The GoPro camera the world knows today can be mounted on just about anything — helmets, bike handlebars or the human body. But when the company first launched in 2004, it was only meant to be strapped to a wrist.
GoPro founder Nicholas Woodman said at TechCrunch Disrupt today that that evolution would not have happened if the company had not decided to buy a race car and go drive it at a racetrack north of San Francisco. And that would have never happened if the company had major investors to please.
“The way that happened is I was in racing school and they wanted to charge me a bunch of money to put the camera on the car. The lightbulb went off and I literally could see GoPros mounted all over the place,” Woodman said. “It really helped GoPro that we didn’t have to answer to anyone for years.”
With a wave of wearables pouring in as competitors, Woodman said that innovation is what will make GoPro stand out. While Google Glass can offer immediate recording of a first-person perspective, it’s limited to that perspective. A GoPro camera can capture any perspective you can think of. In the future, Glass could also pair with GoPros.
“I think what’s going to be exciting is you’re going to see more of these products working together,” Woodman said. “You already see it with GoPro and smartphones. The smartphone is actually helping our business because it’s killing the traditional camera. Beyond that, a smartphone makes for an incredible video remote control for a GoPro. The Glass-like products become terrific heads-up, hands-free remote controls. It’s just going to become more and more enabling.”
The most important question: What is Woodman’s favorite video ever taken with a GoPro? Watch below.