Ask a Billionaire

GoPro's Nick Woodman on Early Signs of Success

GoPro's Nick Woodman on Early Signs of Success

Photograph by Mathew Scott

Nick Woodman
Chief executive officer, GoPro
Net worth: $1.73 billion

Was there a moment early on when you thought, “OK, this is going to work”?

I was still a one-person company, and we’d just launched our first camera, the Hero. It was a big, bulky film camera to wear on your wrist. We sold them for $19.99 in surf shops, and I used to wear one everywhere—to the supermarket, to go get coffee—as a way of promoting it. One morning I went to Santa Cruz to check out the surf, and I had my camera on. There were these two kids going out surfing. As they jogged by me in wet suits, one of them nudged his friend and went, “Hey, look, dude, he’s wearing a GoPro.” And they turned around and yelled, “GoPro, be a hero!” and gave me a little shake. We hadn’t done any advertising, and I remember thinking, “They know our name—and our slogan? It’s working!”

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