The Inertia Social Media Editor

“GoPros may be the perfect cameras for a self-obsessed and selfie obsessed generation.” Truer words may have never come out of Anderson Cooper’s mouth. 60 Minutes profiled GoPro and Cooper sat down with Nick Woodman, CEO of the now billion-dollar company, to talk about how the “everything camera” got its legs, who uses it, what it can do, and where they are headed.

Barrel frame grab from 60 Minutes.

Barrel frame grab from 60 Minutes.

In a world where people love to watch themselves and share themselves with everyone, GoPro capitalizes. Big time. With a wide-angle lens and high definition quality, the camera can record time lapse and in slow motion, which enables users capture imagery that previously wasn’t fathomable. With new and innovative ways to document yourself, the self-and-selfie-obsessed generation has leveraged technology and media so that the everyman can star in its own motion picture.

Elite athletes like Kelly Slater and Jeb Corliss, both GoPro ambassadors, are taking viewers to spots that, before GoPro, weren’t accessible. For example, Kelly Slater puts the camera in his mouth and, after hopping to his feet, transfers it to his hand where he sticks it right in the sweet spot. Jeb Corliss hucks himself off huge buildings and out of planes tens of thousands of feet in the air with GoPros strapped to a wingsuit that capture the heart-in-throat descent.

While those are two of the more extreme ways GoPros are being used, plenty of other uses exist. At Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, scientists strap the $400 camera to a $350,000 research torpedo to research and map reefs at resolutions and angles they’ve never before experienced.

Additionally, GoPro staff constantly prowls YouTube for amateur videos to feature online or on TV. This encourages those of the self-and-selfie-obsessed generation, who don’t own a GoPro, to buy one and shoot themselves. This, obviously, lines GoPro’s pockets quite nicely. Since its birth, sales have doubled every year. In 2012, the company did $500,000,000 in sales. This year, they are on track to hit $1,000,000,000 (yes, one billion) in sales.

Watch the video below to see how a once-small company fueled consumers’ desire to get in front of the lens in crazy places and come out a billion-dollar giant.


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