Wait, you're giving this away for free?
I just started a company that generates revenue based on the value of my expertise and experience in the world of building, leading, and growing product development teams. Our family's livelihood is on the line here, and I'm putting my most valuable asset online for free?! You may be wondering if my spouse is on board with this crazy approach. She is, because it was her idea...
1. The future is here, and it's streaming on Twitch
The streaming economy is alive and well. Twitch is the giant-killer too few adults are paying attention to. Our family doesn't watch "regular" TV anymore. We cut the cord a couple years back and couldn't be happier. YouTube was the primary streaming solution for our kids for a long time, thanks to folks like iBallisticSquid (4.5M subscribers), StampyLonghead (9M subscribers), Dude Perfect (33M subscribers), and Miranda Sings (9M subscribers). The folks making these videos became the stars our children wanted to meet. It wasn't musicians, actors, or athletes. In fact, our kids started prioritizing family vacation destinations based on where their favorite YouTube star lived. Forget wanting to go see a concert, a MLB/NBA/NFL/NHL/NCAA game, or watch a movie with a specific actor in it. They wanted to go see where "Stampy" and "Squiddy" live.
A year or so ago, we discovered Twitch, and it quickly took over our house. Once it came to the forefront of our awareness, I started seeing/hearing it in more and more places. Twitch offers communal entertainment, in it's truest form. A streamer brings an interesting/amazing talent (it's not just video games) to the table and a community of viewers enhance the experience with a frenetic chat discussion. Our family watches streamers paint majestic mountains (Bob Ross FTW!!!), make blown glass artwork, play music on demand, write code to build video games, paint gaming miniatures, animate cartoons, and so much more. Social media companies fight to be the "second screen" you engage with as you and your family catch a little television together. Twitch said "Screw that. We are the first and second screen all in one."
I recently co-founded a youth sports organization, and little has changed since I was a youngster. Kids still argue about who the best pro players are, because everyone has a favorite that they connect/identify with. When I was a kid, we endlessly fought over who was better: Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, or Magic Johnson (I was in the small, but vicious Dominique Wilkins camp). Today's youth argue about who the best Fortnite player is. Is it Ninja, SypherPK (my personal favorite), Vivid, TFue, or Myth? These debates rage on after every practice and in between double-headers and across all age groups (from 8 year olds to 12 year olds). In fact, I probably just sparked a debate by only listing 5 players in this blog post!
Where are kids discovering the rock stars of their generation? Twitch.
If you need a little more proof, know that Amazon bought Twitch in 2014 for almost $1,000,000,000 ($970 million, to be exact). Oh, and Twitch's biggest star is on the cover of ESPN The Magazine this month.
It doesn't get much more mainstream than that. Get on board.
2. Putting my money where my mouth is
Lots of people use that statement figuratively every day. It is literally literal for me in this instance. Yes, I meant to do that... :)
Starting a business and building its brand is an uphill battle. Content marketing helps you climb that mountain (thanks for reading this content BTW!). My wife's idea of putting my best content on Twitch is how I separate myself from the rest of the folks out there. I'll keep blogging (pretty evident, right?), publishing podcasts, and speaking at conferences, but my "leg up" on everyone else is live streaming on Twitch.
I'm passionate about Twitch (stay tuned for a business idea I am working on in that space), and this gives me the opportunity to learn what the life of a streamer is really like. Those first few streams, with zero viewers, were really challenging. How long do I sit there and talk to myself? How in the world do I get people to actually know I'm here talking into the void? How many zero viewer streams should I do before I consider this experiment a failure? I wasn't alone. With over 2 million people streaming every month, there are countless streamers with zero viewers. There is a reason streamers refer to it as "the grind."
Luckily, my experience of launching a podcast taught me to be patient. The only people listening to our first few episodes were folks that felt sorry for us (AKA friends and family). That trend lasted for months. Now every episode is played thousands of times across 70+ countries, and we routinely get approached by people that listened to EVERY episode. With 130+ episodes, that is 4 full days of listening to us! Every time we meet someone like with that passion for our podcast, we are amazed and humbled. Now I have to make that same thing happens on Twitch.
Helping makes me happy. I started this company with the hopes and dreams of it enabling me to empower more people/teams/organizations than I was reaching with my "traditional" job. If the crazy idea of live, free coaching helps just one person make their tomorrow better than today, that's all I need for this experiment to be a success.
Sounds great! How do I get some free help?
Follow our channel on Twitch at https://twitch.tv/kazi_io and join the conversation every Tuesday and Thursday. We recently adjusted our starting times (currently 10AM on Tuesdays and 3PM on Thursdays), based on community feedback. As we grow, I expect that schedule to evolve so be sure to click the follow button on our channel's page. When you follow us on Twitch, you'll get notified every time we go live. I look forward to you joining our community of agile helpers.