PEOPLE This is a story made in California. Everything the Golden State stands for is here: sun, high spirits, hightech and money – lots of money. The protagonist is a typical Californian, a 38-yearold golden boy who looks 28 and, in many ways, is still as crazy as an 18-year-old. It’s the story of Nicholas Woodman, the founder of the Action Camera GoPro brand and, according to Forbes magazine, “the world’s hottest camera-company.” Like many a success story, this one begins with a major setback. After college, where Woodman mainly distinguished himself through his notoriously good humour, he founded the online gaming platform funbug.com. At the time, old-economy money was being pumped into the exciting new world of digital but then the bubble burst. Funbug went bust and with it .9 million of investor money. Today, he’s more laid-back: “The Funbug idea was good, but there were no social networks at the time.” His dream of a start-up was shattered. Woodman was well aware he would now have to start working a normal, middle-class job. To clear his head, at age 26, he set out on a five-month surf trip where he came across an age-old surfer problem. Surfers love to see pictures and films of their surfing, “but no surfer wants to be the cameraman, especially when the waves are good,” says Woodman. On the beach in Australia, he came up with the answer. The surfer’s audacity comes across just as well when the surfer takes his or her own pictures. While travelling he started working on his first prototype. He put a cheap disposable camera in a waterproof casing, attached it to his forearm with Velcro and dived into the waves. The resulting images were far from professional; they were out of focus and the details random. Yet the pictures were alive, depicting the surfer’s adrenalin. Most important, the pictures were from the point of view of the surfer, like from inside a wave tunnel. Woodman knew this idea had good prospects. “That is how inspiration works”, he says. “Had I been desperately looking for a business idea, I would have never found one. I stopped worrying and did what I loved most. So, the idea came to me”. Back in California, Woodman knew he was not going to look for a job. He holed up at a beach house and worked on his first prototypes, sewing, glueing, drilling and experimenting with various cameras, lenses and straps. The following story illustrates how hard he worked. “I drink a lot of water, way more than most people and I realised if I wore my CamelBak [the hands- NICHOLAS WOODMAN Nationality: American Age: 38 Job: GoPro founder Other interests: Surfing and snowboarding 30 j THE PERFORMANCE ISSUE
While travelling Woodman started working on his first prototype. He put a cheap disposable camera in a waterproof casing, attached it to his forearm with Velcro and dived into the waves PHOTOGRAPHY: BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES, JOREN VAN SUYLEKOM/GOPRO ST JOUIN BRUNEVAL, NORMANDY N 49°, 38’, 31.52”/ E 0°, 9’, 47.631” Joren van Suylekom with the world at his feet THE PERFORMANCE ISSUE j 31
Jaguar Magazine celebrates creativity in all its forms, with exclusive features that inspire sensory excitement, from beautiful design to cutting-edge technology.
In this issue, we explore the art of creativity from the Brazilian masters who devised the graceful art of Capoeira, to the Irish artists mixing new culture with old. You will also discover the creative line that links Victorian wallpaper to the iPhone. While the multi-talented actor and performer, Riz Ahmed, explains why it is the right time to reveal his true self to the world.
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