Justin Kan, the “daily chores” method
Justin Kan, says that all the credit for his success goes to his mother and the way she used to assign chores to him and his brothers when they were little kids. Justin Kan is an American Internet entrepreneur and investor who is currently the CEO and co-founder of the law-tech company Atrium. He is the co-founder of live video platforms Justin.tv and Twitch.tv, as well as the mobile social video application Socialcam. He was formerly a partner at Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator. His attempt to broadcast his entire life at Justin.tv popularized the term “lifecasting”. Kan also started a Reddit-style electronic music discovery platform, The Drop.He also contributes to the technology news site TechCrunch and co-founded Kiko Software, an Ajax based online calendar, with Emmett Shear. Kan graduated from Yale University in 2005 with degrees in physics and philosophy.
In 2007, Justin Kan and partners Emmett Shear, Michael Seibel and Kyle Vogt, started Justin.tv, a 24-7 live video feed of Kan’s life, broadcast via a webcam attached to his head.
Kan’s “lifecasting” lasted about eight months. The novelty of Kan’s concept attracted media attention, and resulting interviews with him included one by Ann Curry on the Today Show. Viewers accompanied Kan as he walked the streets of San Francisco, sometimes involved in both pre-planned events (trapeze lesson, dance lesson) and spontaneous situations (being invited into the local Scientology center by a sidewalk recruiter).
Afterward, the company transitioned to providing a live video platform so anyone could publish a live video stream. Justin.tv, the platform, launched in 2007 and was one of the largest live video platforms in the world with more than 30 million unique users every month.
Justin.tv was closed on August 5, 2014, in an effort to focus further on Justin.tv’s parent company, Twitch.
After Justin.tv launched in 2007, the site quickly began building subject-specific content categories like Social, Tech, Sports, Entertainment, News & Events, Gaming and others. Gaming, in particular, grew very fast and became the most popular content on the site.
The company then decided to spin off the gaming content under a separate brand at a separate site. They named it TwitchTV, inspired by the term twitch gameplay. It launched officially in public beta on June 6, 2011.
Twitch.TV was acquired by Amazon.com in August 2014 for $970 million.
Socialcam launched March 7, 2011, was bought by Autodesk July 17, 2012 for $60M and was ended by Autodesk October 28, 2015. Socialcam was a mobile social video application for iPhone and Android that allowed users to capture and share video online and on mobile, as well as via Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.
At one point, the application at eclipsed 2 million downloads and continued to add features list, most notably with the addition of video filters.
Justin Kan launched Exec on February 29, 2012, a new service to allow anyone to outsource anything you want for $25/hour. Exec was co-founded with his brother Daniel Kan, former head of UserVoice business development, and Stanford graduate Amir Ghazvinian.
Exec was purchased by Handybook, a company founded by Oisin Hanrahan, Umang Dua, Ignacio Leonhardt, and Weina Scott, in an all-stock transaction January 2014.
Kan was a member of the first batch of YC-funded startups in 2005 for Kiko Calendar, and was funded by YC again for Justin.tv and Exec. Kan became a partner at Y Combinator in March 2014, where he offered advice to the new startups in each batch. In March 2017, Kan left Y Combinator to start his own incubator, Zero-F.
The Drop is a Reddit-style electronic music discovery platform that launched early 2015. Users can post and up-vote community curated and sourced tracks. It was founded by Justin and his college friend Ranidu Lankage.
Inspired by his frustration at being a power user of legal services, Kan publicly launched Atrium in 2017 with the vision of building a technology-first law firm focused on offering legal services and fundraising advice for startups powered by machine learning . Kan raised $10.5 Million in an initial “party” round of investment led by General Catalyst In September 2018, Kan raised a $65 Million funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. At that time, Andrew Chen, Marc Andreessen and Michael Seibel joined the Atrium Board of Directors.