Heard on Campus: Emmett Shear | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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Heard on Campus: Emmett Shear

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May 3, 2016

“Early on we were inundated with complaints that our video quality wasn’t high enough. People kept saying that the video was bad. The solution was actually to downgrade the quality of video, and then our users with slow Internet connections could watch everything just fine.

People will say “We want to have higher quality video,” but what they really mean is “We want a better experience.” You have to figure out what that really means for the user, and sometimes it means doing the opposite of what they say they want. As soon as we lowered our video quality, people said the problem was fixed. The quality of their experience went up because we solved the problem, but the quality of their video actually went down.”

-- Emmett Shear is founder and CEO of Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers. Shear is also co-founder of Justin.tv and a part-time partner at venture capital firm Y Combinator, where he advises fledgling startups on product and strategy.

Shear graduated from Yale University in 2005, and in 2012 was included in Forbes Magazine on their 30 under 30 list. Twitch launched in 2011, and in 2014 The Wall Street Journal cited the brand as having the 4th largest peak internet traffic in the U.S.

Shear spoke on April 15, 2016 at IST Startup Week, a week-long celebration showcasing talented innovators and entrepreneurs from around the country. View the schedule or watch live streaming events at ist.psu.edu/startup.  

Heard on Campus: Emmett Shear
Image: Emilee Spokus