A look back at GoPro's success after IPO

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ABC7 News takes a glance back at what has led to GoPro's success before hitting Wall Street with an impressive IPO.

The debut on Wall Street of the video camera company GoPro of San Mateo has turned out to be the biggest initial public offering of a consumer electronics company in almost a quarter century.

GoPro made more than $400 million when it offered its stock at $24 a share Thursday. Investors bid the price up to $31.34 -- a 30 percent gain. ABC7 News took a look at what makes the GoPro camera so appealing.

It's the little camera that's everywhere, including right next to the button that took GoPro public. Founder Nick Woodman was overjoyed -- a stark contrast from where he once told us he was 12 years ago.

Back then he said, "I was in between jobs, didn't know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life."

So what did he do? He went surfing and came up with an idea. You might call GoPro the original selfie and now a staple for the world's most daring photographers.

Photographer Eric Cheng says, "GoPros are always with me. They are pretty much the most versatile camera out there."

Cheng made waves with a video of people surfing, shot with a drone he modified himself. But equally stunning was his next video.

Cheng says, "Nobody had ever taken video from the inside of a shark's mouth, and these cameras were perfectly sized and durable enough to withstand sharks biting on them."

You see GoPro video on TV all the time. We shot our interview with Cheng from three different angles.

"You can't get these shots with many other cameras, just simply because the size and the thought that went into them," Cheng says.

But never mind the name, GoPro cameras are not just for pros. Good marketing has made them a household name among consumers and one of them most asked about products at camera stores.

Some camera stores say they can sell five GoPro cameras a day and sales of the accessories are also hot items.

Every customer knows the brand.

One customer told ABC7 News, "You can take them underwater. They're great for doing outdoor activities."

Another said, "You can do a whole bunch of different sports with it like snowboarding, surfing and stuff."

It's no coincidence GoPro sponsors extreme athletes and even the Mavericks Surf contest. While other cameras are made for photographers, GoPro is aimed squarely at customers who want to go out and live life.

"It is absolutely a lifestyle brand and it also happens to be a great camera and so I think that combination is what makes people think of GoPro in such a positive way," says Cheng.
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