Nicholas Woodman, billionaire founder and CEO of GoPro, says his biggest fear in life isn’t a fear at all.
It’s a hard-knocks lesson he learned: “In your personal life and in business, you are your own worst enemy. Or you are your own greatest supporter … nobody can help or hurt you as much as you.”
That’s a new take on the old Henry Ford adage: “Whether you think you can — or you think you can’t — you’re right.”
Woodman’s life is a testament to that belief. GoPro was his second startup. His first one, called funBag, died when the Internet bubble popped in 2000, leaving him jobless and skittish of unprofitable venture-funded companies.
GoPro was invented when Woodman wanted a device to film himself surfing.
Woodman, described by people as a bit “obsessive,” built his prototype for a new kind of wearable camera mount by working 18-hour days in his bedroom, wearing a CamelBak of Gatorade strapped to his back to eliminate unnecessary trips to the kitchen, reports Forbes.
Determined to bootstrap the company, he and his now-wife raised funds by buying 600 sea shell belts from a market in Bali at $US1.90 each. They brought the belts back to the States and drove around California selling them for as much as $US60 a pop, according an interview in Inc. With that money and a $US35,000 loan from his mother, he founded GoPro.
Today the company makes mounts, cameras and has changed the world of photography forever. GoPro is expected to go public this year while Woodman is already worth $US1.3 billion, according to Forbes’ latest list of billionaires.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.