Nick Woodman

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Nick Woodman
Nick Woodman 2014.jpg
Woodman in October 2014
Born Nicholas D. Woodman
(1975-06-24) June 24, 1975 (age 39)[1]
Santa Clara County, California, U.S.
Residence Woodside, California
Nationality United States
Education B.A. University of California, San Diego
Occupation Businessman
Employer GoPro
Known for Founder of GoPro
Net worth Increase US$ 2.5 billion (Jan. 2015)[2]
Spouse(s) Jill Scully
Children 2
Parent(s) Dean Woodman (father), Concepcion Socarras (mother)

Nicholas D. "Nick" Woodman (born June 24, 1975) is an American businessman, the founder and CEO of GoPro.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Woodman is the son of Concepcion (née Socarras) and Dean Woodman.[4][5][6][7] His father was a Quaker Christian who co-founded the investment bank Robertson Stephens;[4][8] and his mother is of Hispanic descent who in 1992, re-married Irwin Federman, General Partner of U.S. Venture Partners.[5] Woodman grew up in Menlo Park, California[9] and Atherton, California,[10] attending the Menlo School, where he graduated in 1993.[11] He earned a B.A. degree in visual arts and a minor in creative writing from the University of California, San Diego in 1997.[2][10][12] After school he founded a marketing company called funBug but it did not succeed.


While on hiatus in Australia and Indonesia, on a surf trip with more of his fathers money, he used a 35mm camera attached to the palm of his hand by a rubber band to try and capture his surfing activities on film.[12] Seeing that amateur photographers like him - who wanted to capture quality action photos of their activities - had difficulties because either they could not get close enough to the action or were unable to purchase quality equipment at affordable prices, his trip became his inspiration to found GoPro.[12] His solution was to develop a belt that would attach the camera to the body.[12] Woodman and his future wife Jill financed the business by selling shell necklaces they bought in Bali (for $1.90) from their car along the California coast (for $60) is the story they tell people, but the main part of financing for the company came once again from his parents[13] $350,000 borrowed from his mother[12][13] and $200,000 borrowed from his father and all of his fathers business connection he was able to turn . His desire for a camera system that could capture close up footage inspired the 'GoPro' name.[14][15] The original cameras he developed were point-and-shoot 35mm film cameras which mounted to the user's wrist. The product has since evolved into a compact digital camera that supports WiFi, can be remotely controlled, has waterproof housing, records to a micro SD card, and is affordable to the average action sports enthusiast ($200–$400). In 2004, he made his first big sale when a Japanese company ordered 100 cameras at a sports show.[12][13] Thereafter, sales doubled every year[2] and in 2012, GoPro sold 2.3 million cameras.[12] In December 2012, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn purchased 8.88% of the company for $200 million which set the market value of the company at $2.25 billion making Woodman, who owned the majority of the stock, a billionaire.[12][13]


2013 National Award Winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award. [16]

Personal life[edit]

Woodman is married to Jill R. Scully[17] and they have two children.[2][12] They live in Woodside, California.[18] Woodman is known as the "mad billionaire" due to his unconventional behavior and eccentricities.[12]

As of 2014, he is worth an estimated US$1.3 billion.[19]


  1. ^ "California Births, 1905 - 1995". Family Tree Legends. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Forbes; The World's Billionaires - Nicholas Woodman May 2014
  3. ^ "How GoPro CEO Nick Woodman Let Consumers Lead Him to New Idea". 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  4. ^ a b Wall Street Journal: "How Family Ties Helped Nick Woodman Make GoPro Click" By Lizette Chapman June 20, 2013 \" With dad Dean Woodman...and stepdad U.S. Venture Partners General Partner Irwin Federman"
  5. ^ a b ACG Silicon Valley: "Irwin Federman, U.S. Venture Partners" retrieved May 26, 2014 | "He [Federman] has been married to the former Concepcion Socarras since 1992"
  6. ^ New York Social Diary retrieved May 26, 2014
  7. ^ Explore San Francisco: "Bay Area Billionaires 2014" retrieved May 26, 2014
  8. ^
  9. ^ Robehmed, Natalie (September 30, 2014). "The youngest billionaires on the Forbes 400: 11 under 40". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "The Best Ride of Our Lives". UC San Diego Triton. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  11. ^ Lipton, Josh (July 26, 2014). "Meet GoPro's thrill-seeking founder Nick Woodman". CNBC. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Welcome to the Billionaires' Club" by Orna Taub, Jewish Business News, March 7, 2013
  13. ^ a b c d Business Insider: "Meet The World's Newest Billionaire, A 36-Year-Old 'Surfer Dude' Named Nicholas Woodman" by Alyson Shontell December 23,
  14. ^ "GoPro with Founder/Inventor Nick Woodman". 2010-01-05. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  15. ^ Burrows, Peter (2011-06-30). "GoPro's Incredible Small, Durable Camcorder". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  16. ^ "Nicholas Woodman, Founder and CEO of GoPro, Named National EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2013 Retail and Consumer Products Award Winner." Nicholas Woodman, Founder and CEO of GoPro, Named National EY Entrepreneur... N.p., 17 Nov. 2013. Web. 07 Apr. 2015. <>.
  17. ^ Inc Magazine: "The GoPro Army" by Tom Foster January 26, 2012
  18. ^ San Francisco Block Shopper: "Inventor spends $12.5M for Woodside 5BD" December 11, 2011
  19. ^ Forbes Billionaires 2013: Notable Newcomers