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Show HN: Founders launching startups on Twitch (24hrstartup.com)
265 points by aulrich 67 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 116 comments


I’m Armin, part of the team behind the 24 Hour Startup Challenge!

Over this weekend, there are over 300 founders building products live on Twitch in 24 hours. As I post this, there are almost 90 people live streaming their work from all over the world! You can watch them on 24hrstartup.com.

The idea behind this live-streamed hackathon event comes from Pat Walls. He challenged himself to do a 24-hour startup twice this year and live-streamed his process. He is currently moderating and interviewing people from the maker community in our main stream.

Initially, we planned for about 50 participants but were overwhelmed with sign-ups. People are motivated to do this, and you can see that in their streams! We think it’s great to watch everyone make their crazy ideas reality, so we wanted to share :)

A few products being built right now:

* Heartbeat Canvas - Generate art from your heartbeat

* Privacy First Products - A curated list where you can discuss privacy first products

* EpilepsyBlocker - Disable GIFs that may cause epilepsy

Let us know what you think!

Armin (& Melanie & Pat)

I browsed the streams. Fun projects! Lots of opinions expressed here and I would tend to agree that none of these folks seem to be doing anything with customers. I'd love to see a challenge where the goal was to have 5 customers in 24 hours. With that said this seems more like a distributed hack-a-thon and a good one. I think that's an idea worth repeating. Venues and wifi and food and security and all the other things we have to do for meatspace hack-a-thons means we can only do one a year. Twitch hosted hack-a-thons seem like a great way to put something together fast.

People could pay to play and gain a shot at the prizes.

Hey... that sounds like a startup. Maybe there is one startup in your event. ;)

> I'd love to see a challenge where the goal was to have 5 customers in 24 hours.

I tried this (https://www.twitch.tv/louisswiss) last week and failed. The weekend just isn't good for b2b sales. With no extra work I did reach 4 sales ($600) within a week though.

Thanks for the mention of Privacy First Products, I will probably post that to Hacker News later, but here is already a sneak preview: https://privacyfirstproducts.com

It's quite a challenge to keep focused all the time, but it's super fun to test out what you can do in one day. The code will reflect the fast coding of course, but I'm surprised on the progress of maybe streamers!

Seems like a less descriptive privacytools.io. The focus is on the comments I take it? I guess my concern is whether the commenters will write insightful, useful things or whether it will be all speculation.

I'll bookmark it for later anyway

Twitch is a great platform for this. I really believe you could turn this concept into an always on 24/7 channel ;)

One interesting trend are features built on top of remote team management tools such as slack, airtable, gitlab, etc. I use G Suite everyday. And would definitely look to build on that platform with their huge user base ;)

>> Privacy First Products - A curated list where you can discuss privacy first products

Cool! will I be expected to sign-up with my FB/Google/Whatever social media account to join?


No, you will need a email address to log in.

Good question. On something that's minimal impact to lose, I like the https://spike.news model of saving state: you're given a token (a string of a few words) to log back in with later. No email, no risk, everyone's happy.

Please don't use email if it's not necessary.

Why login to view a list?

I think its trying to be a fancy list, but it seems like it should be in the spirit of Awesome X hosted on gituhub

There's already some privacy ones of those...



You don't need to login to view the list. That would be silly.

Really cool idea and accountability measure for people to get their ideas made! Hope this only gains momentum in the future.

It would be useful to be able to sort through the streams by the stack they're using, whether it be nocode, React, Django etc.

Awesome work

Could the mods please fix the title?

“Tens of developers building web apps on Twitch right now”

Cool. However, stop calling it startups. They're launching apps/products, not startups.

To get even more pedantic, they are building apps, not launching them.

Not that I want to dismiss the efforts - a group of people all challenging themselves to build out a side project in 24 hours is commendable. But building an idea into an MVP on a Saturday is not the same thing as launching a company.

If it is live on a public url, then it is "launched", so they are launching apps/products.

Deploy to production = launch

I would agree that there is more to a business than a product

but what actually qualifies as a launch?

I agree with what you are saying but you saying it kind of feels like a wet blanket.

Props to these people doing what they're doing publically.

What is a startup anyway?

The term is stupid and overused imo.

A lot of people on HN would probably go with the Paul Graham definition: "A startup is a company designed to grow fast"


I've always liked Steve Blanks definition: "a startup is a temporary organization used to search for a repeatable and scalable business model"


That's what PG wants a startup to be because it's self serving. He isn't going to get rich off of people bootstrapping lifestyle startups.

