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The Worlds Newest Billionaire – GoPro’s Inventor Nick Woodman

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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When Nick Woodman developed the GoPro camera, he had no idea that the brand would one day make him a billionaire. What was special about this lover of adventure sports that made him a highly successful entrepreneur? Was it just about being lucky, about being at the right place with the right product at the right time, or were there other qualities that went into the making of this new billionaire?

Read on to see how a brilliant mind’s ability to recognize opportunities in ordinary life situations and translate them into great business ideas made all the difference.

Nick Woodman – The New Innovative Billionaire

 

The GoPro story:

GoPro Camera

GoPro cameras manufactured by Nick’s company Woodman Labs are very useful gadgets for adventure sports enthusiasts like surfers and skydivers. These high quality video cameras can be worn by the user in several different ways. They have the ability to shoot high quality video footage or still photographs at predefined intervals. The fact that popular nature channels like National Geographic and The Discovery Channel make use of GoPro cameras speaks a lot about the quality, utility and popularity of these products. Felix Baumgartner used several GoPro cameras during his supersonic record-breaking skydive from a height of 39 kilometres.

Foxconn, the manufacturer for several reputed products such as the Sony Playstation and the Apple iPhone recently bought 8.88% stake in Woodman Labs for $200 million. The valuation of Woodman Labs thus works out to about $ 2.25 billion.

Nick being a majority stake holder, owns at least 51% of the company and that means his net worth is at least $ 1.15 billion. Let us take a closer look at the qualities of this new billionaire.

 

A need becomes an opportunity:

Nick Woodman Go Pro SurfingNick first got the idea about a camera that could be worn by the user in the late 1990s. However, he began thinking about it more seriously while on a surf trip in Australia with a few friends in 2002. It was a great trip with several memorable moments, but sadly it was impossible to take quality pictures of those wonderful moments.

A friend with a camera on the beach could hope to get a few stills, but from the distance they were a far cry from the type of pictures which would befit those thrilling moments. A wearable camera is the solution, but the only options available in those days were disposable waterproof cameras. Apart from poor results, they were neither comfortable to wear nor easy to use.

That trip finally made Nick translate his idea about the wearable camera into a serious project – GoPro. A chance event allowed Nick to see the need and that paved the way for a great opportunity. Most people on the other hand are not likely to take notice when these opportunities present themselves. You will see this ability of spotting opportunities and generating ideas in action in many other places in Nick’s success story. Take a look at how the brand name GoPro was coined.

 

Naming the brand:

In the days before GoPro cameras became available, only a professional surfer was able to get quality photographs of themselves in action. These photos were taken by a photographer who went out into the water with the surfer. When amateur surfers experienced great moments, they would often wish from the bottom of their hearts that they could go professional just to have those moments recorded. That gave Nick the idea for the brand name GoPro, something he thought that most surfers would identify with and he was bang on target. The idea that the camera made the wearer feel like a hero gave the model its name – Hero.

 

Product development:

Initially Hero was only a wrist camera. Nick’s enthusiasm for racing gave the next big idea for further development of the product. A Hero camera strapped to the roll bar of a race car came back with some amazing footage. Nick realized that GoPro should not restrict itself to wrist worn cameras and that it should be possible to wear it in many different ways and be mountable on equipment.

 

Checkout Nicks new invention, the GoPro Hero3:

 

Project funding:

Can belts made of shells and beads pay for the starting capital of a billion dollar company? The way Nick Woodman got the idea for generating the starting capital for his company is as amazing as the rest of his story and once again demonstrates his ability of finding opportunities in situations where most people would see nothing of importance.

Behind every successful man is a strong woman. One day while on a surf trip to Bali,Indonesia, Nick’s girlfriend Jill (now his wife) came back to their place wearing a nice looking belt made from shells and beads. It looked much better than the price she paid for it. Nick seized the opportunity and bought 600 of those belts which he later sold for a neat profit in about two months time. That was how the starting capital for GoPro was raised.

 

Product development:

Go Pro Camera Cool

The first model was a 35 mm film camera capable of taking still pictures. Next came the 10 second digital video camera without audio capability. The 3 mega-pixel cameras which could take both still pictures and video footage with audio and save them to a memory card was a major improvement. From then on it was one innovation after another and today with the right Hero camera you can record professional quality HD video. You get all this in a lightweight product that costs only a few hundred dollars.

One of the things that we should all learn from Nick is the hunger for innovation. He has a long list of innovations in line for his products, and the next step will be a dual Hero camera that can record the action in 3D. It is expected to take the product into an entirely new level and it is likely to hit the market in a few months.

