Friday, October 13, 2006

A YouTube must read from Signal vs Noise

Signal vs Noise has a great explanation for why the Google acquisition of YouTube was so significant. Just a little more evidence that Google gets it, and the others are still struggling to get their arms around what‘s happening. Why is that? What is it about the Google organizational culture that allows them to see the future so much better than their competition?

Both AOL and Microsoft take the “we have better tech in-house” stand. That’s why YouTube wasn’t attractive.

It wasn’t that YouTube was overvalued or YouTube has significant legal battles ahead that AOL and Microsoft didn’t want to absorb. It was that YouTube’s technology wasn’t up to snuff.

Never mind that YouTube was streaming millions of videos a day and never seemed to be down. Never mind that YouTube is the leading video viewing/sharing site by a wide margin. Never mind that the public likes YouTube. Never mind that YouTube movies are embedded with Flash which everyone already has. Never mind that nearly every email I’ve gotten from anyone in the past year saying “hey, check out this video” lead to a YouTube video. Never mind that my parents actually know what YouTube is but have never heard of AOLs “technology” or Microsoft’s Soapbox. Never mind any of that. Just mind the technology.

Can AOL and Microsoft beat YouTube down the road? Anything is possible, but they’re making it awful hard on themselves if they think technology is what’s going to win this race. Technology rarely wins the race — experience and execution does. YouTube nailed that. Time will tell if they nailed a few coffins at the same time.

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