So true. I think a startup should be what it literally denotes. A new business.

Then we wouldn't need the word "startup" at all. But since people intuitively see a difference between opening up a deli and starting a social network, I think the word has a use.

I think people associcate startups with technology, high risk (compared to a proven business model that has worked a thousand times for other people), and potential for fast growth (with regards to the investment).

I don't think that excludes lifestyle-ventures.

A new business that isn't limited by local only distribution.

I think that's a post appstore or post web definition. I'm all for unsexy startups if they can turn the entire city into a customer and yet not be relevant outside of the city

I think we can all agree it's not the process of building an app.

I have to think "has external funding" is a minimum.

Why? GH already had 1M repositories when it raised its first round, were they not a startup before?

No, they were a small company.

Quite some irony in the fact that while some people are trying to build products quickly, Hacker News (run by startup incubator YCombinator) has a 20-comment thread debating what 'startup' means.

Successful bootstrapping strategies would render something like YCombinator useless so. Expect some resistance.

By that logic, you can say people that build startups should never do something else in their 24h day.

Don't be silly. I've never seen anyone advocating for a 24 hour day. At the very most, I've seen 18 hour days. Let's be realistic. https://www.quora.com/How-did-CEO-Marissa-Mayer-pull-all-nig...

Want to be sarcastic here, but feel like people would look down on me.

That's not what I'm advocating. Just arguing against the parent who said some equivalent of "while others are building products, you wannabe entrepreneurs are all talks here on HN".

Realize that, I was making a sarcastic joke. :)

Haha. Never forget to add /s at the end, sarcasm is hard to convey over text and with an audience that doesn't know you well :-)

Oh no, you can spend it on whatever you want. Arguing about the definition of ‘startup’, though?

Experiments. Proof of concepts.

Give them a month, then maybe you could call it a 'start-up' or something substantial. It would also help build some level of anticipation.

Sure, in a month, if they are an actual startup I'll call them a startup.

How do you propose anyone will have a MVP within a day? Which is the purpose of this event. I mentioned giving them a month to develop and build some level of product and anticipation for what it is they're proposing. Nothing about calling them a 'start-up' based on any level of randomness. Or perhaps you don't understand the word 'maybe'.

Being pedantic around this is silly

Strong agree. It’s hard to understand how you would build a sustainable business around any of the products listed in this thread.

We should take back the word 'startup' from people who want to make us think it is reserved for something that involves a business plan and raising money.

If someone starts something, I call it startup.

Hey everyone, come invest in my new startup called "doing the dishes." Launching in about five minutes.

If I can pay you to come to my house and do my dishes, yeah it's a startup.

If I don't pay you, but you still come round when I ask, it's still a startup, but with a freemium price point.

If I don't pay and you don't turn up when I want, but you still are washing someone's dishes, it's a side project.

If you don't come and do my dishes, it's a pivot.

Except that words need to mean something, otherwise anyone can arbitrarily decide what they mean at their own convenience like what's happening now.

Having been interested in business since before the dot-com book, I've seen "Startup" transform from "New business, dealing with new business problems" to the very SV-driven notion that it's a new business expressly designed to scale quickly.

Words might need to mean something, but there's already been a lot of drift here.

The meaning of words has always been a negotiation.

That's of course not just happening now, it has always been a problem with the term. There has never been wide industry agreement as to what it means, going back decades.

That's how you end up with the media referring to 10 year old type companies that have thousands of employees as start-ups. I don't think a definition for it is going to get narrowed now, it will probably always be a broad/loose term.

In trying to “take back the word startup” and redefine it to fit your own preferred meaning. I expect you will find, most on HN will take a more conservative position in it’s definition.

I agree that the term "startup" is not strictly defined. But often the nuances are "can we only call a quickly growing company a startup" (a la Paul Graham) or "can we call any young company a startup".

What the definitions agree on is that a startup is company, a business. Making a business involves a lot more than creating a product and is a much more complex undertaking.

Hi Armin, this challenge is a great initiative. I'm sure it will help a lot of hackers to show more what they are doing.

"Hey, I worked on a project for a few hours, give me funding"

Please folks - we need new terminology.

This initiative is all fine and good, but maybe we need new words, because these are not startups.

