Entrepreneur: Dave Kratz
Tilt: Game streaming with a personal connection
- Dave’s resourcefulness has led to unexpected opportunities. A Tweet explaining their lack of lodging for TwitchCon led to an offer from a popular creator and a subsequent expansion of Dave’s network.
- He got his professional gaming streaming start on the invite-only server for Minecraft (SMPLive.)
- Dave uses Twitter to connect personally with his audience and expand his professional network.
Why We Stan:
Dave recognizes the power of connections to grow a content business. While he streams on Twitch, he also knows the marketing benefits of platforms like Twitter.
The Story of Dave Kratz (aka Krtzyy)
At first, creating content online was nothing more than a hobby to Dave Kratz (aka Krtzyy). Never intending to make money from the platform, the then-high schooler spent his time uploading videos to YouTube and streaming live on Twitch.
As a young adult, they left content creation when they started college. But one semester later, Dave quit their studies and found two job opportunities at Verizon. Though making a stable living with an established major company, Dave still felt unfulfilled. In 2020, he explained on YouTube: “I saw all of my friends from back in the day with I used to play Minecraft, streaming full-time, and I was sitting here thinking what am I doing? They’re what I want to be.”
Shortly after, the creator called in sick from his job and never returned.
Two months after quitting his 9-to-5, a friend invited him to the private server dedicated to Minecraft streaming. He spent eight hours a day streaming his gameplay. The creator tells Insider: “There was a Minecraft server called SMPLive, where creators stream games and viewers send them monetary donations. Two friends vouched for me to be accepted into the server as a streamer.”
Earning close to $300 a month, Dave wasn’t making enough to make a living as a full-time creator. Wanting to take his career to the next level, he bought a ticket to TwitchCon. He couldn’t afford a hotel, so he tweeted about his housing problems. The popular gamer and Twitch Team Lunch Club member Csoop invited him to stay at his place.A stay with popular streamer #Csoop so @Krtzyy could attend @TwitchCon led to helpful creator networking opportunities. #Stan #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
At Csoop’s, Dave connected with other popular gamers. Those interactions propelled his content business. He later posted video clips of his stay, gaining thousands of views and followers on his various platforms. That content also led to other trips and networking opportunities.
In 2022, Dave expanded beyond Minecraft content. Halo, Valorant, Skyrim, CoD, and Saints Row have all been part of his gaming roster in the last couple of months.
Expanding the content business
An organization of the who’s who of esports competitors, Spacestation Gaming hosts a wide range of online video game competitions. Dave is making his mark in the raved-about online community.
With over 30K followers on Facebook, Dave’s presence on the site exponentially helped their following and earnings. Insider reported Dave has received “$45,000 from their long-term brand partnership with SpaceStation gaming, Twitch tips, and donations, selling Minecraft customizations users can purchase, and other brand partnerships.”
Dave contributes part of their success to the people with whom they have connected, and it isn’t all from streaming. “Twitter is the biggest reason I am where I am today because I took time to build organic relationships, meet people, and get involved with the community.”@Krtzyy says building organic relationships on Twitter helped him achieve his #ContentBusiness success via @Insider. #Stan #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
He continues to Insider readers: “Early creators also have to drop any ego they’re holding on to; you have to be able to handle rejection and not be scared to cold DM a brand or potential collaborator and ask to get involved. “
About the author
Shameyka McCalman is a wordsmith whose work often centers around fashion, art, and other creatives of color. She earned her communications degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston and enjoys sifting through clothes in local vintage shops, frequenting nearby plays, and gazing at exhibitions on view in museums.