Business Advice

The “radical change” GoPro chief Nick Woodman made to get a competitive edge

Matthew Elmas /

When GoPro started out, founder and chief executive Nick Woodman was just a surfer trying to make some videos.

A decade and a half later, his company has sold 26 million portable video devices in over 100 countries.

But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Even good ideas can be difficult to implement and competitors are always around the corner.

Back in 2012, Woodman had to make some quick decisions about the upcoming launch of the company’s Hero 3 product, after a competitor came into the market with a comparably strong camera of its own.

As Woodman explained in a recent interview with BBC, he was concerned.

“We were about to launch our Hero 3 range of cameras and six weeks before launch a competitor came out with a product we were a little bit worried about,” he said.

The Hero 3 has become an important part of GoPro’s camera range since it was released, but Woodman revealed it’s defining feature — a remote which comes with the product at no added cost — was almost not included.

In what he described as a “radical change”, Woodman worked with his team to add the remote at the last minute to get an edge on the competition, a decision he believes is benefitting the business to this day.

“As soon as you put your product or service into the market, the market grabs it and starts to devour it and then gives you feedback as to what it wants your product or service to be,” Woodman said.

It’s a lesson in business he hasn’t forgotten, and one he believes other business owners should remember.

NOW READ: GoPro chief Nick Woodman reveals where the company “failed”, as its share price drops to $US8.50

NOW READ: ‘I wouldn’t have done business with me’: The mistakes Mark Cuban made and how to avoid them

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Matthew Elmas

Matthew is the news editor at SmartCompany.

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