Everyone these days is talking about going live. Shipstreams has hundreds of users, Twitch was acquired by Amazon, Dialog has been acquired, and Twitter has been shipping new features for Periscope. The live streaming industry is worth $10 billion and is expected to increase by $3 billion in 2019.

The real question is: is there any value in live streaming for indie makers and founders? In this video, I took a deep dive with Matt Mroczek into the hype around live streaming and how makers can make the most of it. Watch the video and read the transcript below.

Matt Mroczek: Live TV has been around for I don’t know; not a hundred years but feels like it. Why is live streaming so cool these days?

Matt Lo: Well live streaming, now you can actually chat while you’re streaming. So I’m a gamer so sometimes I stream on Fortnite — You can game like you have a really like engaging match and over time, I usually have like my phone next to me, to see like all the visitors like comments in real time.

Matt Mroczek: Aside from streaming gaming, what else would you stream?

Matt Lo: You can stream… For me, I actually stream some of my React code, so if I’m making like a cool widget or some type of cool javascript, I’ll stream that whole process.

I just want to get people’s comments like,

‘What do they think about my technique?’

‘What’s the process?’

‘Do they actually like my end result?’

Because they don’t even get to, you know, see the designs or wireframes, they just get to see the build process. So it’s a great way to get feedback in real time. So that’s like one way.

Another way is I’ve seen and I don’t personally do this but I’ve seen in the community this sort of twelve-hour challenge where you make a new product within twenty-four hours and stream the whole thing.

That’s been like a big thing that’s been picking up nicely.

Matt Mroczek: And when viewing that or participating, is it all positive or are there haters? Like what’s the mix between…

Matt Lo: Well so that’s a funny. That’s a funny question because you get a mixture of everyone. So you’re going to get people, say like, who critique on user-experience who are gonna say like  that’s a stupid idea.

And then you have supporters who say like this is a great idea.

So in chat, like this is the cool thing about live stream, in chat you see a clash between ‘you’re right or wrong.’ And you know the person in the stream is just coding away or building whatever designing away. So it’s an interesting as an observer of both the chat and the stream. It’s just like entertaining almost.

Matt Mroczek: It’s like a show within a show.

Matt Lo: Yes.

What’s the impact of live streaming for the maker community?

Matt Mroczek: I think it’s a better way to engage with the community.

Thinking about an example where say you identify a problem and you are caffeinated or whatever maybe you are just ready to get after it — Why not live stream your making process whatever it may be coding or could even be 3D printing, who knows.

Why not stream that immediately and then get active feedback. Thinking about how you can get feedback at every stage. Here’s where you can get real-time feedback of did you think about this. Don’t make it blue make it green. And that could essentially shape the product from the start.

Say the next thing for ChipBot your coding, say you do it live. And somebody says it’s dumb and you just happen to catch that comment. Do you ignore it? You saw it. Do you ignore it? Do you address it? Do you keep moving?

What’s your mindset?

Matt Lo: I wouldn’t address in chat. I would say it out loud you know it’s like. You know I may not know that user and might just say like well if you think this is dumb – wait till the end of the stream then you might change your mind. Right, you want to just captivate the audience. So like if they are already reacting, like put them into a funnel – put them into like ‘just wait’ – stay for the stream and you’ll see the magic happen at the end.

Matt Mroczek: Now you’re getting another user to stick around. Yeah exactly.

Matt Lo: For people who make products on a live stream, what’s the marketing value?

Matt Mroczek: Well you can see live is where every social network is pushing people. Like I think the initial lure of Snapchat was it was raw. It was in the moment and what it was and that’s why people latched onto it and then everybody copied them. And so now the reason why I think live is such a good marketing tool is every single platform is pushing live to the very top of your screen. It’s the first thing you see. And just this week LinkedIn now has a live feature as well. People want real, they want authenticity.

And there’s so many ways to fake that with published things. People want to see it right now and see a reaction

Matt Lo: Is live stream the future for showcasing what you’re making?

Matt Mroczek: It is I think that if you are proud of what you’re doing… I think that’s the biggest thing. Is that you saw in entrepreneurship this like dark go into your basement make something amazing and then like six months later you surface with like this golden goose.

And the problem was that more often than not it was not the silver bullet or the lottery ticket you were hoping for. Live streaming gives you a instant insight to your users, to probably your first customers; and I’m sure like a lot of these people watching would be. Why else would they find it interesting? It gives you a new level of connection with them that is more authentic than anything else.

If I… If you’re coding something and I say ‘what about this’ and then you do it – How, like what an impact that not only does that makes for the product, but now I’m attached to you.

I’m willing to say like I put my reputation on that.

Matt Lo: It’s like next level product hunt, right? Instead of like you go on product hunt to launch your product. You start with the stream; right? Before it, the before is like oh here’s a big product hunt launch; no it’s, we’re gonna put it on Twitch and you’re going to watch the whole process whether it be 24 hours or one month

Matt Mroczek: Looking at that, how would you hack a product hunt launch with that build up beforehand?

Matt Lo: Well by literally executing that! Like, start introducing your ideas over live stream.  Promoting it on Twitter and Slack channels, like say here’s my; you know what, let me hear your thoughts over the live stream, right? And people they can ask you their questions in the chat. You’re building, and then you start building off of those ideas. Like people feel invested almost that their value is being built in real time.

So by the time you go to the Product Hunt launch, like you have this backing already like ready to up vote, organically.

Matt Mroczek:It’s like the next evolution of Kickstarter right. I wanted to back a Kickstarter campaign because I got to vote on the colors, I got to pick the things I got, whatever it is.

So when that flashlight finally goes up I’m in it because I’ve followed the journey. This is starting the journey way, way earlier.

Matt Lo: How do you manage humility on a live stream?

Matt Mroczek: I think to live stream you’re already being vulnerable which is a part of that.

And by opening up and saying two things right, I am an expert watch me go or and then but also saying like hey you’re open for feedback people can give you like critiques right away. I think to the point of like stick around and see what I’m working on. I think that’s the real value add because I think the entire thing is a performance. All you’re looking for is engagement good or bad. Engagement is what you want. So I think no matter what if you’re going in the right direction the wrong direction as long as you’re giving the people what they want and you’re giving them a little bit of the show you’re winning somehow you’ve got their attention.

Matt Mroczek: What’s the negative to live stream?

Matt Lo: The negative is when you don’t know how to deal with criticism. Like if people are hating on you like you shouldn’t say you’re wrong or you shouldn’t try to you know ban them off chat. You really have to sorta take it with a grain of salt and develop some skin so you can you know resist the haters and let your conviction finish the product and ultimately finish the stream.

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