GoPro founder and CEO Nick Woodman knows a thing or two about dealing with an overhyped IPO, and its potential aftermath.
So, who better to offer a few words of wisdom to Uber’s (UBER) management team on its ballyhooed first day of trading on Friday.
“Stay focused. Any new public company leadership is going to feel tremendous pressure to live up to everybody’s expectations. Be careful what you share with your vision — don’t share too much of your vision too early because investors will glom onto everything you say and they will want you to realize that vision tomorrow,” Woodman told Yahoo Finance On the Move.
“Stay measured and keep the same approach that allowed you to successfully take your company public,” Woodman added. “That execution, that performance is what got you there and is what will help you continue to succeed in the future, but don’t take on too much, too quickly.”
GoPro (GPRO) went public on June 25, 2014 with a ton of fanfare. Some investors viewed GoPro as the second coming of Disney (DIS) (media play) mixed with a bit of Apple (AAPL) (hardware play). GoPro stock rose 30% on its first day of trading and closed at $31.33. Shares touched an all-time high of about $98 in October 2014.
But GoPro stock, which currently trades at $6 a share, has taken a beating as investors soured on GoPro’s prospects on venturing into new product categories. Further, competition in the action camera industry and GoPro’s own missteps (too many employees; a missed foray into drones) have weighed on the stock.
To Woodman’s credit, he and his management team have continued to fight. And finally, the company is showing promise once again as it has narrowed its focus on executing on high quality action cameras. The company’s workforce is slimmer and its brand is on fire across YouTube and all the social media platforms.
GoPro’s sales spiked 20% year-over-year in the first quarter. Woodman said GoPro is on the path to profitability this year.
“The turnaround was last year,” Woodman said, adding the company has delivered five straight quarters of meeting or beating expectations. And GoPro is now exploring entering new product categories.
Meanwhile, it looks like Uber’s stock will end its first day experiencing the complete opposite of GoPro so it will need as much guidance as it can get. Uber’s stock traded 6% below its IPO price at $42.32 in the early minutes on its first trading day.
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