This week, Cory speaks to entrepreneur and investor Justin Kan, who is well known for being the founder of Justin.TV turned Twitch.TV, a live streaming powerhouse that was bought by Amazon for close to a billion dollars. He is also a partner for Y-Combinator and recently has started video Q&A platform Whale and is the CEO of legal startup Atrium. In this weeks episode, Justin tells us how he got into technology, the story of selling his first startup on eBay, the inception of his billion-dollar startup Twitch, some of the crazy moments building the company, what he’s learned and observed over the years as a founder and his strategies for recruiting top talent.
Justin Kan (@JustinKan) is an entrepreneur with an impressive track record. He’s the co-founder of Justin.tv and Twitch.tv, and is now the founder and CEO of legal tech startup Atrium.
Cory Levy talked with Justin Kan on OFF RCRD about Justin’s journey as an entrepreneur, his advice for others, and more.
When launching his first company (Kiko Software), Justin and his co-founders had little to lose. “I first started in tech when one of my friends and I decided it was a good opportunity to start a company while we were in school because we had almost no opportunity cost,” says Justin. “Our opportunity cost was playing World of Warcraft and drinking beer.”
When it came time to sell that company in 2006, several potential buyers walked away during the acquisition process, forcing Justin and his team to look at non-traditional ways of selling their business. They turned to eBay, and listed Kiko for sale with a minimum price of $50,000. A week later, the company sold for $258,100. Eight years later, Justin sold another company, but this time, it wasn’t on eBay, and it sold for $970,000,000 to Amazon.
To someone just looking at his success with Twitch and new company Atrium, it might seem like Justin doesn’t make mistakes. However, Justin is willing to discuss his failures along with advice for other young entrepreneurs and does so in his interview with Cory.
Asked where most startup founders go wrong, Justin says that some founders “don’t base what they’re doing in reality or customer feedback, or feedback from trying things.” Instead, Justin says, “they base it on their preconceived notions of how something should work or their own limited worldview or what’s in their head that they really want to create, and 1 in 20 or maybe even 1 in 10 get it right.”
Be one of the 1 in 20 to get it right by basing everything you do on real feedback, not your preconceived notions. Learn more from entrepreneurs like Justin Kan on OFF RCRD, and make sure to listen to the full conversation between Cory Levy and Justin Kan only here on OFF RCRD.