 

The hunger for success:

Nick said at an interview that he was confident about the success of his business when his first camera model generated a revenue of $ 2000 at his very first trade show. When you are looking for success, you should not think about failure. If you want to learn swimming, you should never think about drowning. This quality is essential to keep fears and doubts in control and stay on the track to success. Nick showed ample evidence of this quality and according to him, the thought of failure never crossed his mind. Sometimes not having any clue about the future is a boon in disguise for the entrepreneur.

 

A few great shots taken on a GoPro camera:

 Skiing-GoPro-picture

Dirtbike GoPro Extreme Picture

Paragliding with birds GoPro Photo

Hot Air Ballooning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The story of Nick Woodman, this year’s new billionaire and his brand GoPro reads like a book which demonstrates the key ingredients for success. It shows how the ability to find opportunities in ordinary situations in life together with some great ideas and constant innovation take people to great heights. Luck is always good to have, but as the saying goes, fortune favors the brave.

 

Get your hands on a GoPro HD Hero2 Outdoor Camera

 

Article By Joel Brown | Addicted2Success.com

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances.I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 200 million lives in the last 10 years.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. pawan

    Jan 2, 2014 at 3:21 am

    Great article thanks.

    Joel

  2. ilikesomuch

    Dec 2, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    so, where are the cameras made from? or, are the cameras consider product of usa? made in elsewhere?

  3. Leonardo

    Jul 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Good for him! 😀 I own a GoPro Hero 2

  4. b

    Jan 29, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    It reminds, of something similar to what i once did, out of the blue, dept store closing, bought 30 qualitybaseball gloves for $10, sold for $60..saw opportunity, acted, profited.he is a genius.go go pro

  5. HowieW

    Jan 15, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    A BILLIONAIRE?

    WOW!

    That’s AWESOME!

    Never knew ‘gopro’ was that mainstream! Where have I been living? LOL!

  6. Rob Martirosian

    Dec 29, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Great story. Best part is flipping shells and beads for start up capital, what a hustler!

  7. Cindy

    Dec 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    I would like to see posts and updates! THANKS and Happy Holidays!

  8. Deji R Yusuf

    Dec 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    wow! i am happy for him!

  9. Matthew Insardi

    Dec 28, 2012 at 4:20 am

    That is awesome… I’m not sure what to buy first… ducati, snowboard, surfboard… but I will be getting a gopro

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Startups

How to Create a Winning Startup Culture

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Some time back, in my infographic on 51 Business Mistakes that most Entrepreneurs Make, I had outlined that one of the biggest mistakes is that you do not give any thought as to what you consider would be a great startup culture. And, without good policies or HR to keep things in check, the startup begins to develop a toxic business culture. (more…)

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51 Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your Dream Startup

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So you’ve got an idea. You know it will work. And, it means the world to you.

You are an entrepreneur and you think you can rock the world with this one idea that matters to you the most. And, you set out to form the idea into a startup that you are going to nurture and develop into a blooming business in the upcoming years.

However, I don’t want to throw water over your dreams but, I do need to bring this “optimist” you into the hard and cold reality…….. the reality which says that 90% of all startups fail.

Of course, this can bring a great deal of uncertainty into your life and you got to be prepared to deal with it. You are also going to face a ton of challenges in your life which will force you to grow as an entrepreneur. But, the important thing is that you stick with it.

Of course, as Charlie Munger (Warren Buffett’s friend) once said, “All I Want to Know is Where I’m Going to Die So I’ll Never Go There”. No entrepreneurs want their startups to fail after putting in days and weeks of effort into it.

So, a lot of research has been put forward into knowing what does actually sabotage a startup?

Fortune reported that the single biggest reason startups fail was because they do not identify what the market wants before setting up their startup.

However, it isn’t as simple as that. An entrepreneur needs to perform a comprehensive business plan before he sets out with his business idea. Also, you have to know whether your business idea actually suits you or not. If it doesn’t then, you either you need to fine-tune yourself with your business idea or you need to change the business plan so that it suits you.

And, it is only after that, should you venture upon your startup.
Now, is that all? Of course not. The problem most entrepreneurs face when they first begin their entrepreneurial journey is that they don’t know what they don’t know.

That’s where they tend to make a series of mistakes that may cause great harm to their startup.

That’s why I scoured for successful entrepreneurs to provide me with information on what they think were the most common mistakes that startups do. Plus, I also got tips on how to avoid these mistakes.

