioned it as a wearable camera on the wrists of surfers, held together by rubber band and surfboard leashes. He tried various methods and cameras, and after returning from his trip, committed the next 2 years to developing the GoPro 35mm Hero. It debuted at the Action Sports Retailer trade show in San Diego in 2004, and he would travel trade shows across the country in his 1971 Volkswagen Bus promoting the device.
With his parents as the original GoPro investors and spending upwards of 18 hours a day while living with them perfecting the camera, Woodman soon had $150,000 of sales. By 2005, after hiring his roommate and college buddy Neil Dana to head up sales, they had taken in $350,000 that year alone.
Soon after, Nick realized he could expand the targeted demographic and began marketing the GoPro to all extreme sports athletes, from skiing to mountain biking and the ability to capture video was included in the models. This opened up a new consumer base for him and allowed for more sales, and his 2006 profits of $600,000 went to $3.4 million the next year. In 2012, the GoPro camera was the most sold “pocket camera” in the United States, now the go-to choice for portable cameras for all users.
Nick Woodman’s current net worth is 4.5 billion; GoPro is a publicly traded company selling shares to the public and the company continues to release newer models that reflect the current technology available. The latest GoPro Camera is the HERO 4 Black Edition.
The early lessons of failure and adversity have not been lost on Woodman, who appeared on a recent appearance on the business-investment show “Shark Tank”. He told one contestant “I think you’re trying to go from zero to 1,000 miles an hour right away,” when the fellow entrepreneur described his early struggles to gain footing.
He declined to invest in a company that offered electricity-free cooking called “The Magic Cook”, saying “A really important thing when you come up with a concept is you solve a pervasive problem for people, and you don’t try to create a new way to do something that isn’t necessarily broken.”