EmberStreams provides a content discovery and recommendation engine for video game live streams. Team member: Joe Kiernan (MBA 2017)
How did the idea for your company come about?
EmberStreams was born as many startups are, from a series of frustrating experiences trying to find interesting and entertaining live video content. Feels like every month there is a new press article about how live video streaming is a big deal, but every time I open any of the apps or websites I was incredibly underwhelmed by the quality of content. While I agreed that live streaming had a ton of potential, there had to be a better way to surface real quality content.
What does your company do? How is it distinct in its product/service category?
EmberStreams is constantly scanning currently broadcasting live video streams and uses a combination of user qualitative reviews and data analytics to create a personalized recommendation on what channel each viewer should watch. Currently the site focused on gaming related live streams which are a incredibly fast growing and dominant segment of the overall live streaming market.
Where do you hope to take it in the future?
EmberStreams has incredible potential to be the gateway to live video content across the internet. By spanning multiple platforms and content categories, it will be the missing link between viewers and the millions of content producers already broadcasting live video content on the internet.
How has your time at HBS influenced your efforts on your company?
Between both the RC Field and TEM courses and the incredible faculty who teach them, I have learned so much that I didn't know I didn't know. Many of the principles we learned around both lean startups and design thinking have been incredibly helpful in transforming EmberStreams from a fun side project into a potentially viable business. Also from day 1, I have been surrounded by other entrepreneurs working on similar stage startups and the constant advice, feedback, and coaching from my peers has really shaped the direction the site has taken.
Any advice you’d offer to other young entrepreneurs?
Don't wait around for the perfect opportunity or idea to jump in! The internet is a magical place full of resources to help you get any project off the ground in a few hours. And even if it doesn't work out you will learn so much so your next project will be even better. I have built 4-5 web apps since undergrad, none of which ever made it as a real business, but I can tell you that EmberStreams would never have gotten to where it is now without all the lessons I learned from the first few "failures."