You can check out the original article here: 70 Mistakes Startups Make And Tips On How You Can Avoid Them

Now, it’s your turn to do some work. Let me know what you thought of these mistakes and tips that entrepreneurs commit. Do you know of any other mistakes that entrepreneurs do? Comment below!

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8 Key Factors That Discourage Investors From Putting Money Into Your Startup

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Today’s ideas are tomorrow’s winning businesses. Ideas executed brilliantly and with proper investment bring your business success. That is how the world of business got the likes of Apple, Google, McDonald’s, Amazon and so on.

But why in spite of the brilliant and promising ideas at the core of their business, many startups fail to attract investors? Why do investors hesitate to put their money into some startups? Well, investors have reasons and only by deciphering these reasons we could get hold of some deterrent factors that hold them back.

Let us explain some of the vital factors that prevent investors from putting their money in the startups below:

1. Inefficiency or Absence of Leadership Qualities

Inefficiency is the most significant deterrent factor for pulling the success of most startups. This can also be referred to as the lack of leadership qualities. Investors always want to make sure that they don’t lose their money through a company that has an extraordinary business model but no efficient and skilled business leader to make it successful. When fetching investment from investors, you need to offer a clear prospect and detailed plan of how you are going to achieve the goals.

2. Lack of Trustworthiness

An investor puts his money on a venture purely on the basis of the credibility and trustworthiness of the business. This is why besides having a sound business plan with clear objectives, you need to establish the integrity in terms of the security of the investor’s money and how the fund is going to be invested to give results as per business plan.

If an investor has a feeling that the startup may not have enough customers to fulfil its financial liabilities or if it finds that the business is hiding some information, it may further push the trust of the investors down. Total transparency and establishing the faith of the business brand are crucial for finding investors in favor.

3. Lacking Experience in Business Management

You have a great business idea backed up by a sound business plan and solid trustworthiness based on your background, but you have zero experience in managing a business. This is a serious reason for an investor to deny making any investment in your business. An investor cannot put his money just to allow you trying and learning your management skills the harder and riskier way. Uncertainty is the single biggest turn-off factor for any investor and lack of managerial experience is synonymous to that.

4. Business Model is Not Sound Enough

You have a business idea, some efficient, competent and experienced professionals as leaders, the great stamp of trust and pretty much everything that make a company look promising. But what about your business strategy and business model? Are they sound enough to take on the market competition and challenges for business growth? Well, this is what investors are most interested in.

In most cases, a business model is what makes an investor think twice and even take a backward step from investing in a startup. After all, your business model and strategy will decide how your business and products will be able to withstand competition and become victorious.

5. Taking Investors for Granted

This is a big mistake on the part of many startups. Just by becoming confident in the potential and the soundness of the business model and prospect, a business can consider getting investors on board requires just a little effort and time. But in reality, getting investors on board is the toughest thing a business can think of.

This is why without proper and meticulous preparation, it would be foolish to approach investors for your business. Most investors receive hundreds of such emails and a similar number of approaches through other means and they coldly just let them pass. This is why you need to send them very detailed proposals backed by strong recommendations and referrals.

6. Targeting the Wrong Investor

Every business has a target customer base, right? Not all customers are interested in every product in the market. Similarly, not all investors are interested in your business. Investors based on their prior experience and industry exposure, put their money in businesses that they know like their own palm of their hand.

So, targeting an investor who has no interest in your business will only drain your energy and bring you unnecessary frustration. When you are seeking investors for your software startup, don’t approach someone investing in real estate business.

7. Non-Realistic Proposal for Funds

Investors normally come with huge experience of your industry and so they have a clear idea about the fund requirements for your business startup. Moreover, they already have invested in other ventures or have gone through many proposals. Naturally, they have every bit of estimate already in their mind. So, any proposal claiming a lofty and unrealistic amount will only face rejection.

This is why it would be wise to become meticulous about your estimation of the required fund and calculation of various cost factors. Have meticulous details about every facet of investment backed up by breakup of the costs. Only when you can convince them with correct estimation, investors can take interest in discussing the matter further.

8. Make Sure Your Product Solves a Customer Problem

Will any investor put money in building a simple calendar app now? No, simply because such an app idea has no value for the end users now. Will an investor put money in a product that has already been outdated and has no use? No, no investor has to even go through such a proposal for dismissing them.

Well, to fetch investment, your product must be thoroughly customer-centric. It not only has to solve a problem but has to deliver some competitive value in comparison to similar products in the market.

Obviously, finding an investor for a new business is not an easy task, considering the huge competition that businesses need to deal with. But, if your business idea is unique and you fill all those requirements correctly as mentioned above, finding investors may not be as tough as it sounds.