This seems more to fit the term 'Hackathon' than anything.


'Microproject' ?

'Microfab' ?

'Micro-op' ?

Ok maybe not so great ...

Something that communicates that it is authentic and innovative, but at the same time, that it's a small, maybe individual, project oriented effort.

Someone on HN has the power to make these memes stick :)

Or just call them startups if that's what they are. If someone is starting a business selling something then it's a startup, no matter how small initially.

I'm not sure I agree. What you're describing is 'business'.

A startup is a company that's focused on something innovative and effectively high growth - something a VC could invest in.

Nobody is referring to the new Taco restaurant down the street as a 'startup' even though their revenues will be more than $1 M this year.

VC only makes sense in high growth businesses with large markets. Otherwise they are just businesses.

And 'an afternoon of coding' isn't really even that either - it takes more effort just to do the proper incorporation.

So these words I think have meaning.

'Project' as the commenter described is apt ... but I wouldn't be surprised if some kind of 'word' emerged that caught all the hype and was overused.

I've never seen a definition of a startup that I like. Here's my personal sniff test... To me, a business is an entity with paying customers. To me, a startup is an entity that wants paying customers before it has them, or has them now but once did not (and it remains a startup until people stop calling it that).

I'm not sure I agree at all.

99% of business in this situation, you would never call a startup.

New law firm.

New dental office.

Your uncle started doing roofing, asks your little brother to work his summer off from Uni with him on roofing.

A new golf course installed in a coastal area.

A 50 new homes going up in the suburbs.

The empty spot on the corner is now a little corner store - beer, wine, chips.

New taco restaurant down the street.

Nobody is calling these situations (i.e. the vast majority of new business) 'startups. So clearly there is a kind of de-facto popular lexicon - and it's not 'startup'.

And many new businesses are just called new businesses. Like the guy who started selling modified skis at the ski resort. That's usually referred to as 'small business'.

A group of people doing some kind of new thing who are maybe not seeking funding but could possibly seek VC funding ... this is more in the realm of what we call 'startup', wherein there is generally a larger market opportunity, and possibly higher growth ... this is startup.

I'll add that the differentiating factor between a startup and a small business (or freelancer, contractor, etc.) is the ability to scale and do so quickly without increasing the company overhead, initially at least.

Wow, the Silicon Valley arrogance and echo chamber is real. It's not true that nobody is calling those situations startups. I am. So are the majority of people. And definitely so are the people who start those things. This is a helpful article for understanding the situation: https://techcrunch.com/2010/03/06/replicators-innovators-and...

I'm quite sure that the dictionary definition is the one that most people will agree with. Silicon Valley did not create the word and so don't get jurisdiction over its definition. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/startup Words and language evolve over time according to usage. The word startup hasn't evolved to that point yet, despite what prominent tech investors and founders would say.

What does my comment have to do with the Silicon Valley?

I'm not even in the Silicon Valley, nor is is the observation of the popular usage of a term 'arrogant'. It just 'is'.

Nobody is calling a regular roofing company a startup. If said roofing company is doing something entirely different, and probably growing at an accelerated pace ... like developing a new kind of integrated tile and application process ... then maybe people would refer to this as a startup.

> , wherein there is generally a larger market opportunity, and possibly higher growth ... this is startup.

Oh, so a startup is a business that continues to fail and hasn't screwed over it's users yet. Gotcha.

A law office can be a start-up. "I want to start up a law office." Words (in English) require context to have much meaning. Startup could certainly mean "investor fueled boom or bust hypergrowth ambition rocket" at a YC demo day. Or it can simply mean a company one started.

I'd argue that a trait shared by many startups is talking about themselves in the best light possible to get people focused on their future potential, and to me that leaves room for considering a bunch of mega success wannabes cranking out code on Twitch as startups in a startup competition. Shipping, failing fast, getting feedback, pitching... They all sound like startups to me, so that's what I'll call them. May the best startup win!

'Startup' is a noun. It's not "I want to start up something".

In reality, nobody is calling their new law firm a startup.

Nobody is referring to said law firms as startups.

Now - if it's a specialized kind of firm that sells services online, like a 'law marketplace' or something, maybe they will call it a startup.

Yes - the term startup is quite varied ...

However, the vast majority of business generally don't apply, so there is at least some kind of 'critical mass' to what we mean bu the word.

Generally 'a business' is not 'a startup'.

