Ben Rubin

Ben Rubin

The humble founder and CEO of Meerkat

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON August 24, 2015

Discussion

Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
Hi I'm Ben. I'm the CEO and co-founder of Life on Air Inc., which most recently released the popular Meerkat app. I work with my team to pioneer "participatory media" through life-streaming communities. Ask me anything!
Mubashar Iqbal@mubashariqbal · 2016 Maker of the Year. Indie Hacker.
@benrbn What was it like when Twitter shutdown access to their API? I'm guessing you had plans for that eventuality, but probably pretty scary nonetheless!
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
As you know, big fan of Meerkat and how you think about community-building (Ben and I have had a few conversations about this in private and on episode #37 of Product Hunt Radio with @joshelman and @eriktorenberg). Question: Meerkat blew up quickly and instantly became a darling within the startup community. What are you most afraid of?
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
@rrhoover That as we transition and grow up, that unique value proposition of live-video-button-for-twitter is gone, and we need a be much more clear with value prop for new users. -as in "why would normal people should stream on MK" (or at all) . I think we are doing great steps with participatory content, but we have much more work with unlocking new communities and being more clear with our mission.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
How has your personal life changed since Meerkat blew up? How have you dealt with people treating you differently all of a sudden?
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
@eriktorenberg so the thing i've learnt is that talented people are super busy and have much more "bidders" for their time. so sometimes it's easier to get someone's attention, when they already heard about what you are building.
Hillel Fuld
Hillel Fuld@hilzfuld · Blogger/Vlogger, Co-Founder @ZCastApp
@benrbn ok I'll ask the question that everyone really wants to know... What's the craziest story that happened to you since the early days of Yevvo until today?
Rustam
Rustam@eynaliyev
What technology do you use to power real-time streaming?
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
@eynaliyev Home grown HLS 👌
Austen Allred
Austen Allred@austenallred · co-founder, Lambda School (YC S17)
What was your reaction the first time you saw Periscope? Did you know about it before Meerkat was a thing?
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
Hussein Yahfoufi
Hussein Yahfoufi@husseinyahfoufi · Family and Tech.
@benrbn awesome camaraderie!
Niv Dror
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
Hi @benrbn, big fan of Meerkat. Has being named in MIT's Technology Review's 35 innovators under 35 changed your life? And what's your favorite emoji? #😻
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
@nivo0o0 haha 💅
Soroush Ghodsi
Soroush Ghodsi@soroushg_ · Founder Slik.
@benrbn Do you think live-streaming will be a zero-sum game?
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
@soroushg_ the way i view the space, is that live video is a whole new category. -participatory content. with mobiles, and internet connected touch screens & internet connected cameras (at the audience's end!). --so for me is like saying that only one social network exists 😃
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Super important question: what's your favorite movie and why?
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
@rrhoover http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1602... the most honest & beautiful way have i ever seen a creator being able to capture the true meaning of love.
Eric Willis
Eric Willis@erictwillis · Working on something new
@benrbn You mentioned that Meerkat was one of several ideas in the works. As we all know, the first one took off. Can you share what the others ideas were?
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
@erictwillis reddit of live video / yikyak of live video / live video button for your contacts ... and many more :)
Jeff Needles
Jeff Needles@jsneedles · Data @ Houseparty & Maker of Things
@benrbn What is one word you would want associated with meerkat in every user's mind? Also, what made you build a ball pit in your Tel-Aviv office?
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
@jsneedles following a different answers from above: a "Houseparty" - and the yellow ball pit is exactly the manifestation of the same mindset 👯
Hi Ben, It’s great to have you chat with us! How big a company is Life on Air now? At what pace are you growing? And what's the biggest challenge you’re facing in growing the company culture you want? Cheers!
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
@willooz Hey Willem we are approaching 30... the biggest challenge is making new team members feel the vision and understand what we are about. -unpredictable & raw -and the difference between a house party vs. a theater and why meerkat is about being in a house party vs. just passively watching live video from other people's phones. i hope it makes sense, I'm trying to answer as much questions as possible here :)
Jack Dweck
Jack Dweck@jackdweck · Product Manager at Unroll.Me
Your humble response to an aspiring founder is one of the most upvoted comments on Product Hunt. How do you stay motivated?
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
@jackdweck i stay motivated by focusing on doing what i love and constantly calling bullshit on my actions, that way i never end up saying "I'm so far from what's gets me excited" and i always have fuel to burn. i think sometimes that i have trouble to communicate the way i view the world, and that's get me frustrated. --so I'm lucky to be surrounded with smart people that help build products that basically reflect the way we view the world.
Danny Espinoza
Danny Espinoza@abcdannye · Founder @looksyvideo
Ben, now that everyone has a phone with a front-facing camera, and bandwidth is getting cheaper and faster, where do you see the future of livestreaming? Do you think we are heading to a camera always-on lifestyle on mobile?
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
@dannyjespinoza that's our dream. yes.
Rui Delgado
Rui Delgado@rui · Tech Entrepreneur • Consultant • TV Nerd
Hi Ben. My female friends feel harassed when using Periscope while it doesn't happen on Meerkat, maybe because Meerkat makes you tweet the comment. Is this something you had it mind?
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
@rui we did think about identity and how it will drive positive aha moments :-) btw -users no longer have to twitter when they comment!
Paul Tomkinson
Paul Tomkinson@paultomkinson · Founder, Textras
@benrbn hi Ben, what's your favorite implementation of Meerkat API yet?
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
Sydney Liu
Sydney Liu@sydney_liu_sl · Co-Founder of Commaful.com
What did product development look like in your early moments of Meerkat? You guys launch an experiment and it blows up. What were your next steps? What did you focus on? How did you choose what to focus on? Did you test things at small scale?
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
@sydney_liu_sl Hey Sydney! we definitely have ongoing experiments running around in parallel. we have some radical ideas for features, so sometimes we think of a feature as a single app and build its basic value prop separately. (reduce a lot of time of dev & integration specially with complexities of live video) -- our main focus now is on mirroring real life moments to real time 😁😇
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
Okay everyone got to go, thanks for taking the time & being interested in MK's journey. I truly appreciate it -had a blast!!!
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
What are your thoughts on UK rival MyEye?
Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin@benrbn · Co-founder, Life On Air Inc
@harrystebbings haven't played with yet! will check it out!