TwitCasting is a mobile, social live streaming service. With a smartphone, you can live stream from anywhere, anytime. Since launch 5 years ago, our user base has grown to more than 10MM. Among them are 1.4 million college students, more than half of the college students in Japan.
TwitCasting users are from all around the world. Many are from English, Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries. TwitCasting is designed so that it can stream even when the bandwidth is very low. It is so versatile that it's been used to broadcast from protests on the street of Brazil, as well as by Brazilian diva Ivete Sangalo who has 9 million followers. All of this growth has come from word of mouth and having a great product.
There are 9 developers, including CEO Yoski Akamatsu. We are currently working on developing our next version and toward international release. In addition, we enjoy playing around, creating plots and running experiments, and putting together campaigns. Until the beginning of September, the TwitCasting server was operated in-house, but it has been moved to a data center where currently it is handled by over hundreds of servers (and the cloud). In February 2014, we constructed a hub in a data center in Silicon Valley.
Moi Corporation’s engineers are a select group with a high degree of professionalism. They all are treated as adults with a sense of responsibility, and they employ an unprecedented degree of freedom in their work system based on trust.
Some of our employees come to work only 2-3 days per week, but this has not caused any problems whatsoever.
We aim for a smoke-free environment to match global standards.
Our employees may use any chair, PC, keyboard, monitor, etc., they like.
All you can drink, all you can eat.
I have been an engineer for control, embedded systems for more than 10 years. When iPhone came out, distance between developers and users became really close. So I quit my job and became a freelance app developer. I was developing apps and games for few years, but since I was working as an contractor, I felt a bit distant from actual users. Right around that time, Akamatsu called me in about TwitCasitng. At first glance I thought it was quite wasteful with lots of places that need changes. It seemed like users could not foresee the result of their actions.
Still, there were already millions of users and that got me interested.
As an engineer, it is interesting and fun to see users faces, literally in the screen. When people broadcast, in real time I can watch users using the app that I developed, and that does not happen so often with other apps. I often listen to the live stream while I'm debugging and its quite fun.
Users-First is on everyone's mind. We want users to enjoy TwitCasting and that comes before anything.
For some reason girls are currently the biggest demographic on TwitCasting, but I want it to be used universally by any genders and ages in everyday scenes.
For example, on grandchild birthday, I want his/her grandparents to be like "Let's use TwitCasting to talk to my grandson".
As I said previously, the distance between engineers and users are very close. Since we are a startup, your opinion and work directly effect users. There are no other service that let you feel and see users reactions directly. If that sounds interesting to you, I want you to challenge in Moi.
There aren't many Twitter related company that survived. Maybe Togetter(Tweet curation service in Japan) did. I was amazed that TwitCasting has millions of users yet it is not dependent on Twitter. It is standing as a community of its own.
As for the movie, I used to work on streaming related service and it did not work out very well. So I wanted to give it another shot.
Non-text communication service are hot these days. Good writers were getting attention with blog and Twitter being popular, but on TwitCasting, users with good talking skill are the popular ones.
Achieving such new way of communication with technology is quite exciting.
The founders of TwitCasting were attracting as well.
Joker Racer was a fascinating service too. Plus, there are no others who build their own system to stream movies. I am proud as an engineer to work with such people.
Successful services have source code with history and character embedded in them. Maintaining the character while applying the code on new product is exciting and challenge.
Developing service which already has good amount of user base is always fun. When you have big number of users, naturally, problems occur. Solving those problems is fun and interesting. There will be no problems to solve without users.
Like other successful services, having founder as an engineer is big advantage. Source code itself knows how to do things right. For example there are many requirements just to show an image, and that is where the secret of excellence is packed.
Keeping up with teens generational shift. Many of TwitCasting users are teenagers, and they come and go within few years. So I want TwitCasting to be something that people feel attached to.
Playing movies on smartphone will keep growing around the world, so I want it to be used all around the world as well.
There are many interesting aspects about TwitCasting. On technical side, managing our own servers, and streaming technology is quite unique. As for the operation, there is an aspect of behavioural economy, so it is filled with fun stuff.
And since we are still less than 10 people, there are lots of opportunities to do variety of things. No other teams are able to operate service that is used by so many users with single digit staffs.
I was operating the service called Joker Racer where people could operate remote control cars from the web. It was quite unique, and we had users from many countries but it was so hard to keep the service going so we quit.
The RC car was loaded with Linux board, wireless LAN and webcam, but then I realised all of those are already on iPhone. So I started porting the software to iPhone.
Originally Joker Racer's goal was to let users interact and communicate with anyone around the world wherever you are. I thought this could be achieved in a much simpler way with iPhone.
I was making services that were more like tools such as RSS reader. TwitCasting is more of a community, and people use it in completely different way than I was expecting which is exciting. It is like users are creating the product, so I try my best not to get in their way. As a platform, developing features for users is gratifying. I throw in quite challenging things to millions of users and it can be a bit thrilling.
TwitCasting was developed throughly for users to enjoy it. So I think our team is consisted of people who sensed that pure-hearted philosophy. They might have felt that the product can change the world and be used all around the world, but at the same time, they know that respecting each users in front of us is what's important.
There are lots of challenges operationally but we are looking for someone who can enjoy reaction of users and make that a motivation.
If you are developing service as an engineer, that service has to be something that is going to change the world. You have to keep challenging so the service can be something that can change people's lives. That is what engineering and innovation is all about. TwitCasting is just one of the ways to provide communication. We will keep iterating it and make it a service that will change the way human communicate in a better way.
We live in the era where being an engineer is extremely fortunate.
Engineer is the job that can potentially enrich people all around the world with the service you provided. Life is short and your time is invaluable. You can turn that invaluable time you spend on hard work and turn that into something that touch millions of people's lives. If you are an engineer you should definitely challenge to produce something that would change human lifestyle, and change the world. Working on Banking system could be world changing as well, but the future lifestyle that everybody want will be given birth by a handful of challengers who truly believes in their vision. At Moi corp. we really are envisioning to change the future world.
Please think through about your value and possibilities.