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Extreme sports fanatics will know exactly how Nicholas Woodman got to a net worth of $1.3 Billion (Source Forbes.com March 2014).
In this article you will find some incredible business advice from a real business success story, but first let’s find out more about him:
He is the founder and of GoPro, who create cinema-quality HD video cameras that can be placed, well, pretty much anywhere.
The company is absolutely flying and are planning to go public this year. In 2012, GoPro made $521 million in sales with a valuation of $2.3 billion. But in 2013, they made almost $1 Billion in sales. This is a real success story.
Still under 40 years old, Nicholas Woodman started his video camera company back in 2002 when he built his first prototype using his mothers sewing machine and a drill. According to Forbes.com his friends have described him as a bit obsessive. He used to work 18 hour days in his bedroom which isn’t unusual to many budding young entrepreneurs. He is clearly now a very successful and dedicated entrepreneur. He founded the company with $38,000 that he borrowed from his mother to get this business off the ground.
This all goes to show that many success stories start with just an idea and determination to make it work.
In 2004, his first video camera was released, a 35mm waterproof film version. It went on sale everywhere possible. The camera now shoots cinema-quality HD which allows anyone to shoot incredible footage of pretty much whatever they want. The real success was in the extreme sports market where it just took off with everyone wanting to capture their adrenaline sports and post it on Youtube.
Nicholas Woodman says that GoPro has been profitable from day one which is just fantastic. In Dec. 2012, he received a $200 million investment from Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer Foxconn (run by billionaire Terry Gou) taking just an 8.88% stake.
We look forward to reviewing the IPO of GoPro which is expected to happen in May/June of 2014.
So, what advice can you get from this business legend?
Here is an interview we found online at OutsideOnline.com:
When I have a difficult decision to make, I imagine myself as a 90-year-old guy looking back on his life. I imagine what I’ll think about myself at that point in time, and it always makes it really easy to go for it. You’re only going to regret that you wimped out.
My first business was a retro-gaming site where you’d go and play all these cool old-school games. It was a good idea but ahead of its time. I was 26. I had raised $4 million of other people’s money, and when the economy tanked I lost it all. Nobody needs to get their ass kicked, but it definitely helps.
On the road and traveling—that’s when people are at their most creative.
As soon as I stopped trying to think about a business idea and started focusing on what I’m passionate about, that’s when it came to me
I get pretty focused when I start working on something. And I drink a lot of water, way more than most people. When I was designing the early prototype straps for GoPro, I realised that if I wore my CamelBak, I wouldn’t have to keep getting up to refill my glass. My friends used to tease me: “Woodman, you’re such a nut job, sitting at your desk with a CamelBak on.” They don’t tease me anymore.
My twenties were my practice. My thirties were when I really hit my stride with GoPro and did all the heavy lifting to build the business.
I come from surfing, and surfing is the worst cool-guy industry of all. I decided long ago to try and kill the cool guy. And in a sense we did. But it wasn’t obvious. There was a period where it was like, is this going to fly? Now cool guys are rocking GoPros on their helmets, and… it’s cool.
I try to get in about one solid surfing trip a month. June was Chicama, Peru. July was Mexico.
One of my mentors early on was Eli Harari, the founder of SanDisk, who happened to be a friend of my dad’s. I’m young and I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, and I’m going on and on about what I want to do with GoPro, and he stops me and looks at me and says, “You want to be the number-one activity-capture company in the world. Just focus on that.” He said to tell people that when I explain GoPro and they’ll under-stand it very succinctly. And no sh*t, we did it.
Here is an awesome vides from Forbes.com about his story:
The interview above came from: Outsideonline.com
An incredible journey for a very successful company started by a passionate entrepreneur. Inspiring stuff. Tell us your thoughts below: