Neil Dana basically won the lottery when he ended up being college roomies with Nick Woodman.
Woodman, as some of you may know, is the founder and CEO of the world‘s largest action camera company, GoPro.
However, 10 years ago, Woodman wasn‘t a camera wielding, billionaire CEO when he attended the University of California in San Diego with his friend, Neil Dana. He was simply a young man with a vision.
Before GoPro was known around the world, and when the company was merely in its development phase, Woodman had made a promise to his roommate. A very lucrative promise, that is.
Woodman promised to give Dana 10% of any proceeds he would get from sales of GoPro‘s shares.
Then, in June 2011, in order to cancel the said agreement, the company gave Neil Dana over 6 million, fully-vested options and a further 270 000 restricted stock units in December of 2011.
Woodman then said that he would personally reimburse the company, when Dana exercised these options.
Which of course, he did.
According to a regulatory filing, Woodman returned the 4 million shares to the company on Monday, 11 May.
Dana, on the other hand, also spent quite the amount exercising these options – $3.6 million to be precise. However, that is small change compared to the $229 million they are worth, and that he has now put in his pocket.
Dana was GoPro‘s first employee and is currently the company‘s Director of Music and Speciality Sales. As for Woodman? he‘s still stinking rich – even after a blow of $229 million.
It is estimated that Woodman‘s net worth now stands at $2.3 billion. Shame.
The lesson here is simple: If your college roommate is a bit of a genius, best is to get in on that early – even if he only washes his bedding once a month.