In general, a startup is a business that doesn't yet have a stable customer base or business model. What you're describing is a "tech startup", and the modifier often gets dropped in the tech press, for obvious reasons. The investment press also drops the modifier, because few other startups are interesting to them.

I agree and I think technology and scale also play a role. The law-tech company Atrium for example probably gets called a startup, and I think it is because it has high ambitions (nation-wide) and is tech-enabled.

I am sure that without ambition (i.e. just serving a single city) or without tech (i.e. just building one conventional law firm in every city) it would not be called a startup.

I recently wrote about this discussion here: https://www.indiehackers.com/@jessems/its-not-a-startup-the-...

The term startup is ambiguous and the fact that Steve Blank, Eris Reiss and Paul Graham have their own definitions says something.

It's hard to not call Pieter Levels' Nomadlist a startup.

I dont see how nomadlist is a startup. I understand your want to redefine things, I myself am working on a small side-project indiestyle, but its not a startup.

>I dont see how nomadlist is a startup.

It's infinitely scalable and makes a profit.

I'm not sure your qualifications of a startup, but that's better than 90% of TechCrunch startups who are reliant on humans to scale and burning cash.

Everyone deaperately wants to be able to tell people that they've created a "startup".

What is the startup doing heartbeat generated art selling?

I agree 100% with OP, the term startup has been totally devalued by this trend towards ‘everything is a startup’, when a lot of things (such as some of these projects) would be better described, and I think receive better recognition, if they were considered cool projects or units of work.

Some of them may morph into businesses but it is disingenuous to try and call everything a startup.

I see it as part of a deeper trend where fake-it till you make it/style over substance world where ‘everyone is an entrepreneur’.

I get that some degree of faking it is necessary, maybe the product doesn’t exist, maybe elements of it are done by hand rather than automated, and clearly some degree of this is necessary. But too much of it as an ethos devalues the entire ‘innovation culture’

My 2 c

It used to be called "a website". And you don't "launch" it just publish it. website != product && product != business. But props to these guys for focusing 24h on their side-projects and for the one I've browsed with very impressive results.

>these guys

*People. Women participated too. ;)


I don't think the problem is that we don't have enough buzzwords, but that the ones we already have are largely meaningless and pointless.

I would call this building MVPs.


If you look at the above graph on startup financing cycle, it starts before there is any investment -- with cofounders and an idea.

The terminology and process beyond that point comes from MBAs and money men. A VC will probably invest in any company that will satisfy whatever objective they have for investing. This is a 24 hour project sprint by a founder. If it gets the right eyeballs, the idea is well on its way to becoming a startup.

The hashtag #24hourstartup is good branding that conveys that.

>The hashtag #24hourstartup is good branding that conveys that.

You're one of the few who "gets it".

I don't think anyone who participated actually believes they made a startup. Startup just implies something greater than project and start-to-monetization.

It's absolutely a misnomer and even Pieter who largely popularized the "Startup in <time>" idea even admits it, it's all a marketing ploy for laypeople to get it instantly.

I did this too. 5 hour stream, started with google docs, trello then figma before building. Lot of fun and having the camera rolling kept me focused instead of getting distracted by twitter or notifications.

I decided to build something for nonprofits:


I found a number of charities that directly equate an action (do x things for y people) with a dollar amount. I pulled together a list of the charitable actions and chose a base product that people were familiar with (the cost of a pumpkin spice latte). Then I sorted them by how many lattes you would have to skip to be able to donate to compelete the charitable action.

It was a lot of fun and I hope to do something similar again.

Hi Everyone, I'm Smakosh and I spent 24 hours coding my REST api, React app and a Gatsby site. Obviously this needs more improvements but here's a funny fact:

-Rest API is deployed on Heroku for free -Db is on mlab for free -React app is deployed on Netlify for free -Gatsby site is deployed on Netlify for free -Design made with Adobe XD for free -Illustrations from Undraw.co for free

Please slow down on my app hahaha, you know how Heroku crashes easily...

BEAF - Share your Before/After pictures and get unbiased feedback from the people you love.

Link: https://beaf-gatsby.netlify.com/

Cool project and design, kudos!

For a couple of tips as someone who uses Heroku, mlab (mongolab), etc:

- Something like https://cloudinary.com/ can automatically compress those images. Will speed up the load and make the project shine even more, since it is loading now a 1390px image in a 320px space.

