There are a fair few advantages to having an entrepreneurial genius as your college roommate.
For one, they can help probably help you put the finishing touches on that project you’ve left until 4am the night before it’s due, when your plan to get the creative juices flowing through the consumption of alcohol has dramatically, disastrously failed.
Another, slightly more productive, benefit is that there’s a good chance they’ll need to get you involved in whatever innovative concept they’ve dreamt up to turn them into a yacht-cruising, money-throwing billionaire with more sexual prowess than James Bond and the cast of The Avengers combined.
This, unsurprisingly for those who have watched The Social Network, or have an IQ smart enough to work out that the fridge light goes off right after you’ve shut the door, can lead to a fair bit of money. Or to be a little more precise, to $229 million in the case of Neil Dana, the roommate of Nick Woodman at the University of California, and GoPro employee number one.
Woodman founded the company back in 2001, and when he did so, promised his roomy of the time that he would give him 10 percent of any money he made by selling GoPro shares.
Now, it won’t surprise anyone – unless maybe the fridge thing is still confusing you – that Nick is absolutely loaded. His company is worth $6.6 billion, and he’s made his money by producing one of the coolest products on the modern market to boot.
To follow through on a promise that sees him lose out on $229 million though is pretty damn impressive, and it’s all the proof we need that the guy is a freakin’ hero. Not just a regular hero either, a GoPro HERO. A GoPro HERO 4 even – the shiniest, most high-tech, expensive but incredibly awesome hero there is.
Now, Dana isn’t exactly doing badly on his own either. The first ever employee of the camera company is still with the firm, and is now the director of music and specialty sales. He no doubt has a pretty decent salary then, but we doubt he’s too concerned about that after receiving 6m fully-vested options and 270,000 restricted stock units from Woodman in 2011 to fulfil the agreement, which he then exercised earlier this month for a fairly hefty fortune.
Spending around $3.6m to turn his gifted figures into an orgasm-inducing amount of cash, the dude banked a profit of $225.4 million – or around £146.5 million for all you Brits reading out there.
Woodman subsequently paid exactly the same amount cashed out by Dana to his company GoPro, reducing his net worth by $2.3bn and squaring his promised debts in the process. To be fair, the dude did net $285.3m to become the highest paid exec in the United States of America last year, but nevertheless, this is next level commitment to a promise which quite easily could’ve been ignored.
One thing is for sure, anyway, Dana got pretty damn lucky with those university room allocations. And we don’t think that Nick will be coming off his Christmas card list anytime in the near future.