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What It Feels Like On Stage At TechCrunch Disrupt: The Highlights of YouNow’s Launch

BREAKDANCERS!” How can we capture the audience’s imagination? We needed to think of a get-up-out-of-your seat idea for how we could best represent someone using YouNow to broadcast other people doing cool stuff.

Just a few days stood between us and our live demo at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. The clock had ticked and tocked well past midnight, but Adi Sideman was pumped. Literally jumping around the room. We were onto something: what if we cut to the Talk+ channel and had someone broadcasting live breakdancers from their webcam? What if they were on a rooftop in NYC?

We were inside of a week of nonstop preparation. A week full of rehearsals in front of friends at offices around Manhattan. Everyday, we were revising the script. Sometimes just a sentence – other times, an entire section. Always integrating the feedback and advice we were given.

SIX MINUTES

That’s it. Six minutes to show YouNow… to explain the functionality of each broadcaster getting 1 minute of live airtime, to show the audience engaging and crowdsourcing ‘access to the airtime’, and to passionately communicate our vision for the future of YouNow.

The challenge? As a presenter, you’re dealing with arguably the most distracted-yet-sophisticated tech audience on earth. Rarely does a soul in the audience not have their laptop open during the demos.

So, what did we do? We aimed big. Coordinated six of our most engaged beta testers from around the world to rehearse with us as live broadcasters… multiple times every single day leading up to the conference. We practiced til we were blue in the face.

Then suddenly, it was Sunday. On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, we left NYC and flew to San Francisco. It was go time.

YOUNOW GOES LIVE

Headphones in, we walked in and were immediately escorted backstage. In the zone. Nerves through the ceiling. Energy and a sense of purpose in the air. We exchanged words of motivation. Let loose. Adi started doing push-ups. I texted my dad and dedicated the next hour of my life to three important women.

Before we knew it, we were on stage. The lights were blinding, the crowd seeming to stretch on forever. The moment had come, and we were live… unleashing YouNow to the masses.

It all came together. Our broadcasters delivered. And oh yeah, our oh-so-talented beta tester Cody-Ann Chambers corralled the breakdancers and brought the house down. Then Adi unveiled the beta version of the YouNow iPhone app and (with judge Josh Felser holding his phone) started broadcasting live as he belted out David Bowie’s Starman on stage in front of everyone.

It was the biggest adrenaline rush of my life, and possibly the most exciting moment for the company and our community as a whole. You can watch us launching YouNow at the conference in the video below!

Whether broadcasting your funniest one-liners on the Talk+ channel, seeing how long you can stay live on air while singing your favorite song on the Music+ channel, or broadcasting someone else’s cool performance – we can’t wait to see how you use YouNow.

[WATCH YouNow’s launch here]

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We’re curious – how do you think we did? We’d love to hear your feedback. Tell us what you think in the comments! (Author: John Exley)

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About YouNow!

YouNow allows anyone to broadcast their live video (via webcam or mobile device) from anywhere and be judged in real time by an online audience.

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