(Founder Stories) Livestream’s Haot: “We Had The Right Product But The Wrong Vision”

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Livestream co-founder Max Haot says 30-million monthly unique viewers depend on Livestream for coverage of events ranging from Occupy Wall Street to f8. This year Livestream expects to more than double its 2010 revenue to $12.5-million and is rolling out enhancements that include a rewind in real-time option along with social media features.

It’s a far cry from five years ago when Livestream was operating under a completely different name and was focused on owning a completely different space. Chris Dixon dives into the backstory in this episode of Founder Stories.

Dial back to 2006/2007 and Haot was putting his team together while bootstrapping the company with a few hundred thousand dollars from a previous exit. He tells Dixon they had “the right product but the wrong vision.”

Unveiled under the name Mogulus, the service was intended “to help bloggers create 24/7 live TV stations” but his team “realized bloggers don’t really have the resources, the monetization, the content, [or] the audience” that would propel Mogulus to success. However, they stumbled across something else that could – events. Sensing potential in the overall raw concept, angel investors swooped in to back the company and helped them mushroom to 120 employees.

While expanding, Haot tells Dixon Livestream formulated a plan to fend off piracy. The startup keeps tabs on content new producers broadcast and limits them to 50-viewers, so if an infraction occurs damage is minimal. If larger producers stream copyrighted material, they’re shut down.

He calls it a “zero-tolerance” approach.

Make sure to watch the entire video for additional insights and check out past episodes of Founder Stories featuring Dropbox, Kickstarter, Reddit, Eventbrite, and Tumblr.

Clarificiation: In the video above, Haot says Livestream launched the same week as Ustream. While he started working on Livestream around the same time that Ustream was incorporated (January, 2007), Ustream launched it’s service in March, 2007, whereas Livestream launched its service in May, 2007.

Episode II of this interview is coming up.