Nicholas Woodman, president and CEO, Woodman Labs Inc. dba GoPro


Looking back to when he started his business, GoPro President and CEO Nicholas Woodman recalls years working 16-hour days, seven days a week, with long stretches of sleep deprivation. While he may be getting more sleep these days, he is still as committed to GoPro’s success. Today, the business that he founded 10 years ago is one of the fastest-growing camera companies in the world, but Woodman refuses to compromise or follow the popular idea if it means sacrificing the company’s vision.

Woodman started Woodman Labs Inc., which does business as GoPro, to develop his idea for a waterproof film-based camera with a wrist strap, which would enable surfers to take pictures while surfing. But in fleshing out the concept, it soon led him to develop camera mounts not just for surfing but for helmets, bikes, cars and even people. In 2009, he introduced GoPro’s first high-definition camera, the HD HERO, with professional quality video and pictures, miniature size and an accompanying system of mountings.

Woodman noticed early how other camera companies seemed focused on building hardware alone. But his vision has always been about engaging customers in their experiences, looking deeper at how people use the products themselves.

So in addition to creating a new market for wearable and gear mountable high-definition cameras, Woodman has broken ground in how his company engages with its consumers. GoPro’s unique media and marketing strategy, which leverages the content of customers using its cameras by inviting customers to share their GoPro videos and pictures through social media platforms. By encouraging customers to share their own inspiring content — free, viral marketing for the products themselves — Woodman continues to build a following for GoPro’s innovative niche.

HOW TO REACH: Woodman Labs Inc. dba GoPro,