When GoPro went public on June 26th a single share cost $24. Three weeks later, that share cost about $42, a 75% increase on its initial public offering. This surge is not due to luck, but years of hard work, growth, and incredible marketing by GoPro and its founder Nick Woodman.
In 2002, GoPro CEO and Founder Nick Woodman was on a surfing adventure in Australia when he had his billion dollar idea. An avid surfer himself, Woodman realized that the affordable personal video camera market was entirely untouched in the world of action sports. Thousands of athletes wanted to capture their adventures on film but simply did not have the resources to make it happen. While on his trip to Australia, Woodman created his own way to capture video, by attaching a 35mm camera to his hand with a rubber band while out in the water, but he soon realized the inconvenience of this tactic. After returning from the trip Woodman decided to begin the initial processes of launching a company. Financing the company with borrowed money from his parents, and by selling shells along the California coast out of his Volkswagen van, Woodman was officially able to launch GoPro in 2002. Over the first couple years, Woodman and his team strived to create a camera that would make their dream a reality, and in 2004 they sold their first GoPro.
In the past ten years, GoPro has built a name for itself as the dominant power in the market for personal video cameras. GoPro claims to be the world’s most versatile camera, and it truly is. Whether you are surfing, skiing, flying a personal helicopter, or going to a music festival a GoPro camera is easy to take along. Today GoPro sells three different cameras ranging from $200 to $400, and hundreds of other accessories to pair with them. In the past year GoPro exceeded over $1 billion in sales among their products, a figure that is double what it was in 2012. Much of their success has been through outstanding marketing, some intentional, and some through the enthusiasm of GoPro users. With the power of YouTube, individuals are bombarded by GoPro’s marketing on a nearly constant basis. Every day thousands of new videos appear on YouTube that were shot using GoPro cameras, and the posters are always enthusiastic in letting everyone know that a GoPro was used.
Within 12 years Nick Woodman turned his surfing trip idea into a roughly $2.5 billion dollar company, and a personal fortune of over a billion dollars for himself, and it is safe to say he has come a long way from selling shells out of the back of a Volkswagen van. With a little help from YouTube and the action sports community, the GoPro has become an everyday item for people worldwide. Nick’s, “Think it, see it, do it” attitude has truly made him a hero, just like what his products claim to do for consumers.
Check out some videos: The Youtube GoPro Channel
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