It wasn’t the best of circumstances. After a stint with a dotcom company went bust, Nick Woodman knew that Australia and Indonesia is exactly where he needed to be. After 5 months of surfing waves and watching all the good ones go by, Nick Woodman started looking for a camera that could do something specific for him. But he soon found that there was nothing in the market. Nick identified this need and set out to create what is known today as the biggest camera brand in the world, GoPro. It wasn’t meant to be a business, all he wanted was to help people capture meaningful life experiences – and for him it was capturing photos out in the water.
So, he developed a wrist harness with a single use disposable camera and when it worked, all he could think of was “Oh my God, there must be other surfers looking for something like this”. There were. And so many of them.
Like all innovations ever, there were some setbacks – he needed the right camera, something that could withstand rigorous conditions. So, he spent the next 2 years looking for the perfect camera, driving across cities and wandering through countless trade shows. It took a lot of trial and error, a lot of moments of difficulty, but like all good Entrepreneurs, he simply did not quit.
He then collaborated with a manufacture from China and had them build a prototype, even wiring 25,000USD without actually meeting the supplier. From there things just fell into place. Nick’s risk taking in the age of the iPhone has made him the newest innovative billionaire.
These days, the GoPro camera isn’t just mounted on surfboards, helmets and ski poles. There’s been a shift and an innovative one at that. Surgeons use it to document operations, explorers use it to capture different perspectives and the military sees it as a tool to help them maneuver rigorous environments. Yes, Nick Woodman has certainly changed how we do things and he did all this by finding an opportunity in an ordinary situation and turning it into a success and in the process making Nick Woodman into a billionaire!