eSports Super TV: Watch three streams at once

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Ben Tossell@bentossell · Partner, The Upstarters
A way better way to watch multiple streams! Saves me opening many windows and spending time shrinking them to the right size! @jiggityk tell us the story here :)
Jong-Moon KimMaker@jiggityk · YC Startup
@bentossell yes! it's coming :) caught me as I'm writing it
Jong-Moon KimMaker@jiggityk · YC Startup
@bentossell Is there a way to embed images? (a secret way?)
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Partner, The Upstarters
@jiggityk just include the image URL :)
Ricky YeanHiring@rickyyean · CEO, UpbeatPR.com (formerly PRX.co)
@jiggityk what's new in this version?
Jong-Moon KimMaker@jiggityk · YC Startup
Sorry for the novel! I got started writing the story and I didn't want to stop in the middle. The TL;DR - eSports is booming, Teevox feels sweet, I'm happy, let's go explore the future of entertainment The problem with streaming was that it has a lot of down time. In between games, you're usually staring at the streamer staring at his computer. Tournaments are even worse—twenty minutes of long pans around the crowd, marveling at the architecture of the stadium. I felt miserable and lazy trying to switch streams, mute one and then unmute the other, trying to scour finding another worthy channel to watch. So of course, the answer was to spend two months of arduous work to make this product happen. The original story happens way back in 2011. This was like the Woodstock of eSports. It was that particular summer Twitch got its start. The original Teevox actually preceded Twitch by a month when they were still Justin.tv. It was a hyper concentration of talented streamers, killer technology and a critical mass of fans that really propelled momentum for eSports. At the time, I was working on a different startup. This startup provided video encoding for the enterprise. (Teevox actually got its namesake from this startup.) This was one of the few jobs that were privileged to have you toiling on Flash AS3 code. This was my shameful secret I didn't like admitting to my developer friends. (Flash!?!?) But opportunity struck! I realized through some hackery muddling around with Flash bitstreams, you could have a very smooth multistreaming experience. I was surprised when I got a rudimentary proof of concept working, it felt magical. I don't mean to be pandering, but it was a very curious phenomenon. In a word, it felt freeing, like I now had control over a world of entertainment. I've had a lot of time to think about this and my best guess is the magic comes from the near-zero transition cost. Not just in terms of time, but the perception of effort needed to make the change. It felt wrong that changing a channel on Twitch feel like more work than flipping channels on a TV. The great thing about eSports and gaming entertainment was the fact that is was a native tech product at its core. That meant things were fundamentally hackable. I ended up spending a month creating a nice consumer version and launched to the /r/starcraft subreddit. [] The response was explosive. It got enough momentum that first hour to launch onto the Reddit main frontpage for four hours. That was enough to get Teevox 20k fans right off the bat. That summer was wild. Nearly every weekend, a tournament would happen and Teevox would have a sharp discontinuity up as a huge chunk of people come to watch the event. This continued on until the beginning of 2012. At it's peak, Teevox was servicing around 600k users a month. A number of acquisition offered had come but I had (foolishly in retrospect) thought that this remarkable growth would continue into the future. I had a full pipeline of products, including a streamlined mobile experience and a way to use your phone as a remote. The problem was, Teevox got a lot copycats in those months. This by itself would've been something manageable but what made things really difficult was the fact that the industry tiny. We had ten different organizations each promoting their own superplayer competing over tiny viewership of this infant industry. This led to me having seven months of stagnation and a slow decline. By the end of the seven months, I felt demoralized. The future seemed bleak for trying to build a legitimate business in such a fringe (at the time) niche. I discontinued Teevox late 2012. (Another regretful decision) Between that time and now, I went through about a dozen different ideas, to varying levels of success. Two of them are bringing me ramen money but nothing big to write home about. It was November of last year I decided to pull the plug. I was planning on going to a nice cushy PM job that felt good after living like a monk for five years. I went to close up all the Teevox social media accounts and inside, there was a few dozen messages waiting for me. It was from fans saying how much they missed Teevox. [] The most surprising fact was how many of them were from 2014 and 2015. Imagine that, how many products do you have fans coming back three years after it shut down? That really put in a reminder that there was something special that people loved. I started thinking strategically about what possibilities there were. The biggest difference between 2011 and today is the fact that that tiny viewership (lucky to break 15M across ALL of esports) grew to the behemoth today of 200M viewers from Twitch alone. This meant Teevox really had a lot of headspace if it could nail the magical experience. I think that's the most encouraging fact -- it's not just a random side project but one where the market is growing rapidly with a very unique skillset of having practiced Flash video for years. It was really refreshing to work on Teevox 2016. I had become a much better developer since my younger self and developed a better sense of what felt gratifying in a product. What I'm most excited about is the fact that the sky's the limit for an entertainment platform you can create freely. What I'm aiming to do with Teevox is hopefully gain a following of people interested in brighter entertainment and experiment the far out ideas I've always wanted to apply to television. I'm afraid I've spoiled myself all these years of getting high off the joy of creating something of your own. I hope to continue this journey as a product maker into the future because I can't imagine being more satisfied doing anything else.
Joe LauHiring@thejoelau · Co-founder, OMG
WHOA! @jiggityk I used the early Teevox back in 2012 and loved it! Really excited to see a new version and pumped to see where it goes now :)