Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Google acquires YouTube

"Google acquires YouTube - $1.65B deal for video site"

YouTube's Chad Hurley, 29, (l.) and Steve Chen, 27, have a lot to celebrate as their web site got a blockbuster bid from Google yesterday.

The Google guys have swallowed YouTube for $1.65 billion. Marking its biggest deal ever, the Internet giant agreed to snap up the red hot site in a major push for video supremacy on the Internet.

'Google has taken the first step toward being more of a media company than a technology company,' said Joe Laszlo, senior analyst at Jupiter Research. 'They bought the idea that social networking is big business - and they bought the leader.'

The Google-YouTube match-up marks another stunning story for an online start-up that didn't even exist two years ago.

YouTube's twenty-something founders, Chad Hurley and Steven Chen, started the company just 19 months ago, with the idea of giving regular folks a shot at uploading their own short videos onto the Web. In short order, YouTube became the Internet's No. 1 video-sharing site.

The YouTube-ers and their 67-person staff - now overnight millionaires - will join Google but remain largely independent in Silicon Valley headquarters.

On a conference with analysts yesterday, Google chairman Eric Schmidt compared YouTube's Hurley and Chen to Google's fabled founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Brin and Page are only a few years older than the YouTube founders.

Both sets of leaders, Schmidt said, built sites that lured mass audiences while the deep pocketed corporate giants just stood by.

That could be a message for all of us. Smaller companies can be more innovative and move much faster. So the question is "How creative can we be?"

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