Mega streaming platform, Twitch, began as Justin.tv—a live 24/7 stream of site co-founder Justin Kan’s daily life.
Obviously, that’s a pretty niche idea with a relatively tiny addressable market. Nonetheless, the idea got Justin and his team featured in all kinds of media outlets for its novelty.
A while later, Justin.tv expanded to allow more creators onto the platform. Eventually, it became open to anyone who wanted to stream.
I don’t recall the specifics, but essentially the platform became somewhat of a nightmare to manage. People were streaming all kinds of unsavoury stuff.
And while the audience was bigger, it still lacked a clear direction and path to monetization.
Looking for the right business model, they noticed video game streamers were a particularly active and engaged audience on the platform.
So, one thing led to another and they decided to go all-in on video game streaming, naming the company Twitch.tv (which became Twitch).
Twitch was acquired by Amazon in 2014 for $1 billion and was reportedly valued at $15 billion in 2020, proving that the right niche can be a lucrative strategy.
So what is the moral of the story for you?
If you’re focused on too small of a niche, you’re probably limiting your potential. If you’re focused on serving “anyone”, there’s a good chance you’ll be too broad to be successful.
The question is whether you start small and expand, or start wide and double down on your best opportunities.
That’s a topic for another day.