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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Chad and Steve: Sultans of YouTube

The recent news that Google has bought YouTube for a staggering US$1.6 billion (in stocks, not in cash, but still...) has sent repercussions throughout my lab.

Or is that because we are next to the Neuros construction site?

Anyway as I was saying, the first thought that ran through everyone's mind when the deal was announced is:

Those lucky bastards clever geniuses! Who are these guys anyway?

Here at Fresh Brainz, we immediately set out to learn more about the two newest billionaires on our planet: Chad Hurley and Steve Chen!

First stop: Wikipedia, why of course.

I searched for Chad Hurley and Steve Chen.

Not much stuff there. After all, they are young guys who were fucking nobodies not so prominent before the deal.

So, in order to dig up interesting information, it's time to crunch through the Deep Web with my teeth.


Turns out that Chad was trained as a designer while Steve did computer science at the university. Neither of them are drop-outs, so perhaps the glory days of the super drop-outs are now officially over.

Isn't it funny how it's always one pair of them? Usually an arty guy partnered with a geek?

I'm beginning to see a pattern. Hmm...

For more details, here are some articles that I've found. Enjoy!

YouTube (WEB2.Ohhh!)

YouTube: Way Beyond Home Videos (BusinessWeek)

Steve Chen: The Local Boy That Created YouTube (Taipei Times)

Of course, not everyone thinks that the Goo-Tube deal makes business sense.

There are two major concerns - despite its overwhelming popularity YouTube hasn't really made money yet, and there is that nagging problem of copyright infringements.

Check out this blog post by veteran investor Mark Cuban.

I Still Think Google Is Crazy (Blog Maverick)

He also has a few other Youtube-related articles on his site.

If you have no time to read these sources, let me just quote Chad Hurley himself (from the BusinessWeek comments section):

I do not want to work hard. I want to live a soft life. I want to sleep for three hours every afternoon. I do not want to stay awake the whole day so that I can get a few grand at the end of each month. That is why I choose to live off the Net. I am too lazy to try and survive in the real world...

...We worked for about six hours each week for two months designing YouTube. We had the idea to create a community around the video. Once that was done we knew that tons of millions of dollars would just flow into our laps after a buyer which we expect to happen very soon. We will not have to work hard...

...Now we are sitting at home waiting for a buyout. I expect to make at least $400 million personally. Content has been handed to us on a silver platter. We do not have to slog hard to create content like a poorly paid online journalist who makes a lousy $450,000 each year.

Making US$450,000 is poorly paid?

I would be ecstatic if I could even make US$45,000 a year. Graduate school lowers your expectations on just about everything.

Except chocolate. I will NEVER compromise on chocolates.


mathia said...

in my humble opinion, the way to be disgustingly rich is to come up with a product/concept that every idiot on earth would go for. Since there are about 1.6 billion of them (hmmmm is that why google paid them 1.6 b???), you'll be a billionaire. Comming up with things where you need a PhD to use will just get you poorer -- market just too small. Now you know why we're on the poverty track don't you???

ah said...

1.6 billion idiots on earth? ... I think you are overesimtating the number of clever people. I prefer 6.21 billion idiots myself....

Anyway, the reason google bought Youtube is disturbingly obvious. If they didn't someone else would. Youtube could be the next CNBC, Viacom or Fox of Web 2.0. And anyway, Google is so flush with cash 1.8% of your stock is worth it...

The more important question is... Why can't I come up with a crappy business plan and flog it for 1.6 bn in stocks ... :(

ah said...

Ah crap, that should say 'overestimating'...

Teach me for posting after a few beers...

Where's this bloody inline spell checking in Firefox 2.0?!?!? I'm embarrassing my own language...

mathia said...

heheh ..... i forgot the global population stands at 6.21b now.... its china alone with the 1.6b.... am definately in the idiot crowd contributing to the rich men's pockets...hmm probably the reason why i can't seem to graduate