Mike Maples Jr's midas touch - Converge with Casey Newton | Listen Notes


It hasn’t even been four years since Amazon bought Twitch.tv, the live-streaming platform that has become the primary destination for broadcasting the playing of video games. Since then, the service has grown to 15 million daily users, with the average person watching 106 minutes per day. In hindsight, it’s no wonder that Amazon was willing to pay $1 billion to snap up Twitch — but for a long time, it was an open question whether anyone would buy it at all.

Twitch began life as Justin.tv, a web-based live broadcasting platform. As venture capitalist Mike Maples Jr. of Floodgate Capital tells us on this week’s episode of Converge, it wasn’t always clear that Twitch would thrive. In fact, it was more or less stagnant before the company pivoted into games. “They were Justin.TV for five years before Justin.TV Games took off, and we realized that was the company,” Maples said. (In a nice Silicon Valley twist, Twitch has lately been embracing all sorts of non-gaming video, effectively pivoting back to Justin.tv’s original vision.)

The only reason Twitch lived long enough to be sold to Amazon is that its creators were patient with it, Maples said — spending less money than they could, and continually experimenting to figure out which parts of their streaming service resonated the most broadly. “Where I give the Twitch founders a lot of credit is they survived five years to have that discovery,” Maples said. “And most startups would have spent too much money too soon, felt the pressure to grow super fast, and run out of money before the discovery ever happened.”

Twitch is an unusually successful company. But social apps often succeed by accident, Maples says — and as one of Twitter’s first investors, he would know. “To me, these exponential outcomes happen when you have great founders with very specific and deep domain knowledge of some major new shift that’s even bigger than the company,” Maples said. “Twitter happened because everybody was getting connected, everything was getting mobile, and the web was kinda going through this new phase of not just being a place to go visit pages, but becoming a platform to connect people. And they just were right place, right time, right product.”

Maples lays out his investing strategy on this episode of Converge, an interview game show where tech’s biggest personalities tell us about their wildest dreams. It’s a show that’s easy to win, but not impossible to lose — because, in the final round, I finally get a chance to play and score a few points of my own.

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00:00:01Hello and welcome to converge now available on google podcast My name is casey newton I'm silicon valley editor of the verge and today on converge i'm going toe to toe with mike maples junior you know we've had ceos and product wizards step into the converge chair before and
00:00:18maybe you've asked yourself where these people getting all of their money because it sure seems like they've got a lot of money don't they Well listen mike is the answer to that question or at least one of the answers He's the co founder of floodgate capital and he
00:00:29routinely appears on forbes is might this list which is a list of people who turn things to gold by touching them No big deal mike invested in companies including twitch the live streaming site that sold amazon for a billion dollars we believe a web design company that just
00:00:43sold a square for a bunch of money an octa an enterprise company and if i told you what they did it is so boring you would fall into a deep slumber and never awakened But one ...


Converge is a conversational game show from The Verge, hosted by Silicon Valley editor Casey Newton. Each week, one of the Valley's most fascinating entrepreneurs steps into the hot seat to play games that are both funny and revealing. It's a tech podcast that doesn't stick to the script — and goes places you'd never imagine.

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9 episodes
since May, 2018
Disclaimer: The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from The Verge, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.



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