When he was 5 years old, Ohad Mayer changed his name.
When he finished school, he figured he didn’t need to study any more to “build stuff”.
Today, that little boy is Daniel Mayer, 33, CEO of Belive.tv, the most hassle-free multi-window plug in for Facebook Live which allows two or more people to broadcast to 2 billion folks wired to the planet’s largest social networking platform.
In the last one month alone, Belive has streamed "20,000 multi window broadcasts" on Facebook Live and set up a paywall after months of rigorous testing. When the world’s media companies are hurtling towards mobile heaven, BeLive has gone boldly in the other direction, priming its product for a “more stable” desktop environment and delivering least nuisance value for the stand-alone broadcaster.
From the time Facebook launched its livestream capability in early 2016, it’s been a hit across the planet. Before BeLive, if two people in different locations wanted to chat, the only way was to record on a third party app, post produce and play back or have skilled television veterans manage a television production switching machine hooked to an API like Livestream or OBS which involves several hoops.
How's host Facebook Live doing?
In barely 18 months since its launch, Facebook Live now has 25 partners listed on its site for a variety of live conferencing and streaming capabilities. With colourful names ranging from Groovy Gecko to Ooyala, these partners represent the cutting edge of video capabilities.
One of them, ‘Blue Jeans’ is an in-house pet plug-in, spotted in many of Facebook’s offices around the world for colleagues to talk to each other. Blue Jeans is now offering a free trial promising to “connect up to 100 interactive video presenters from any device, anywhere.”
Go through the entire list and you’ll find just one missing link - how do two ordinary FB members in two locations speak live and have whoever they choose watch and listen?
It's here that BeLive, a small Israel-based start-up, filled in.
Such is their following among fans that Mayer has dumped the PR and, instead, settled for word of mouth to attract more "broadcasters".
Firstpost brought the first two window broadcast on Facebook Live to India early this April, now we get you the backstory.
From a brightly lit 10X 10 room in Haifa, Israel, Daniel Mayer spoke at length about how he and his buddy from 4th Grade Tzafrir Rehan took a simple idea and rode on the power of a mighty platform and a minimalist user interface based on layers and layers of feedback.
Inside the mind of an innovator
My Q and A with Daniel Mayer is reproduced below, lightly edited for brevity.
How did you come up with the two window livestream idea? Do you have a background in broadcasting?
Broadcasting? No! I didn’t even study after school, I’ve just been building start-ups after 3 years in the Israeli Army. After that I built my first website in 2009 or 2010. Then I got involved in two other startups. I’ve been building start-ups from age 4. My first start-up was changing my name at 5 - from Ohad to Daniel. Everyone’s against you when you do things like that. But that’s how it was from the beginning. I knew that I’m going to keep building new products.
My first question again - how did you come up with the idea of 2 window?
Remember, this was not my first idea. It was built after the failure of AweVid, a multi person broadcasting platform. In AweVid, you needed a group of people in the same place, broadcasting together on cellphones and someone needs to produce it and then cut all those things. It was a complete failure because we did not have the critical mass of people, we did barely 150 broadcasts in one year. The ecosystem was missing. But then when Facebook Live came along, it is the best platform, it has the people and then we went boom! Whatever we learnt there was like University course in live broadcasting. We knew what went wrong, what didn’t work for users, what we should and should not do.
By the time you entered the market, there were already some other APIs offering all of the capabilities you do now…
The hardest thing is to keep it simple and the best way to keep it simple is to keep on getting user feedback and weeding out irrelevant features. It just started with a small idea - for people to sit in front of their desktop and broadcast and get comments and show those comments on the screen. That’s how we started. We gathered lots of feedback and what do we do next? Get the other person on the screen too. People loved that, then they share again. Then they wanted the third person on screen. That’s how we created the talk show. It’s the most powerful format we are currently handling - you can do everything there - including screen share and showing visuals from albums.
When the whole world is talking about mobile first, you have bet heavily on desktop…how come?
This also has its roots in the failure of AweVid. We consciously moved from cellphones to a more stable desktop model where there’s not shaking. You, the broadcaster, sit in front of the computer and start broadcasting to the whole world. That’s all. It works. What we do is create something small called the MVP ( minimum viable product, with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future development) ship it, see the traction see how many users are using it and then the next step.
Related link: Why BeLive went pay
Updated Date: Jul 20, 2017 22:42 PM