Before The Stream

 This is Part 1 of 3 in a series of how to have a successful startup stream! 

What I will cover in Part 1:

Part 1: Before the stream & how to prepare
Part 2: During the stream
Part 3: After the stream & sharing your startup

If you’re not familiar with the 24 Hour Startup Challenge, check it out here.

Why am I writing this?

I’ve done three 24 hour startups and I’ve learned a lot. I want to make sure everyone has a successful stream and not make the same mistakes that I did :)

I also want to say that I’m no expert on 24 Hour Startups and I am just sharing what worked for me. 

There are so many things you can do differently. Use your own unique style, stand out, and have fun! I can’t wait to see what people do.

The most important thing

The most important thing is, of course, finishing and launching your startup in 24 hours! 

In this guide, I might talk about a lot of extra stuff like driving people to your stream and stuff like that, but this is just extra! You shouldn’t feel like you have to do it.

Nothing will feel better than launching a startup in 24 hours, even if zero people watch!

Your idea

For my first 24 hour startup, I went with an idea which was something that I wanted to build for a few weeks. This idea was always kicking around in the back of my head.

You probably have some “stupid” idea you’ve been thinking about lately. Those ideas are usually the best ideas, even if they seem so stupid and tiny. So if you have one of those, go with that.

If you don’t have one of those, build something around an area that you have an interest in. I built a product to rank soundcloud rappers. It’s so stupid, but I love hip hop music and I knew it would perform well in a hip hop subreddit. I loved building it and I’m really proud of it.

So whatever it is you like, build something around that. Don’t feel compelled to build something trendy.

As always, drop your ideas in the Telegram group or send me a DM, I love to brainstorm stuff like this.


Every single person can launch a startup in 24 hours. I really believe that. Even if you can’t code you can 100% do this.

It’s important to visualize how you are going to do this.

Spend the next few days leading up to the challenge visualizing what it takes to implement the project. Like specifically, what needs to be done and how you will accomplish it.

Walk through each step in your head. Plan out features. Think of roadblocks. Visualize everything!

Use technology you know. Don’t obsess over code quality or choosing the perfect framework. Focus on the end value that your product brings. Even if it’s glued together with a scotch tape, yet works — you are good.

Seeing what’s possible

For my first 24 hour startup, I actually had tried hacking the project together weeks before. Because the product had never been built before, I needed to see if it was actually possible to build with the Google Docs API.

Unless you know exactly how to build your project (you probably don’t) then you should spend some time hacking around and getting some basic stuff to work. I don’t consider this cheating. This will allow you to be faster when it comes to implementing the boring stuff.

Once you actually try thing, you’ll get a better sense of what’s possible you can do in 24 hours too. In other words, it will help to scope your project.

I don’t recommend learning new technologies during your stream. If you plan to use new tech, learn the ropes before.


Similar to above, make sure you are ready to deploy! The last thing you want to be losing time on is deployment issues.

For example, if you plan on deploying on Heroku or digital ocean (and you’re new to it), create a toy project and get it deployed.

Your setup/workstation

This should be obvious, but you should clear your schedule for the day, and let your friends/loved ones know that you will be very focused for 24 hours.

If you have a proper internet connection, you should work from home. Have a comfortable chair where you can sit for 24 hours straight. Have an idea for what you will eat. Easy, prepared food is best. Stock up on water and coffee!

You shouldn’t feel like you need an external monitor, a tabletop microphone, or a fancy webcam. If you have it, great, but I’ve done all my 24-hour startups with just my MacBook Pro and I don’t even use headphones!

Streaming setup

Check out our streaming guide. I recommend getting set up and doing a test run a few days before to make sure it works.

In OBS, you can hit Start Recording and check if mic levels are good and stuff too.

Share with people

You should be sharing with lots of people that you’re doing this!

This is so important for 2 reasons: (1) you are forced to commit and (2) you are building your audience. 

I’ll talk about both:

1. You are forced to commit & finish at all costs

When I made my first announcement that I was doing a 24-hour startup, Ryan Hoover commented on it! At that point, I was forced to do it, and now the pressure was on.

This is a good thing! It’s like a deadline for a term paper - somehow, you always get it done in time.

If I were you, I would share with friends, family, coworkers, etc that you are doing this! Share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, chats, anywhere! Obviously, I want you to do this to spread the word too :)

Putting yourself out there is weird I know, but doing a 24-hour startup is one of the most badass things you can do. The support I got for mine was incredible and empowering.

2. Building your audience

The more people you can bring to your stream, the more fun it will be! It will also help build your audience.

What’s great about Twitch is they will constantly be bringing people into your stream for you! Lots of people just hanging out on Twitch looking for streams, so if you can have a few viewers in there when your stream starts, it will attract more.

You should put together a fun little “pre-stream” marketing plan. Plan a few well-timed tweets and social media messages to remind people when you start and incentivize them to join with something fun. The more creative you can get here, the more you can stand out. Get creative!

On your 24hr startup profile, you have a Notify Me! button. Everyone who signs up will be notified when you go live! Great way to get a rush of ppl into your stream when you start.
Thanks for reading!

You can find more details about the 24 Hour Hour Startup here.