- A redirect from the netlify.com to the main domain would also be a good idea.

Just purchased a domain name! https://beafapp.com

Oh no, this is setting a bad precedent. If founders can launch a startup within 24 hours, then sometime soon a sadistic tech company will replace their coding challenges with making a startup. \s

That would be great.

1: Apply for job

2: Get assigned 24 hour startup project

3: Create startup

4: Get funding...

Probably better in every respect to consider each product as its own mini-startup rather than having (slow) top-down control.

Like Alphabet but on a smaller scale.

Could be pretty great setup for a startup.

so this is like an online hackathon live streamed? Definitely cool concept, but calling it start up and them founders is a stretch isn't it?

This is so cool. More than the startups themselves, I'm more interested in the dev tools/techniques and pace at which other devs code.

Not surprisingly most thumbnails look like..... VSCode :)

>Not surprisingly most thumbnails look like..... VSCode :)

I'd say 99% of my viewers always ask "Oh! Ubuntu!" and we chat about Linux or open-source till they leave.

So yes, code streaming is heavily macOS and Windows (for good reason). Streaming software, specifically OBS, is way behind on Linux and is missing a key feature (VSTs) and has been for a year+, along with lots of other streaming software shrugging when asked for Linux support.

Story of Linux, I guess, hah.

I just watched a random Stream and was happy to see someone livestreaming Rails dev (I find it very hard to find).

Then I realized he was localizing files, seems odd for 24h challenge.

Hey All, just finished my 24hours working on https://moovoo.space/ you can find the whole experience here https://www.twitch.tv/czioutas/

The idea is to make a TV online but with content from indie film-makers, free movies (public content) etc without making the user pay!

Hi guys, I've finished my run in ~13 hours. I've made an MVP Starter Kit https://21daysmvp.com/. That was a fun ride, but there's a lot of work ahead to make it a full-scale project. Time to go and get some sleep finally.

you are getting a lot of "Image not authorized" on your starter kit page

Yeah, thanks for the update. Will fix today.

I suppose your 1000 free impressions ran out on thum.io

Fixed, thanks for the feedback.

This has been an amazing weekend. Pat, Armin and Melanie have done an awesome job getting this started.

Feel free to follow along on Twitter under the hashtagg #24HRstartup


Hustle porn is now live and real time!

Heyo, I finished my project in 23 hours. In hindsight I really should have done more planning. Didn't know how I wanted to do this until the time was almost up haha. I used react, preact (for the first time ever in this project), go, graphql, postgres

And here it is: https://feedby.io/

Can someone explain what kind of exposure livestreaming like this brings? Is it actually beneficial, what are some success stories (eg something interesting happening due to the stream)?

>Can someone explain what kind of exposure livestreaming like this brings?

I don't think the goal is exposure for anything that's created, it's more of a live streaming hackathon. If creating a web app is a startup then I've founded more startups than I can even keep track of. The title is somewhat of a misnomer. Check out this comment from one of the team members who organized it.


It motivates you to make quick progress, as you have a clear deadline and potentially people looking over your shoulder.

>potentially people looking over your shoulder.

It's good motivation to not slack off. You can't look at Reddit or get distracted by YouTube. :)

Not a startup but I spent the past day making a place to share short command-line snippets:


Hah at first I thought Shodan started hosting projects github-pages style, then realized you're the founder. Actually, hosted pages on Shodan would be kind of cool.

Hmm, haven't looked at doing that yet - any thoughts on what would make that appealing? It feels like a somewhat crowded space already.

I think it would be a nice place to host a collection of infosec-related materials, tutorials, white papers and write-ups. I'm not sure if there's a go-to place for the security community to host static pages for these types of things, but it seems like the kind of thing I'd enjoy browsing.

I think this is a fantastic idea -- I hope the footage is getting archived for future viewers who can watch it at their pace -- 2/3x.

This is awesome. Is it only for today though?

Not really sure why this was downvoted. The website is incredibly unclear as to whether it’s an ongoing thing or just a certain day/month/whatever. Sorry for daring to ask techbros a simple question.

I don’t say this often, but this is rad.

Great work!


Sure! We started with 250 USD which we wanted to put in ourselves, and now we are at: https://twitter.com/thepatwalls/status/1062834446691233793 :)

We were able to get soo many awesome Sponsors on board ( https://24hrstartup.com/sponsors )

Great idea and awesome execution!

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