Nick Woodman, founder and CEO of GoPro, opened tonight's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship talk with the main idea behind GoPro: Documenting your life when you're most alive. They make tiny hardened cameras that can film your experiences, including Nick cutting the umbilical cord at the birth of his son, Hugo. He showed us that video, and made the key point that the filming hadn't gotten in the way of the experience -- he wasn't holding the camera, he was wearing it.
They've grown to 210+ employees and their products are sold in 75 countries. As Nick talked about the growth, he made the connection that even with smartphones, we still find value in using a GoPro given the different way we use it (or I should say, I wish I used it... I'm waiting on a SCUBA optimized version)... You wear a GoPro, you don't shoot with one like a normal camera. New form factor, new opportunities.
The GoPro has given us a "spark" to do different things. Nick talked about how happy he is when he gets notes saying that GoPro videos have given people the inspiration to get away from the game console and go outside to do something cool.
People, technology, and the GoPro organization have created an explosion of amazing video. They have over 2 million Facebook fans -- far more fans of the videos than current owners of the cameras.
The original inspiration came from his wanting to film a surf trip. It started with a wrist strap to attach a disposable camera. Next leap was when he realized he could get the camera off his wrist and do even more -- spurred by a trip to Infineon race track and a race car driving school.
His summary for how to realize your idea:
- Be willing to commit yourself 100%
- Focus (obsession is ok)
- Leverage existing technologies
- Don't let money be a barrier to getting started
There are over 200 people in this auditorium all stoked (using Nick's lingo) about entrepreneurship, about videoing their passions, and keying off the power of problem solving for creating great ideas.