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5 Must Have Branding Tools for Your Startup

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Your brand is more than just the colors on your website. And for startups, it’s important to create a strong and memorable brand from the beginning if you want to stand out from the competition, scale your company, and find your ideal customers faster.

Here are 5 simple tools that will help your company avoid branding mistakes, take charge of your visual identity, and set a solid foundation for future growth:

1. Graphic Design Software

The word “design” doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Before deciding on your startup’s logo, colors, designs, and overall tone, consider working with a brand strategist who can translate the core ingredients of your startup into a visual identity that speaks to your target market.

Brand strategists have expertise in the psychology of colors, shapes, textures, and words, and they will work with you to make sure that your branding appeals to your target audience. Once you have those basics of your brand established, there are several tools that can help your company refresh and maintain your visual identity.

The absolute best graphic design tool for non-designers is Canva. While the free version has a lot of functionality, the paid plans offer more customization such as the ability to import your exact brand fonts and colors.

But if your company handles all of your design in-house, you will need something more advanced than Canva. In that situation, I would recommend Adobe Creative Cloud to startups who work on their designs in-house, as it includes top-notch design software like Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, InDesign, and more.

“Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room – Jeff Bezos

2. Visuals & Creative Imagery

Have you ever wondered where your competitors get those beautiful branded photographs that end up on their website? While it’s possible that they worked with a photographer, it’s also likely that much of their imagery comes from stock photos.

Here are my recommendations on the exact places to purchase stock imagery to improve your company’s branding:

  • Creative Market – A treasure trove of quality visual imagery where you can buy anything from stock photos, to branding mockups, to social media templates (Facebook cover photo, anyone?), to custom fonts… the options are nearly endless.
  • Adobe Stock – Beloved by designers, and the platform offers tiered pricing plans based on your image needs and download quantity.
  • Pixels – If you’re on a tight budget and just need to grab an image or two for a blog post, you may be able to find what you need on Pixels – which is great because all of the photos and videos on Pixels are free!

3. Social Media Scheduler

You’re a leader. You’re an entrepreneur. Your staff, board, funders, and admirers depend on you to make big decisions, lead the ship, and plot the vision towards your company’s future. You don’t have time to stare at a blank screen every day wondering what to post on Facebook.

By using a social media scheduling tool, you can sit down for a few hours, schedule batches of content, and schedule the dates and times when it will post to your accounts over the next couple of months. Then, once the content is posted, you only need to worry about responding to comments and engaging with your customers. 21st century efficiency at its finest.

Popular social media schedulers include Buffer and Hootsuite, both of which include free and paid plans. Not sure what exactly to post? Check out these social media ideas from influential businesses. And if the idea of writing and planning months of content still overwhelms you, our next tool will help you stay organized and on-brand.

4. Editorial Calendar

When it comes to your content, it’s time to step it up a notch and start thinking like a media outlet. Every piece of content that you put out as a company, whether it’s an e-mail blast, blog post, social media post, podcast, or video, needs to be aligned with your brand.

Each major magazine maintains an editorial calendar which outlines the overarching theme for each of the upcoming 12+ months. By establishing a monthly content theme in advance, they create a framework to generate and organize their ideas.

Consider creating an internal editorial calendar that will guide your startup’s content over the next 6-12 months. The software tool you use to maintain your editorial calendar isn’t that important — I like to use Trello, but you can also create a simple numbered list in Google Docs or Microsoft Excel. You may be surprised at how quickly the creative juices flow once you have an editorial calendar in place.

“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” – Paul Rand

5. In-Person Networking

Offline efforts count towards your branding too! And if you run your entire startup from behind your laptop screen, you miss out on ample opportunities to build your business offline and gain local referral partners.

If you’re new to in-person networking, start by visiting Meetup.com or Eventbrite.com where you can browse for events in your area. Think outside the box when it comes to selecting events to attend. For example: If you’re a chiropractor, it makes sense to attend local holistic health meetups. But you could also attend a travel event and meet digital nomads who don’t yet realize that a chiropractor can help them recover after long plane rides.

Remember that you’re not at the networking event to make instant sales, you’re looking for referral partners and connections. Don’t be the person who tries to shove your sales pitch down everyone’s throat upon meeting them.

As you can see, there are many simple online and offline resources that can help you spruce up your branding, reach new customers, and pique the interest of your target market. If you take branding one step at a time and start with the tools above, you will be well on your way to creating a brand that your customers will cherish and remember.

Have you used any of these branding tools before? Are there any additional tools that have helped your startup’s branding shine? Share your thoughts below!

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