I don’t think there is any better of way starting out this blog post by stating that I’m thrilled to announce my first start-up: Streambits.
As some background, I’ve always self-identified as a form of an architect, obsessed with the minute detail while not losing sight on the bigger picture. This identity has been molded throughout the years engaging with like-minded individuals, communities, organizations, and companies all around the world, providing opportunities for me to gain experience in building technical solutions, leadership, and community management. Most of these opportunities have centered around my passions for computing (web technology, open source, Linux), gaming, and even research into alternative economic models (such as resource-based economics).
In my early teenage years, I mostly spent my free time engaging in two resource-based economics organizations, both of which endeavored to address many socioeconomic issues with technology. It was through these organizations that I understood how computing could positively impact lives and it served as a catalyst for my further involvement in computing and software engineering.
This further involvement came about when I began utilizing Linux and open source technologies. It was with open source technology and in these communities that I saw how complex computing systems could be married to provide a singular, cohesive experience.
Witnessing these systems be developed and used to enable millions of people around the world to enrich their lives and the lives of others gave me the inspiration and motivation to identify and address not just my own technical problems in a manner which was agnostic, but other’s problems / needs as well. This has been done in part by: identifying and addressing issues in the software I use and with my workflow, working with companies as a full-stack developer to aid them in serving their customer’s needs, and building technical solutions as the Experience Lead for Solus, a Linux-based operating system.
Although the original roots for starting my own company date much further back than my biggest inspiration, the inspiration to found Streambits was influenced by seeing the gradual degradation of content distribution platforms such as YouTube. During these early days, the viewpoint was that there was a large disconnect between the needs of content creators and viewers with the economic interests of advertisers on YouTube. These needs and interests are largely at odds with each other and has resulted over the years in significant backlash, mass demonetization, senseless banning of content creators with an inconsistent enforcement of YouTube rules, the lack of prioritization of creator tooling for community engagement, and more.
It was this deterioration of YouTube and the witnessing of large content creators moving full-time to streaming on platforms like Twitch, with no reliable place for more “traditional” online media consumption, that really put a spotlight on the problems which currently exist for content creators and their viewers. A part of my mission is to provide them a platform that works for them and the tools to differentiate themselves and succeed.
A key part of that is the tooling, which I’ll get into in a moment.
As all of this was happening, I was using a variety of communications platforms / services to engage with communities, companies, friends, and family. None of these platforms in my experience provided a desirable experience for work, personal use, or gaming. Work primarily came down to two dominant solutions, Skype and Slack. In the case of Skype, we’ve seen that become a shell of its former self over the years as Microsoft shifted originally from Skype for Business to Microsoft Lync to Microsoft Teams in Office 365. That’s been problematic for any entrepreneur, start-up, small or even large scale business that needs a consistent productivity environment that doesn’t necessitate purchasing a subscription to a load of tools that may not be used or are left underutilized and missing cohesion. For Slack, it lacks potential as a result of it primarily focusing on messaging and the cost is a snowball effect of unnecessary stress from needing to constantly stay involved in the conversation in fear of missing out on something important.
For personal use, I actually wrote a blog post back in 2017 ranting about Google’s schizophrenia when it came to its own a messaging platforms. People simply cannot trust Google to handle their messaging needs anymore with their track record of killing products and services. To this day Google has still left Hangouts as some zombie of its former self, despite announcing it would be replaced with Google Allo, which itself has already been killed off in favor of basically nothing except what is effectively fancy SMS.
Facebook Messenger is self-explanatory. It’s owned by Facebook, a company marred by controversy from their lack of care with privacy. Discord is primarily gaming focused, not something you’d typically use with your friends and close family.
So when working with a close friend on ideas for our content creation platform, fumbling about across various communications products, as well as working with companies on building their own communication services, I came to the conclusion that my mission needed to be more expansive.
The mission of Streambits is to empower developers to build the next generation of real-time applications as well as leveraging our technology to built products and services which enable them to lead a more impactful and productive life.
Marketing language aside, it’s actually fairly accurate. The mission is not just to provide platforms and services for content creators, companies, individuals, etc. but also to provide them the tools to implement their own. Building real-time communications solutions with sophisticated APIs and systems is complex. Given my experience architecting and developing these systems, it made the most sense to me to not just build our products and services with these systems but make them accessible to other developers as well.
The first two products and services I’m building are Collea and Streambits Core. Collea is designed not just to provide a messaging platform for entrepreneurs, start-ups, businesses, enterprises, etc. but a cohesive productivity platform with tools and features to keep their team engaged and focused. This isn’t done by inundating them with notifications and giving them the FOMO (fear of missing out). It’s about enabling them to organize and track information with ease, manage tasks and documents related to them, and provide them the foundation to expand on our platform with APIs and third-party services of their choosing.
In part, some of these APIs will come from Streambits Core. Streambits Core is a self-hosted backend and suite of developer-oriented services to enable entrepreneurs, start-ups, and enterprises to focus more on bringing their ideas to life, concern themselves less with the technical underpinnings of their product, and reduce time to market. This ranges (or will range) in systems for accounts, chat messages + methods of organizing messages, calls, video, and more (surely I can’t spill on the beans).
From there, the mission is to expand to providing consumer-focused services and circle back around to what really all inspired this venture. Only one’s imagination is the limits.
For now I’m thrilled to be taking this one giant leap and I have nothing but excitement for what is in store in the future.
If you’re interested in following news about Streambits and our upcoming products / services, I strongly encourage you to check out our website and social media linked below. You can sign up for news on early access / beta through our website as well, for either Collea or Streambits Core. If you’re inspired and need help or guidance in executing on your vision, we are also offering limited time catered / custom solutions!